Privacy Law and Data Protection

Gain contextual knowledge of key privacy laws and regulations, and how they affect business practices.


6 weeks, excluding


5–7 hours per week,
entirely online

Learning Format

Weekly modules,
flexible learning

This Course Is for You If:


  • You are a legal professional who is interested in understanding the unique considerations related to data protection and privacy

  • You are a leader looking to develop a business strategy that is compliant with popular data and privacy legislation

  • You work in risk and compliance and want an in-depth understanding of the business implications of data protection and privacy legislation

You’ll Walk Away With:


A personalized privacy law road map that can be used to create better privacy policies in your business.


Contextual knowledge of the effects of privacy law and regulations, and how they affect the business practices they regulate.


An in-depth understanding of the effects noncompliance can have on your organization and business.


Insight into how the First Amendment has shaped U.S. privacy law and what constitutes as private or public data.

Course Curriculum

Module 1
When Facts are Regarded as Private or Public

Explore basic privacy torts and the concept of newsworthiness to determine when facts are seen as public or private under American privacy law.

Module 2
Free Speech and Limits on Privacy Regulation

Understand how the First Amendment imposes limits on privacy regulation and how internet platforms are granted some statutory protection for user-generated content.

Module 3
The Challenges of Using Medical Data

Examine the nuances of medical privacy laws such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) to navigate health-related privacy in businesses.

Module 4
Federal Statutory Considerations

Review various domain-specific privacy legislation and the consequences of noncompliance with important federal statutes.

Module 5
Data Breaches and the Federal Trade Commission

Explore data breach statutes and the role of the Federal Trade Commission in enforcing businesses’ privacy policies.

Module 6
Current Developments in Privacy Law

Investigate emerging developments in privacy law and how they might affect business privacy policies.


Please note that module titles and their contents are subject to change during course development.

Academic Director

Matthew Kugler

Associate Professor of Law, Northwestern Pritzker School of Law

Prior to joining Northwestern, Kugler completed his PhD in psychology and social policy at Princeton University. While working as a postdoctoral fellow and adjunct psychology instructor at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, he was awarded a Juris Doctor degree with highest honors from the University of Chicago Law School. The bulk of Kugler’s research addresses questions at the intersection of psychology and law. He is particularly interested in issues of intellectual property, privacy, and criminal procedure.

An Online Education That Sets You Apart

This Northwestern online short course is delivered in collaboration with online education provider GetSmarter. Join a growing community of global professionals, and benefit from the opportunity to:


Gain verifiable and relevant competencies and earn invaluable recognition from an international selection of universities, entirely online and in your own time.


Enjoy a personalized, people-mediated online learning experience created to make you feel supported at every step.


Experience a flexible but structured approach to online education as you plan your learning around your life to meet weekly milestones.

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