Privacy, Data Protection and Cybersecurity Law - LAWS6410

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Autumn Term 6 15 (7.5) Lisa Dickson checkmark-circle


This module will focus on the way in which the law defines and constructs privacy, breach of confidence, cybersecurity threats, and e-surveillance in the UK, EU and elsewhere as appropriate (e.g. North America, Australia) and how the law regulates data protection, freedom of information, consent for digital and personal information collection, use and sharing, and e-surveillance. Students will be asked to critically examine whether privacy protection laws, consent, and confidentiality measures are fit for purpose and proportionate given demands of the market, the state, and public administrations to collect, use, and share personal information for reasons of commerce, service provision, and security protection. Students will be challenged to critically examine how personal, financial, health, and economic transactional data are managed, who has access to this information, and for what purposes. The module will require students to assess emerging legal, regulatory, data protection and personal privacy issues raised by widespread access to personal information, including data generated by social media, electronic commerce, state security agencies, and health administrations. The curriculum will explore rapidly changing privacy and data protection issues including the 'right to be forgotten', the Internet of Things (IoT), cybersecurity law in a post-Snowden world including Safe Harbours, data retention and reuse implications of the UK National DNA database, biobanks, and digital interconnectivity of social media.


Contact hours

Contact hours: 20
Private study hours: 130
Total study hours: 150


All Social Sciences undergraduate law programmes

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods

Assessment Pattern A – 100% coursework:
Unseen paper 1 – 1250 words (25%)
Unseen paper 2 – 1250 words (25%)
Written coursework – 2500 words (50%) *

Students must achieve a mark of 40% in the 'written coursework' element to pass the module overall.

Assessment Pattern B – 100% dissertation – no more than 6,000 words

Reassessment methods

Like-for-like – where undertaken, students must achieve a mark of 40% in the 'written coursework' element in order to pass the module overall.

Indicative reading

• Anita Allen, 2011, Unpopular Privacy, (MIT Press)
• Beate Roessler and Dorota Mokrosinska (eds), 2015, Social Dimensions of Privacy: Interdisciplinary Perspectives, (Cambridge University
• Daniel J Solove, 2008, Understanding Privacy, (Harvard University Press, Cambridge. Mass.)
• European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, 2014, Handbook on European Data Protection Law, (Council of Europe)
• Paul Lambert, 2013, A User's Guide to Data Protection, (Bloomsbury Professional Ltd)
• Peter Carey and Robin Hopkins, 2012, Freedom of Information Handbook, (The Law Society Press)
• Peter Carey, 2009, Data Protection Law, (Oxford University Press)

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate a fulsome understanding of the concepts, principles, policies, debates and legal doctrines associated with privacy, data
protection, cybersecurity, and freedom of information law;
2. Demonstrate a systematic understanding of the origins and development of EU and UK data protection, freedom of information, and e-
security surveillance statutes, legal frameworks and regulations, Human Rights protections, and EU Article 29 Data Protection Working
Party opinions and rulings.
3. Undertake in-depth analysis of emerging issues in privacy, data protection, cybersecurity, e-surveillance, and freedom of information.
4. Think critically about privacy, data protection, cybersecurity, e-surveillance, and freedom of information: to take nothing at face value, to go
beneath the surface of the law, to critically analyse and evaluate it.

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1. Identify, understand, and evaluate complex legal and non-legal policy materials.
2. Critically challenge received understandings and conclusions.
3. Present complex legal and policy ideas and formulate sustained and persuasive arguments.
4. Undertake research, writing, and problem solving as it pertains to the analysis of statutes, legal cases and rulings, policies, and in the
construction of legal, philosophical, and policy-based arguments.


  1. Credit level 6. Higher level module usually taken in Stage 3 of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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