2020-2021 School of Law Catalog 
    
    Aug 17, 2022  
2020-2021 School of Law Catalog archived

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LAW 335 - Big Data, Cybersurveillance, and Privacy Law Seminar.


This cross-listed seminar, which is open to undergraduate and law students, examines the current implications of big data and cybersurveillance policy in the United States, and the impact of recent technological developments on data privacy law. Specifically, this course will examine how the expanding role of the Internet, big data, e-commerce, social media, wearables, algorithmic intelligence and data analytics, etc., in our daily lives has placed unprecedented strain on preexisting regulatory, statutory, and constitutional frameworks that have traditionally guided privacy protections under the law.  Some have argued that assessing a “reasonable expectation of privacy” is a much more complex endeavor in the midst of what has been termed the “Big Data Revolution.”  Others have asserted that data privacy protections in the United States are at risk of technological and theoretical obsolescence.

A key inquiry of the seminar will focus on cybersurveillance topics, such as examining how digital data is used for corporate or public governance purposes and the laws that may exist to restrict this use. For example, this seminar will interrogate how digital data and database-driven technologies developed for civil law or corporate purposes can be used for criminal law and national security purposes, and how this merger has led to the growing normalization of surveillance protocols that may not be subject to proper oversight.  In addition, databases and technologies developed by corporations for consumer purposes also offer technological prototypes for national surveillance programs that can be expanded for use beyond the private sector context.  The legal and constitutional protections available to curtail this expanding web of data collection and cybersurveillance are unclear.  Therefore, this seminar will also explore the preexisting statutes protecting electronic communications and digital data, as well as the availability of Fourth Amendment protections to guard against the unreasonable search and seizure of data. Additionally, digital data obtained or used for corporate purposes may or may not be protected under privacy laws or other regulatory regimes. Two hours. Not offered in 2020-2021.



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