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Program

Updated A.Y. 2020-2021

Course Description


This class explores the social, legal, cultural, and ethical fallout from the networked world – social
networks, blogs, apps, movements, likes, tags, text messages, and comments that three and a half
billion Internet users and almost seven billion mobile phone subscriptions emit. Contrasting
perspectives are offered in the readings and explored through lectures, student presentations, and
online discussion. Special attention is given to issues of privacy and security, as the management of
our online persona becomes more challenging and complex.
Living in a networked world generates significant, tangible benefits to the economy and to society
as a whole, but at the same time it raises various social and ethical concerns which, while not
always tangible or easy to measure, should be taken into consideration. In this course, we will study
the privacy and security implications of various technologies, how to address them – both via
further technological advances and regulation – as well as other ethical issues associated with them.
We will discuss (potentially) privacy-intrusive and privacy-enhancing technologies, and what their
respective properties and capabilities are; issues of commercial and government surveillance; recent
developments in regulation affecting, among other things, net neutrality; pros and cons of artificial
intelligence-enabled product and service personalization. This course will give you a holistic view
of privacy and security issues in the world of “big data.”

Find more information in the Syllabus