Much of how our world operates is driven by increased ability to gather information and to process it. Businesses and the government can collect vast amounts of data, store it on low-cost servers, and then develop software to sort the information. This cycle of data collection and processing is likely to increase. Yet this information is often tied to individuals and thus although there are benefits to this new capacity, its growth demands that we examine its impact on privacy. But there is no one privacy law. Rather various parts of constitutional, tort, contract, property, and statutory laws have evolved to address specific privacy threats. As such this course examines all of these laws as they relate to information privacy. Some of the many topics covered include: media disclosures of private facts, paparazzi, private lives of public figures, conflicts between privacy and free speech, medical records, HIPAA, confidentiality of physician-patient relationships, genetic data, wiretapping, police records, surveillance, USA-Patriot Act, monitoring of email, drug testing, searches, surveillance, email, telephone, Internet use, databases, record systems, Internet monitoring, identity theft. As this course focuses on information privacy, it will not include matters protected by the constitutional "right to privacy" such as abortion and contraception.
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