General Course Descriptions for Terms: torts

715 - Torts

940 - Privacy Law in the Information Age

This seminar-style course is about privacy --what it means to the courts, to the legislature, to the public, or whether it really means anything at all. Through a variety of source materials, including case law, legislation, essays, and literature, the course examines constitutional and common law approaches to privacy issues in many contexts -- our persons, our homes, our workplaces, our schools, our computers and cyberspace. It also includes cultural and comparative law dimensions of privacy. The instructors make a concerted effort to weave current events and "hot topics" in privacy into the syllabus and class discussions. Students are graded primarily on a final research paper, oral presentation of the paper in class, and on class participation. Pass/fail option is available. Learning Outcomes – By the end of the course, students should have had the opportunity to engage in critical thinking about how the law reflects societal values about privacy in the following contexts: 1. Be familiar with the origins of U.S. privacy law; 2. Identify the four privacy torts; 3. Identify the privacy interests that are recognized and protected by the 4th Amendment; 4. Identify the privacy interests that are recognized and protected by the 1st Amendment; 5. Be familiar with how courts have applied the Constitution to decisions involving bodily integrity and medical decisions; and 6. Recognize and understand privacy implications in computing and on-line activities.