CCTP-708-01 Information Privacy and Security
Spring for 2011-2012
This course aims to provide students with the theoretical and policy tools to evaluate public policy issues involving information privacy and security. We’ll start with a look at the utilitarian and rights-based traditions in political philosophy. This will help us understand the dispute between those in Europe who view privacy as a fundamental human right and those in the US who tend to think of it as a matter of balancing economic interests.
The course traces the development of privacy theory from Brandeis to fair information practices to the harm framework. One theme will be the extent to which privacy concepts evolve with changes in technology. We’ll look at the exciting work from Helen Nissenbaum, Privacy in Context, and review the U.S. legal background with Daniel Solove’s book Understanding Privacy.
The course will cover the regulatory scheme developed in the European Union’s Data Protection Directive and examine proposed changes in this privacy regime. We’ll contrast it with the U.S. sectoral privacy regime, examining U.S. rules for financial privacy, credit bureaus, and online privacy. The course will deal with the role of the Federal Trade Commission, and examine new privacy proposals from the FTC and the Commerce Department.
The course will highlight examples from Facebook, Google and mobile applications and cover the controversial issues of privacy and free speech and de-identified data bases. Using Solove’s new text, Nothing to Hide, we will review the issues of government surveillance and data mining, focusing on the special case of government GPS tracking.
The course will also cover the government surveillance and commercial privacy issues raised by facial recognition software. We’ll look at information security in the financial sector and what government should do to prevent the spread of malware through computer networks.
The following syllabi may help you learn more about this course (login required):
Spring '12: MacCarthy M (file download)
Additional syllabi may be available in prior academic years.
Other academic years
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