Data Privacy Lab  

Harvard University

The Politics of Personal Data

Gov 1430

Professor: Latanya Sweeney, Ph.D. (email)
Lectures, Labs: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10:00-11:30pm, CGIS K-107
Office Hours: 4-6pm on Tuesdays, CGIS Knafel 310

Home | Schedule | Syllabus


Course Description

This course examines legal, political, social, commercial and technical struggles for control over personal data in our globally connected data-rich world. Case studies include data sharing mandated by the state, traded for personal services, and controlled by individuals. Analyses demonstrate ways to think about clashes and the interplay between technology design and policy. Includes a data lab component, but course is accessible to all students willing to experiment with new technologies and participate in class discussions and activities.

Examples of emerging technologies examined in the course include: face recognition software, biometrics, survillance systems, personal information capturing tools and position location technology (GPS, mobile phones, RFID tags). The course draws on topics from: data mining, information retrieval, web technology, computer security, cryptography, political philosophy and current events.

There is no required textbook for this course. Instead, we will provide any course handouts on this, the course web site.



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