COSC 824: Data Protection by Design
Spring 2021

Instructor: Prof. Benjamin E. Ujcich
Instructor Email: bu31 [at] georgetown [dot] edu

Room: Virtual meeting room via Zoom (see Canvas course page for link)
Time: Mondays and Wednesdays 11:00 – 11:50 AM ET

Office Hours: By appointment (via Zoom)

Course Description

This doctoral seminar investigates the current trends in data protection by design in secure systems and networks. Students will examine case studies and read research papers that involve recent data protection regulations, with an emphasis placed on the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Topics include data usage, privacy, auditing, access controls, accountability, transparency, and modeling. Applications include Web and network security, databases, and blockchains, among others. The course requires students to engage in novel research, supervised by the instructor.


  • Reading material will be drawn from selected research publications and will be listed on the course schedule page.
  • Copies of reading material can be found within the course’s Canvas page.

Course Communications

The information on this course website is subject to change.

We will make use of the following communication methods during this course:

  • Meetings will be managed through Zoom.
  • Course announcements and general questions/discussions will be managed through Canvas.
  • Paper discussions and notes will be managed through Perusall (link within Canvas).

For administrative issues, email the course instructor.


See the assignments page for more information. Semester grades will be calculated as follows:

  • 5%: Law/regulation presentation
  • 30%: Discussion participation
  • 15%: Discussion leader presentations
  • 50%: Research project
    • 5%: Proposal
    • 5%: Related work
    • 5%: Status update 1
    • 5%: Status update 2
    • 15%: Final presentation
    • 15%: Final report

University and Department Policies

The course follows the Departmental Honor Policy. If you are unsure whether or not a certain practice is permissible, please ask the instructor beforehand.

Your participation in virtual courses is subject to the University’s Policy on Audio and Video Recordings During Virtual Learning Environment. Please familiarize yourself with the full policy here.

University policies can be found here.