LL4S4      Half Unit
Digital Rights, Privacy and Security

This information is for the 2013/14 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Orla Lynskey NAB6.23


This course is available on the MSc in Regulation, MSc in Regulation (Research), Master of Laws and Master of Laws (extended part-time study). This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

This course is capped at 30 students. Students must apply through Graduate Course Choice on LSEforYou

Course content

While the development of the information society brings about significant economic and societal benefits, by treating the personal data of individuals as a valuable trading commodity it also raises fundamental rights concerns. In response to these concerns the EU has recognised a “right to data protection” in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and is currently remodelling the legal framework applicable to personal data processing in the EU. Moreover, other key global actors including the Council of Europe, the OECD and the US are currently discussing amendments to their legal regimes in this field. The proposed reforms suggest a first movement towards a shared global vision of whether, and how, personal data processing should be regulated in the information society. However, given the exponential increases in the amount of personal data processed globally such a movement may appear to be outdated, and even quaint.
This course will therefore critically evaluate the current and proposed legal frameworks applicable to personal data processing. Students will be introduced to techniques and technologies for monitoring and gathering personal data in the information society and the legal framework applicable to this personal data collection in a number of jurisdictions, including the EU, US and the UK. In order to bring key issues to life, a number of cases studies will be considered, for instance the application of data protection rules to online behavioural advertising, user-generated content on social networking sites and to ambient technologies.


20 hours of seminars in the LT. 2 hours of seminars in the ST.

Formative coursework

All students are expected to contribute to a series of class and online exercises, and to take part in a mock exam session.

Indicative reading

Murray: Information Technology Law, The Law and Society (OUP, 2010) Edwards & Waelde (eds), Law and the Internet 3rd ed (Hart, 2009) Carey, Data Protection: A Practical Guide to UK and EU Law 3rd ed (OUP, 2009) Mayer-Schönberger, Delete: The Virtue of Forgetting in the Digital Age (Princeton UP, 2009) Solove, Understanding Privacy (Harvard UP, 2009)


Exam (100%, duration: 2 hours) in the main exam period.

This is an open-book exam.

Key facts

Department: Law

Total students 2012/13: 16

Average class size 2012/13: 17

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Communication
  • Specialist skills