Law 232 - Privacy and the Law
Senior Lecturer, Graduate School of Education and Information Studies
An exploration of online and offline privacy-related controversies, both as they currently exist and as they might conceivably exist in the future. The first half of the course seeks to synthesize the current state of privacy law, identifying legal and policy imperatives that have arisen across settings and disciplines. Online issues to be examined in this context include digital footprints, the principle that “the Internet never forgets,” data protection, entertainment industry practices, and security issues generally. Offline privacy issues include hidden and not-so-hidden cameras, airport checkpoints, helicopter surveillance, marriage, procreation, and abortion, and record-keeping issues generally.
The second half of the course is devoted to six case studies and facilitated by group presentations. Topics to be addressed include surveillance technologies and practices, disclosure rights, decisional privacy, physical and mental disability rights, and transformative Internet-related developments such as Google, YouTube, Facebook, and Second Life. Each student will be asked to choose one case study to focus on, both for the group presentation and the individual 20-page course paper. The heart of the inquiry will be an examination of the future, identifying hypothetical scenarios and putting forth prospective solutions.
Privacy and the Law is a hybrid course, with earlier sessions following a more traditional lecture-discussion format, and later sessions becoming more like a seminar. There is no final, and the course paper satisfies the law school writing requirement.