Data Privacy Law

Course Level

intermediate - advanced / 3rd - 4th year

Course Language


Course Type and Contact Hours

Online distance learning course & one class meeting for a whole day


5 (if exam has been passed)


This course will be held at irregular intervals, rather in the summer term than in the winter term. It will be available in the summer term 2019.

Time Schedule and Course Venue

An up-to-date electronic course catalogue for the summer semester will be available on the website from late February to mid August. Please select "Fachbereiche" - "Rechtswissenschaft" - "Staatsexamensstudiengang" and "Rechtswissenschaft (SPO 2015)" in order to access the Law courses.

Course Description

More and more companies and government agencies find themselves in the press and courtrooms for data privacy and security law violations. Given the rapidly increasing technological options to collect and commercialize personal data, this area of the law is rapidly growing. This course will prepare law students for the challenges and opportunities of international data privacy law, with a particular focus on United States Federal / California privacy law and European Union / German data protection law.

Objective of the course is to familiarize students with the typical legal problems arising from the conflicting interests in data and privacy in today's global economy and society, in particular in the areas of law enforcement, commerce, media and employment. The significance and practical relevance of domestic, international and foreign national laws is rapidly increasing for individuals, government officials, businesspeople, attorneys, judges, and legislators around the world. We will look at how data processing and laws affect individual privacy in the various areas, including government and private surveillance, press reporting, commercial treatment of financial, health and communications information, and direct marketing.

Topics covered include common law, constitutional and statutory rights and obligations regarding data privacy, data security and legal protection for databases under California, U.S. Federal, European Community, public international and other countries' laws, including, for example, the U.S.-EU Safe Harbor Principles, rules on spamming, wiretapping, homeland security, and employee monitoring.

The course materials consist of a collection of cases and reading materials (Determann Privacy Law 2019 - Freie Universität Berlin), posted at Students have to work through these cases independently and answer a serious of quizzes that will be sent via e-mail. 

Restricted Enrollment

no (that means that everyone who signs up for this course in time can take part in this course)

Course Registration

It will not be possible to enroll yourself on Campus Management for this course.

Please inform the professor that you wish to take part by sending an e-mail to AND to before April 20, 2019.

Once admitted by the professor, the Examination Office at the Law Department will book this course for you on Campus Management.

De-Registration from this Course

via Campus Management

regular drop period: 1 - 26 April 2019

After the regular drop period you can only drop this course with a valid cause until 14 days prior to the exam. Please contact the International Office at the Law Department if you have to use this option.

Type of Exam and Exam Period

Grades are awarded based on the quizzes and one major written assignment (essay style assessment), which students have to complete and submit by July 1, 2019 on the topic of one of the Cases in the Cases & Materials collection. Please email the course instructor and his assistant with your first and second choice of a topic before May 5, 2019.

Registration for the Exam

Students will automatically be registered for the exam when they sign up for this course.

De-Registration from the Exam

Students who drop this course via Campus Management are automatically de-registered from the exam. Students who do not drop this course via Campus Management and do not take the exam, are going to finish this course with a non-passing grade (0 points).

Grade Release

via Campus Management