JUS5630 - Privacy and Data Protection
Schedule, syllabus and examination date
The course studies legal rules on data protection—i.e., a set of norms which specifically govern the processing of data relating to persons (personal data) in order to protect, at least partly, the privacy and related interests of those persons.
Outside Europe, such norms tend to be described in terms of protecting “privacy”, “information privacy”, or increasingly, “data privacy”. The main focus is on European and international codes, primarily the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ECHR) Article 8 and Directive 95/46/EC, along with case law pursuant to these instruments. Special attention is also given to Directives 2002/58/EC and 2006/24/EC, and to Norway’s Personal Data Act of 2000 (Personopplysningsloven). The latter is used to illustrate how the international codes are nationally implemented.
The themes taken up in the course may be summed up with the following key-words: privacy, data protection, surveillance, Internet, cyberspace, encryption, freedom of expression.
The primary aim of the course is to facilitate a solid understanding of legal policies on privacy and data protection, particularly in the context of distributed computer networks such as the Internet. More specifically, the course seeks to illuminate the rationale and regulatory logic of such policies along with the various technological challenges that they face.
The course seeks also to illuminate legal-regulatory issues related to freedom of expression, the increasing automatisation of decision-making processes, the increasingly cross-national character of organisational transactions, and the interaction of legal norms with the regulatory effects of IT and other non-legal instruments, such as sectoral codes of practice.
From the course, one gains a firm understanding of the basic rules and principles for protecting privacy and personal information, particularly as laid down in EU and other international instruments. One gains also insight into the myriad regulatory challenges in the field. Further, one learns about the potential for technological development to both threaten and enhance privacy protection.
A further aim of the course is not just to impart knowledge of the relevant legal rules as they currently stand but also to encourage critical appraisal of them. This involves analysing and challenging the assumptions upon which the rules are based, and discussion of alternative regulatory possibilities.
You may register for this course if you have admission to a Master’s programme at UiO or the faculty's exchange programme. You can also register for this course if you do not have admission to any programme at UiO, but meet the formal prerequistites.
All students are required meet the formal prerequistites.
Have you met the formal prerequisites at another institution than the University of Oslo, and the results are not formally registered at UiO, you must apply for admission to courses at Master’s level . Students with admission to Master’s degree programmes at other faculties than The Faculty of Law must also apply for admission.
Formal prerequisite knowledge
Students must fill one of these requirements:
- Passed 1st - 3rd year of the 5-years degree Master of Laws (Master i rettsvitenskap at UiO) (or exams that qualify for exemption for these) or
- Hold a 5-years Master’s degree in Laws (Master i rettsvitenskap at UiO) or equivalent.
Exemptions from the formal prerequisites will be given to students with admission to the faculty's own exchange or master’s degree programmes. This rule does not apply to students with admission to other master’s degree programmes at the University of Oslo, unless otherwise agreed.
- 10 credits overlap with JUR1630 - Privacy and Data Protection
- 10 credits overlap with VALPRIV - Privacy, Data Protection and Lex Informatica (discontinued)
- 10 credits overlap with JUXPRIV - Privacy, Data Protection and Lex Informatica (discontinued)
- 10 credits overlap with JUTPRIV - Privacy, Data Protection and Lex Informatica (discontinued)
- 10 credits overlap with ICTLPRIV - Privacy, Data Protection and Lex Informatica (discontinued)
- 10 credits overlap with JUR5630 - Privacy, Data Protection and Lex Informatica (discontinued)
Lectures, 20 hours.
Language of teaching for this course is English. This means that all
communication during lectures/seminars will be in English, and all
literature and auxiliary materials are in English.
Access to teaching
A student who has completed compulsory instruction and coursework and has had these approved, is not entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework. A student who has been admitted to a course, but who has not completed compulsory instruction and coursework or had these approved, is entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework, depending on available capacity.
Examination consists of two parts:
- Mid-term paper
- 4 hour written open book digital school examination
Students who fail or do not deliver the mid-term essay will not be allowed to take the school examination.
In case of retake, a candidate must redo both the mid-term essay and the school examination, even if the candidate has successfully passed one of these assessment parts.
Please note that if a student wishes to file an appeal with respect to only one of the assessment parts, both assessment parts will automatically undergo a regrading.
Examination support material
This is an open book digital school examination. You are permitted to use any literature (in hard copy) during the examination (e.g., course literature, notes, dictionaries). No electronic support materials will be allowed.
Use of sources and rules for citing.
Be sure that you are familiar with the use of sources and the rules for citing/quoting from others’ work. UiO uses a plagiarism checking tool as one of several instruments for detecting suspicion of cheating and attempted cheating.
4 hour written open book digital school examination:
The standard rules on cheating and plagiarism which apply to assignments apply also to the written open book examination. This means that you must provide a reference whenever you draw upon another person’s ideas, words or research in your answer to the exam question(s). You cannot copy text directly from textbooks, journal articles, court judgments etc. without highlighting that the text is copied.
Thus, pieces of text quoted verbatim from these and other sources must be italicised or otherwise highlighted so that it is obvious that the pieces of text are quotes.
Example of highlighting in a text:
"Laurent Bailay and Bernard Van der Lande propose to define a mobile payment as a “payment for products or services between two parties for which a mobile device, such as a mobile phone, plays a key role in the realization of the payment”. (European Commission, GREEN PAPER Towards an integrated European market for card, internet and mobile payments, page 5)"
Failure to cite sources or highlight quotes in your exam answer may be considered as evidence of cheating.
Language of examination
The examination text is given in English, and you submit your response in English.
Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.
The mid-term paper will account for 30% of the grade, while the written examination will account for 70%.
Explanations and appeals
Resit an examination
- Illness at exams / postponed exams
- Resitting an examination.
- There are special rules for resitting a passed examination in the master's programme in Law.
Withdrawal from an examination
A student may sit this exam up to 3 times. If a student wishes to withdraw from the exam, s/he must do so in Studentweb at least two weeks prior to the first day of the exam. Failure to do so will be counted as one of the three opportunities to sit the exam.
Special examination arrangements
Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.
The language for this course is English. Students enrolled in the
Masterprogrammet i rettsvitenskap must pass one
English subject as part of their degree, this course will meet these
This subject is taught at Master 's level. The subject is also taught at Bachelor's level (10 ECTS credits), see JUR1630 - Privacy and Data Protection. Please see the chapter above, regarding overlap. For instances of overlap, credits will be deducted on the subject at Bachelors's level.