Accueil > Personal data protection regulation: global social, legal and technical challenges

OMCO 2045 - Mapping Controversies: Personal Data Protect° Regulat°: global social, legal & technical challenges

Type d'enseignement : Seminar

Semester : Autumn 2018-2019

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English



Course Description

After Snowden revelations, personal data protection has become a major concern for thousands of internet users. Tools such as Tor, Signal, Telegram, Protonmail, Wire, implement cryptography to protect personal communication. However, the usage of encryption is contested by the nation-states and on the international level. For example, in May 2017 UK conservatives have published a manifesto proposing to ban encryption, claiming that it may be used by terrorists. So, what is encryption and how to regulate it? Is it a human right or a dangerous weapon? In this course we will analyze opinions of different stakeholders engaged in this controversy: IT companies, governments, international organizations, researchers, Internet users. We will work together on a website as final project for the course. This course is a practical course that will require motivation and self-management, as well as group work. You will have a chance to learn how to search in academic databases, analyse press and web ressources, visualise the results of your research, and use scientometric tools. You will also be able to experiment in creating a website. In order to help you, precise guidelines and step-by-step tutorials will be provided by the lecturer. The course consists of 3 phases: 1. Source search We will start by learning how to use alternative search engines, keywords and search equations to find articles on our topic (privacy enhancing technologies, encryption, online anonymity, personal data protection regulation…); 10 articles per student should be selected and read. We will then pass to the search of the press (using Europress database). Finally, we will cover the web resources (forums, websites, blogs, videos) covering the topic. 2. Analysis On this phase we will put our sources together and try to distinguish main problematics that we see in the sources, will outline main arguments for and against encryption or anonymity; will figure out who are the main stakeholders and actors involved in this debate; will distinguish differences in national regulation of encryption, compare legislations… Students may split here and focus on one of the axes (subtopic) if they feel more concerned with a precise aspect of our controversy. 3. Website building and data visualization Finally, we will design a website and visualize all our findings using infographics, scientometric tools, mindmaps or even handdrawings to represent the “power struggles” and conflicts of interests between different countries, and between different actors. Each student will have to write a short contribution for the website according on the topic of his or her choice. 4. Oral presentation On the last class you will have to present your website in 20-25 minutes. Other teachers will be invited to assist at this final presentation and they will ask you questions. You will have to defend your work, explain your methodology, be honest about the difficulties and problems. You can consult the website from the last year: dedicated to the Blockchains.


to be defined

Pedagogical format

Practical course. Will include methodological workshops on website building (using templates and free tools), scientometrics and data visualisation, usage of bibliographical databases, informational security.

Course validation

1) individual participation during classes; individual readings; group work. Group work has 3 deliverables: bibliographical database, website and final oral presentation. 2) Database will be evaluated 2 weeks before the end of the class. The website and oral presentation will be evaluated at the last class. Students will be evaluated by the teacher, and by their classmates (anonymous evaluation).