Privacy Online and Offline: The Citizen, the Personal and the Public

23-24 January | Apply by 20 December | London

A two-day course for lawyers working in IP, data management, the media, privacy and confidential information.

About the Course

Condemned by judges, QCs, law professors, senior lawyers and computer scientists, supported by a 100,000 signature petition of objection, and facing legal challenge, the Investigatory Powers Bill has now been passed by Parliament.  It is understatement to describe this law a radical shift in the UK’s privacy and surveillance regime.  In January 2017, UCL’s Institute of Brand and Innovation Law is providing an opportunity for lawyers and policymakers to consider the state of the current privacy landscape.

Certain rights and freedoms are granted to citizens in respect of their privacy and the protection of their personal information. But, on this crowded planet, and in a global marketplace, what rights do citizens actually have to take action against surveillance? By drone, by a neighbour, employer or suspicious spouse? By Government or by large corporations?

How effective are laws in protecting personal data? Digital communications and data are stored and transported by multi-national corporations crossing into jurisdictions where protection levels vary. Is the gathering and remote analysis of the metadata lawful?

We expect our governments to respond to real security threats to society. How much of our privacy will we, should we, sacrifice to keep us safe? What takes precedence: state security or citizens’ privacy?

Governments ask for more and more transparency from their citizens in order to protect us. At the same time they have the capacity to shield their activities from genuine democratic scrutiny. Uncontrolled disclosures such as the NSA Snowden release and Wikileaks are examples of responses by individuals to the increased scrutiny of our lives. But such disclosures are themselves unlawful and undemocratic, carrying their own dangers. Can we balance greater personal transparency with greater transparency from governments?

Speakers include internationally respected lawyers from both the UK and the USA; those who have formulated policy, and advised private citizens, corporations, governments, and former government employees; the current director of Europol; experts in international data protection, security, computer science and cryptography.

Places are limited so students are encouraged to apply early.

What's covered

  1. The Citizen: Democracy and Privacy
    The Human Rights Act, the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, and the Human Rights Convention. Citizen’s physical privacy; eg drones by air over personal real property; UK Home Office mega-database TPT programme.
  2. Privacy, Freedom of Expression and the Press
    An update on press regulation; super injunctions, gagging, free speech, celebrity and the public interest, phone hacking.
  3. Privacy, encryption and the state: a clouded issue?
    Security, cloud storage and government access to citizens’ data: Governments ask for more and more transparency from their citizens in order to protect us. At the same time they have the capacity to shield their activities from genuine democratic scrutiny. Uncontrolled disclosures such as the NSA Snowden release and Wikileaks are one type of response to the increased scrutiny of our lives, but are unlawful and in themselves undemocratic, carrying their own dangers. How can we balance greater personal transparency with greater transparency from governments in the current political climate? A review of the current relations between digital services and the state including use of meta-data by government agencies and private corporations.
  4. EU Data Protection: The Future
    What is the current EU Data Protection regime? What are the current risks and challenges faced in the online world in this respect? In order to comply with the current EU framework what is required from countries seeking entry to and trading with the EU?
  5. Global: Data Transfer and Data Sharing
    The private citizen and the sharing of information internationally; Schrems and the new Privacy Shield, Vidal-Hall and Google; Data Protection and the re use and misuse of private information.
  6. Children: Balancing Privacy and Protection
    Privacy, net neutrality and the protection of younger users of the internet from the influences of pornography, violence and radicalisation.
  7. Whistleblowing: the Law and Ethics of Leaking
    Employee obligations to their employer; company whistle-blowers and when does an employee obligation cross the line to public interest publication; WikiLeaks, Monsack Fonsecca, limits of client confidentiality. What is the public interest in this context?
  8. How private is private?
    A practical and thought-provoking demonstration of the limitations of online security.
  9. Born in the USA: national security and the law
    The interaction between the US Constitution and federal laws, for example, the Homeland Security Act; PATRIOT Act; Freedom of Information Act; Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act; Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement;
    Electronic Communications Privacy Act.
  10. My Proprietary Information and My Customers
    A discussion as to how to balance the protection of corporate patents that maintain customer confidence forming the basis of a company’s trading against policy justifications for access to protected corporate proprietary data. A moderated class exercise.
  11. Privacy and public safety
    The policy, legal and security justifications for access to citizens’ data and communications; international law enforcement responses to genuine threat.
  12. Applied Cryptography
    Privacy-preserving cryptographic protocols; anonymous electronic cash and identification; invisible access to databases; new techniques in the design and deployment of advanced cryptographic protocols.
  13. Surveillance: Gadgets and Governance
    Surveillance equipment and techniques, the procedures required and standards that must be met to employ them lawfully in the interests of law enforcement and serving client needs. What resources are available to the professional working in surveillance and related forensic activities, when is the use of these devices unlawful? How does one serve the client and stay within the law?