Privacy and data protection laws are designed for the protection of individuals– but further overreach would often imply an inevitable stagnation for technological and economic innovations. Regulators not only face problems in balancing conflicting interests of the parties involved (public and private institutions, and consumers) but, also in translating the more traditional human values in constantly changing digital environments.

Surveillance is a great example of clashing interests and values: while surveillance mechanisms are employed for the protection of the citizens for security or economic efficiency reasons, the same technologies might undermine the same values sought to be protected – physical and information privacy.
So, how do we balance the necessary values and rights for the democratic functioning of society? How much privacy is needed? And more important, how much personal privacy is possible?

The aim of the course is to provide students with real-life cases that involve the use of surveillance technologies through business models taking shape under what has become known as the sharing (or collaborative) economy. The sharing economy, with its unique triangular relationship between the platform, service provider and consumer provides an excellent multidisciplinary inquiry into privacy and data protection issues. The students, working in teams, will identify and solve the privacy and data protection challenges raised by video-surveillance, mobile apps and marketing technologies.