MG492      Half Unit
Data Governance: Privacy, Openness and Transparency (formerly IS489)

This information is for the 2015/16 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Edgar Whitley NAB3.32


This course is available on the MSc in Management of Information Systems and Digital Innovation, MSc in Media and Communications (Data and Society) and MSc in Public Management and Governance. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Course content

The course provides a detailed consideration of the key elements of the concept of informational privacy, the open data movement and transparency. These topics lie at the intersection of diverse contemporary issues including, public sector reform, human rights, digital ecosystems and social networking, and the global and national regulation of business. The course content is international in focus, and reviews contemporary issues arising from new technologies, new policies of governments, new practices and business models in the private sector. Topics include personal privacy and identity systems; motivations for information sharing and transparency and its potential for driving beneficial change; transformations in the management of government information and processing practices; the technological and regulatory challenges faced by public sector and business; the protection of sensitive personal data including medical and financial information; data-mining in the context of national security and anti-terrorism policies; communications surveillance policies; behavioural studies of privacy attitudes and the evolution of trust and consent in online environments. The course enables students to develop their understanding of the challenges presented by new informational regimes, their regulatory development and emerging governance structures.


20 hours of lectures and 10 hours of seminars in the LT.

A reading week will take place during Week 6. There will be no teaching during this week.

Formative coursework

Classes are based around reading and discussing selected journal articles from the course study pack. Formative feedback is provided on class participation. In addition, students will complete a formative essay plan on which feedback will be provided.

Indicative reading

Samuel Warren and Louis Brandeis, "The Right to Privacy", 4 Harvard Law Review 193 (1890); Solove, DJ Understanding privacy (2008), Harvard University Press, Harvard; Murray, A (2010) Chapter 18: "Data protection" in Information technology law : the law and society Oxford University Press, Oxford;, Stephen Margulis, "Privacy as a Social Issue and Behavioural Concept", Journal of Social Issues, Vol.59, No.2, 2003, pp.243-261; Hazell, R and Glover, M (2011) The impact of Freedom of Information on Whitehall. Public Administration 89(4), 1664–1681. Lew McCreary, "What was privacy?", Harvard Business Review, October 2008; O'Hara, K (2011) Transparent Government, Not Transparent Citizens: A Report on Privacy and Transparency for the Cabinet Office; Orin S. Kerr, "The Fourth Amendment and New Technologies: Constitutional Myths and the Case for Caution", 102 Michigan Law Review 801-888 (2004); Leo Alexander, "Medical Science under dictatorship", The New England Journal of Medicine, July 1949, pp.39-47. and a number of journal articles and some court decisions from the US Supreme Court and the European Court of Human Rights.


Coursework (20%, 800 words) and essay (70%, 5000 words).
Class participation (10%) in the LT.

10% class participation.

20% 800 word “blog” article that summarises the key argument of the research essay.

70% 5000 word research essay on an approved topic .

Key facts

Department: Management

Total students 2014/15: Unavailable

Average class size 2014/15: Unavailable

Controlled access 2014/15: No

Lecture capture used 2014/15: Yes (LT)

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Commercial awareness
  • Specialist skills