17-333 / 17-733 / 19-608 / 95-818 (previous course numbers: 8-533, 17-533, 15-508, 17-801): Privacy Policy, Law, and Technology

This course focuses on policy issues related to privacy from the perspectives of governments, organizations, and individuals. We will begin with a historical and philosophical study of privacy and then explore recent public policy issues. We will examine the privacy protections provided by laws and regulations, as well as the way technology can be used to protect privacy. We will emphasize technology-related privacy concerns and mitigation, for example: social networks, smartphones, behavioral advertising (and tools to prevent targeted advertising and tracking), anonymous communication systems, big data, and drones.

This course is part of a three-course series of privacy courses offered as part of the MSIT-Privacy Engineering masters program. These courses may be taken in any order or simultaneously. Foundations of Privacy (offered in the Fall semester) offers more indepth coverage of technologies and algorithms used to reason about and protect privacy. Engineering Privacy in Software (offered in the Spring semester) focuses on the methods and tools needed to design systems for privacy.

This course is intended primarily for graduate students and advanced undergraduate students (juniors and seniors) with some technical background. Programming skills are not required. 17-733, 19-608, and 95-818 are 12-unit courses for PhD students. Students enrolled under these course numbers will have extra assignments and will be expected to do a project suitable for publication. 17-533 is a 9-unit course for undergraduate students. Masters students may register for any of the course numbers permitted by their program. This course will include a lot of reading, writing, and class discussion. Students will be able to tailor their assignments to their skills and interests, focusing more on programming or writing papers as they see fit. However, all students will be expected to do some writing and some technical work. A large emphasis will be placed on research and communication skills, which will be taught throughout the course.

Fall 2019 (Lujo Bauer and Timothy Libert)

Fall 2018 (Lujo Bauer and Timothy Libert)

Fall 2017 (Lujo Bauer and Rebecca Balebako)

Fall 2016 (Lujo Bauer)

Fall 2015 (Lorrie Cranor)

Fall 2014 (Lorrie Cranor)

Fall 2013 (Lorrie Cranor)

Spring 2012 (Travis Breaux)

Fall 2010 (Lorrie Cranor)

Fall 2008 (Lorrie Cranor)

Fall 2007 (Lorrie Cranor)

Fall 2005 (Lorrie Cranor)

Fall 2004 (Lorrie Cranor)

Spring 2004 (Lorrie Cranor)