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
Why is data privacy important? Where is the line between the benefits of gathering information for business growth and personal privacy? How can you balance security and surveillance in practice? Should the data gathered about your customers be used to personalize the ads they see and the prices they pay?
Technology isn’t value-neutral. As a decision-maker in your personal and professional life, you may find yourself weighing the benefits and risks of using new and emerging technologies to collect personal data.
As new digital technologies are introduced, they present an ever evolving set of online data protection and privacy challenges for businesses and consumers to face. Data Privacy and Technology will help you think critically about the trade-offs and threats presented by today’s digital landscape.
Through real-life examples with industry experts, policy makers, and privacy researchers you’ll gain privacy and data protection training, and:
- Examine legal and ethical implications of collecting personal data.
- Understand who’s responsible for protecting personal data.
- Comprehend why antitrust and privacy laws are unable to keep pace with the rapid change in technology.
Throughout the modules in this course you will be introduced to concepts on data privacy and ethics, and have the opportunity to:
- Explore the positive and negative impact of technology on privacy.
- Understand the concepts behind privacy and ethics in information technology.
- Uncover the risks and rewards of surveillance.
- Examine the future of data privacy ethics, collection, and usage.
- Be introduced to the technology of personal data collection.
Privacy is a complex and multifaceted concept. This course aims to help you become an effective leader in business task forces, privacy-forward communities, and data-sharing practices.
By the end of the course, you will be ready to contribute to your organization as it grapples with the interaction between privacy and big data.
Do you agree to enroll in this course and earn your data privacy certification?
It's time to learn how to balance the utility of a dataset with the privacy of the individuals.
- Engage in dialogue and decision making about data collection and security in your workplace.
- Explain the attempts to legally define privacy and the ongoing conflict of laws and norms within technology advancements.
- Identify approaches to collecting, using, and selling data, including data privacy policies—and the impact on consumer protections.
- Analyze challenges related to the anonymization of data and the tensions between privacy and utility.
- Examine the price of personal data and the trade-offs between privacy and other values.
- Recognize and prepare for the impacts of emerging technologies on the future of privacy, protection, and the 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.
Hear from a CEO on creating a privacy-forward business and learn more about the cost of privacy-protection.
Earn Your Certificate
Enroll today in Harvard Online's Data Privacy and Technology course.
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