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Privacy and Data Protection


Admission requirements



Privacy may be the most mentioned and debated topic in relation to new technologies. An emerging body of academic work analyses how digital technologies have an impact on privacy and related values, such as autonomy, dignity, accountability and transparency. By studying the theoretical framework of privacy and data protection laws vis-à-vis the practical implications of the application of these, this course provides in-depth knowledge of how the right to privacy and the right to personal data protection are influenced by technological, social, and economic developments.

This course will focus on the intricate difficulties of regulating privacy and data protection rights in the era of Big Data and Online Social Networking. What do these rights entail and how is technology changing them? How are they important, and to what extent can they still be adequately guaranteed through law or other regulatory instruments? How are law and policy in these areas developing and how effective will they be? Special attention will be paid to the General Data Protection Regulation and the debate about new instruments and concepts developed in that context. Concepts to be discussed are, e.g., the ‘right-to-be-forgotten’, ‘data-portability requirements’, third-country data transfers, and restrictions on profiling. Tools to be discussed are privacy or data protection impact assessments (PIA/DPIA) and ‘privacy by design and by default’.

Course objectives

Objectives of the course

  • This course aims to provide students with in-depth knowledge on privacy and data protection law within the EU and skills to apply this knowledge in different scenarios.

Achievement levels
The following achievement levels apply with regard to the course:

  • Students will be able to describe and explain the laws, regulations, and relevant institutions in the domain of EU privacy and data protection law in a national, European and international context.

  • Students will be able to apply these laws and regulations in practical examples and map and address relevant legal and non-legal elements in the domain of privacy and data protection law.

  • Students will be able to evaluate the impact of international laws and regulations in the domain of privacy and data protection law.

  • Students will be able to identify in which ways violations of privacy and data protection law may be prevented.

  • Students will be able to evaluate and balance the interests protected by privacy and data protection law against other competing personal and societal interests.


Check MyTimetable.

Mode of instruction


  • Number of (3 hour) lectures: 6

  • Names of lecturers: G.J. Zwenne, B.H.M. Custers, A.M. Sears, guest lecturers

  • Required preparation by students: required readings, assignments

  • Interactive lectures for which attendance is mandatory. Registration is required (in MyStudymap/Usis all interactive lectures are mentioned as working groups).

Assessment method

Examination form(s)

  • Written exam (3 hours)

Areas to be tested within the exam
The examination syllabus consists of the required reading (literature) for the course, the course information guide and the subjects taught in the lectures, the seminars and all other instructions which are part of the course.

Regulation retake passed exams
In this course it is possible to retake an exam that has been passed (cf. art. and further of the Course and Examination Regulations) on the condition that this is course is not part of the minor. Students who have passed the exam may retake the final written assessment (test) of the course if they meet certain requirements. To retake a passed exam, students need to ask the Student Administration Office (OIC) for permission. For more information, go to 'course and exam enrollment' > 'permission for retaking a passed exam' on the student website.

Reading list

The required readings will be published on Brightspace. All are available online, with the exception of ‘European Data Protection: Law and Practice’ (edited by Eduardo Ustaran, published by IAPP, 2018); only a few chapters of this book are required readings, and there is a copy or two in the library.


Check the website under “course and exam enrollment” for information on how to register for the course.



  • Institute: Metajuridica

  • Department: eLaw

  • Telephone number secretary: 071- 527 8838

  • Email:


Minor students have priority to follow the course, but they are responsible for the registration in MyStudymap/uSis. If minor students do not register on time, this priority will lapse.