Data, its use and its protection is of ever increasing critical importance in our interconnected world, a result of technological change, automated data processing and decision making and the digitisation of society. Our data can expose sensitive information about ourselves and our private lives, can be used to nudge or manipulate our decisions, and can be captured, processed and commodified by various actors (including governments and companies) to a variety of ends.
Data protection law, which has developed rapidly in recent years, regulates everything from legal responsibility for cyber-security breaches, to how social networking sites store and share data and even how its users share information about one another or others. This all-encompassing role seeks to strike a difficult balance between protecting the rights of individuals, whilst also facilitating the movement and use of data by organisations. The breadth of its application has resulted in it becoming a specialised area of practice.
This module will provide you with a solid foundation in data protection law which will enable you to explore some of its key concepts, rules and functions. It is 'practice' orientated bringing together 'academic law' with the types of legal issues experienced by individuals and companies today. Data protection is a dynamic and developing area of law; we will engage with some of the key legal, societal and technical challenges arising including, for example, online tracking and surveillance, international data flows, artificial intelligence and cryptography.
The central focus of the course is the interplay between UK Data Protection Law and the recent EU Data Protection Regulation. We will analyse and evaluate this interaction drawing on a range of sources, including policy, academic literature, advisory opinions and domestic laws and practices. We will also analyse the domestic and cross-border data protection-related challenges that arise following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU and explore the future of data protection law in the UK in the post-Brexit era.