Fall 2019 Course Schedule

Law of Information Privacy (LAW-805-001)
Kirk Nahra

Meets: 04:00 PM - 05:50 PM (MW) - Warren - Room N101

Enrolled: 32 / Limit: 35

Administrator Access


This course will meet every Monday and on alternating Wednesdays. Please review the syllbus for the required Wednesday meeting days.


Data is everywhere today, and is being used by a broader range of entities for a broader range of purposes every day. Privacy and data security issues are evolving constantly, with developments in technology, public policy and breaking news. These issues now impact virtually every company in every industry, both in the United States and around the world. Lawyers in an increasingly broad variety of fields must understand the key principles surrounding the use and disclosure of personal data when providing virtually all aspects of legal advice to companies, in both regulated and unregulated industries, including compliance, mergers and acquisitions, litigation and the full range of specific privacy and data security laws and regulations.

This course will explore the primary legal and policy principles surrounding the use and disclosure of personal data and the core principles for information privacy and security generally. We will focus on the key terms and principles, identify and analyze the primary laws regulating privacy in commercial relationships, both in the United States and internationally, and address some of the key topics for privacy and security lawyers, including litigation and enforcement, vendor relationships and de-identification, and will begin to introduce the new legal concepts surrounding “big data.” We also will examine new developments in privacy and data security, including the evolving principles governing security breach notification, research, the privacy and data security challenges arising from mobile applications and the emerging implications of “big data” principles on privacy rights.

Your participation in the class discussion is expected. In addition to your questions and comments generally, we will have various “problems” to be discussed at varying points in the class, where class discussion is expected.

Textbooks and Other Materials

The textbook information on this page was provided by the instructor. Students should use this information when considering purchases from the AU Campus Store or other vendors. Students may check to determine if books are currently available for purchase online.

First Class Readings

Please read all of these stories for the first class. We will discuss these topics in the first two class sessions. I expect you to be prepared to discuss the issues that arise in connection with each of these situations, including what kinds of laws might apply, whether these situations should be regulated, whether these activities should be permitted under law and related issues about the interaction between commercial interests and the rights of individuals in their personal data. (You should pay attention to news developments in the area, as these kinds of stories come up almost every day).

• Kliegman, “The New Era of Suicide Prevention,” The Ringer (April 2017), available at https://theringer.com/social-media-suicide-prevention-policies-5490c2c224e0.

• Ivanka, “Using a fitness app taught me the scary truth about why privacy settings are a feminist issue,” (August 1, 2017), available at http://baetrice.org/using-a-fitness-app-taught-me-the-scary-truth-about-why-privacy-settings-are-a-feminist-issue-quartz/.

• Scully, “Big Data Can Tell Mortgage Traders an Amazing Amount About Customers,” available at https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-06-29/big-data-can-tell-mortgage-traders-an-amazing-amount-about-you.

• O’Carroll, “Can Your Boss Make You Wear a Fitbit?”, available at https://www.csmonitor.com/Technology/2018/0315/Can-your-boss-make-you-wear-a-Fitbit (March 15, 2018)

• Lorenz, “Unidentified Plane-Bae Woman’s Statement Confirms the Worst,” (July 13, 2018), available at https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2018/07/unidentified-plane-bae-womans-statement-confirms-the-worst/565139/

• Dreyfuss, “Was it ethical for Dropbox to share customer data with scientists?” available at https://www.wired.com/story/dropbox-sharing-data-study-ethics/ (July 24, 2018)

• Singer, For Sale: Survey Data on Millions of High School Students,” New York Tmes (July 29, 2018), available at https://www.sfgate.com/business/article/For-sale-survey-data-on-millions-of-high-school-13117729.php (and other sites as well)

• Brown, “Deleting Your Online DNA Data is Brutally Difficult,” available at https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-06-15/deleting-your-online-dna-data-is-brutally-difficult (June 15, 2018)

• Cameron, Is Venmo’s Default Privacy Setting Exposing Users to harm?”, available at https://www.gizmodo.com.au/2018/07/is-venmos-default-privacy-setting-exposing-users-to-harm/ (July 20, 2018).


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