Data Privacy and Technology
Explore the risks and rewards of data privacy and collection
Explore legal and ethical implications of one’s personal data, the risks and rewards of data collection and surveillance, and the needs for policy, advocacy, and privacy monitoring, in this Harvard Online course
What You'll Learn
Where is the line between the benefits of gathering information for public health and personal privacy? What about the balance between security and surveillance? Should data gathered about you be used to personalize the ads you see or the prices you pay? As a decision-maker, you're constantly moving back and forth on a continuum, weighing the benefits and risks of using personal data.
Technology isn’t value-neutral. In an age where more technology is incorporated into daily life at an increasing pace, the protection of privacy can often be an afterthought. Data Privacy and Technology will encourage you to think critically about the trade-offs and challenges presented by today’s ever-changing role of technology.
Through real-life examples with industry experts, policy makers, and privacy researchers you’ll explore legal and ethical implications of collecting personal data; understand who’s responsible for protecting personal data; and why antitrust and privacy laws are unable to keep pace with the rapid change in technology. Throughout the course, you’ll explore the risks and rewards of surveillance; examine the future of data collection, usage, and privacy; and the technology of personal data collection.
Privacy is a complex and multifaceted concept and this course aims to help you become a contributing member of privacy-forward communities, business task forces, and data-sharing practices. By the end of the course, you will be a better informed citizen of the Internet, be able to think about the trade-offs around data collection, and be able to lead your organization as it grapples with the interaction between big data and privacy.
Do you agree to enroll in this course? It's time to learn how to balance the utility of a dataset with the privacy of the individuals.
The course will be delivered via HBS Online’s course platform and immerse learners in real-world examples from experts at industry-leading organizations. By the end of the course, participants will be able to:
- Understand the various attempts to define privacy and the ongoing conflict of privacy laws and norms within technology advancements
- Review approaches to collecting, using, and selling data, including data privacy policies—and the impact on user protections
- Analyze challenges related to the anonymization of data and the trade-offs between privacy and utility
- Examine the price of personal data and the trade-offs between privacy and other values
- Explore the impacts of emerging technologies on the future of privacy, protection, and law
- Think critically about privacy issues from multiple angles, exploring policy, cultural, and societal impacts
Michael D. Smith is the John H. Finley, Jr. Professor of Engineering and Applied Sciences and a Distinguished Service Professor at Harvard University. He spent 11 years as the Edgerley Family Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, leading Harvard’s oldest and largest school. Smith was actively involved in the launch of edX, and served on its board from 2012 to 2018. Earlier in his career, he spent time in industry building a range of computing hardware for Honeywell Information Systems and, in 2001, co-founded the data security company Liquid Machines, which was acquired in 2010 by Check Point Software Technologies. While at Harvard, he received a prestigious National Science Foundation Young Investigator Award and the Alpha Iota Prize for Excellence in Teaching.
Jim Waldo is the Gordon McKay Professor of the Practice of Computer Science in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard, where he teaches courses in distributed systems and privacy; the Chief Technology Officer for the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences; and a Professor of Policy teaching on topics of technology and policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. Waldo was a Distinguished Engineer with Sun Microsystems Laboratories, where he investigated next-generation, large-scale distributed systems, and got his start in distributed systems at Apollo Computer.
Real World Case Studies
Affiliations are listed for identification purposes only.
Find out how technology can be a vehicle for stereotyping and the pitfalls of advertising algorithms in a conversation with Harvard faculty.
Learn from a New York Times bestselling author of “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” about the complexity of biomedical research and the ethics of informed consent.
Who Will Benefit
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Enroll today in Harvard Online's Data Privacy and Technology course.
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