Section 1, Spring 23

Schedule Information

Enrollment: 49/50
Credits: 3
Days* Time Room Start Date End Date
  • TR
  • 1410-1530
  • SL298
01/24/2023 04/27/2023
*“R” means Thursday

Course Description

We live in an age where personal data is collected, used, and shared. Businesses, individuals, and governments are surveilling and monetizing the details of our lives. For good reason, information privacy is regularly in the headlines. Facial recognition software, the Metaverse, the exploitation of period-tracking apps and location data in the wake of Dobbs, nonconsensual intimate imagery, doxing, Russian spear phishing attacks during the 2016 Presidential campaign, daily hacks of businesses and government agencies, social media algorithms that use our personal data to tailor posts on which we will reliably click, like, and share, location tracking, police body cameras, deep-fake technology, and NSA surveillance. You get the point. As concerns about information privacy and security have escalated, lawmakers and law enforcers have responded. Law is adapting—in fits and starts. A rapidly growing area of professional specialization in data privacy and security has emerged for attorneys and other professionals. This course is an introduction to data privacy law. By the end, you will be well armed to tackle data privacy problems facing individuals, businesses, and government agencies. We will be studying constitutional, statutory, and common law rules as well as federal and state enforcement activity. We will discuss the questions to ask when assessing information practices and nonlegal models of information governance. You also will gain a basic understanding of data privacy regulation in the European Union and the UK. There are significant professional payoffs in becoming well versed in data privacy law. Major law firms have organized entire practice areas devoted to data protection law. In the aftermath of the adoption of the EU and UK’s General Data Protection Regulation, every company with global data flows must have a Chief Privacy Officer. (Also, California state AG enforcement actions have also suggested the same.) The International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP), a key trade association, has 50,000 members worldwide.

Course Requirements

Exam Info:
Final Type (if any): Flex
Description: Flex exam at end of semester.

Written Work Product
Written Work Product:

Other Work

Other Course Details
Prerequisites: None Concurrencies: None
Mutually Exclusive With: None
Laptops Allowed: Yes
First Day Attendance Required: Yes
Course Resources: The text for the course is a casebook by Daniel J. Solove and Paul Schwartz entitled Information Privacy Law (7th edition, Aspen Publishing). Also, you will read Dave Eggers’s The Circle for the first class.
Course Notes: The class is a three-credit course. We will have an incredible array of practitioners joining us, including cyber security guru Pieter (Mudge) Zatko, health privacy star Kirk Nahra, federal legislative gurus and advocates Alan Butler and Caitriona Fitzgerald, and civil rights expert and father of the privacy bar Chris Wolf. Your evaluation will be based on a three-hour exam and class participation. Your participation frees me to bump up your grade. I expect consistent attendance, preparedness, and active participation.

Graduation Requirements

*Satisfies Writing Requirement: No
**Credits For Prof. Skills Requirement: No
Satisfies Professional Ethics: No

*If “Yes,” then students are required to submit a substantial research paper in this course, which means students do not need to submit any form to SRO for this paper to meet their upper-level writing requirement. If “No,” then students must submit a “special request” e-form to SRO (available via LawWeb) no later than five weeks after the start of the term for a paper in this class to be counted toward the upper-level writing requirement.

**Yes indicates course credits count towards UVA Law’s Prof. Skills graduation requirement, not necessarily a skills requirements for any particular state bar.

Schedule No.
Law No.
Modified Type
Cross Listed: No
Cross-Listed Course Mnemonic:
Public Syllabus Link: None
Evaluation Portal Via LawWeb Opens: Friday, April 21, 12:01 AM
Evaluation Portal Via LawWeb Closes: Sunday, April 30, 11:59 PM