LL4S4      Half Unit
Digital Rights, Privacy and Security

This information is for the 2015/16 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Orla Lynskey NAB6.23

Dr Chris Kuner (Visiting Professor)


This course is available on the MSc in Media and Communications (Data and Society), MSc in Regulation, 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


Basic knowledge of EU law is desirable but not essential for this course. 

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 OECD and the US are currently discussing amendments to their legal regimes in this field. Nevertheless, there is little consensus, even within the EU, regarding whether, and how, personal data processing should be regulated in the information society. Indeed, some argue that given the exponential increases in the amount of personal data processed globally any attempts to regulate personal data processing are outdated, and even quaint.


This course will 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 and US. In order to bring key issues to life, a number of case 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 state surveillance.


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

There will be a Reading Week in week 6 of MT.

Formative coursework

All students are expected to contribute to a series of class exercises and to submit one piece of formative work for assessment. 

Indicative reading

Bygrave: Data Privacy Law: An International Perspective (OUP, 2015)

Kuner: Transborder Data Flows and Data Privacy Law  (OUP, 2013)

Lynskey: The Foundations of EU Data Protection Law (OUP, 2015)

Murray: Information Technology Law, The Law and Society (OUP, 2nd ed, 2013) 



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

This is an open-book exam.

Key facts

Department: Law

Total students 2014/15: 27

Average class size 2014/15: 28

Controlled access 2014/15: Yes

Lecture capture used 2014/15: Yes (LT)

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Communication
  • Specialist skills