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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Comparative Digital Law: Privacy, Data and AI
Module Code LG5046
School School of Law & Government
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Edoardo Celeste
Semester 2: John Quinn
Autumn: John Quinn
Module TeachersJohn Quinn
Edoardo Celeste
NFQ level 9 Credit Rating 10
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None
Coursework Only

A growing body of law is emerging to address the challenges of the digital revolution. Ensuring the respect of fundamental rights in the digital society, such as the right to privacy, equality and non-discrimination, and freedom of information and expression, requires complex regulatory interventions addressing the power of public institutions and private multinational companies managing and selling online services. The European Union is playing a pioneering role in the field, recently proposing regulations on AI, online platforms, digital services, data governance, digital identity and cybersecurity. The EU regulatory model is being imitated by several countries around the world but at the same time alternative legal approaches have emerged in other jurisdictions, often generating situations of potential conflict of law. This module aims to offer a comparative analysis of digital law and policies, focusing in particular on three main regulatory areas: the protection of privacy in the digital context, the governance of the data-driven economy, and the regulation of AI technologies.

Learning Outcomes

1. Critically evaluate the emergence of digital acts in the EU and its potential impact on business, consumers, internet users and public bodies beyond EU borders.
2. Analyse the key challenges of protecting digital rights and sovereignty in Europe while avoiding imperialistic or colonialist attitudes towards non-EU countries.
3. Analyse and have a systematic understanding of the differences between the EU and the US approach to privacy law.
4. Critically assess ECtHR case law on data protection and privacy.
5. Analyse and have a systematic understanding of AI regulation in Europe.
6. Analyse and have a comprehensive understanding of recent EU regulatory and policy initiatives in the field of online services, cybersecurity, and data governance.
7. Critically understand the implications of digitalisation and digital regulation on the green transition.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture242 hour lecture, class participation expected
Independent Study226Preparatory readings for lectures, background readings for assessments, research, reading, completing assignment
Total Workload: 250

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Indicative content
International privacy models: EU, US and UK; Digital constitutionalism in the EU: towards a progressive 'actification'; Brussels vs California effect: EU-US tensions in the data privacy field; Global digital sovereignty tensions; The right to privacy and the role of the ECtHR; Regulating AI in Europe and beyond; The Digital Services Act and the Digital Markets Act; Digital identity and Cybersecurity; Connectivity and Open Data; The interplay between the digital and green transition.

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Reflective journalCritical reaction paper on three topics.60%n/a
Research PaperBlogpost including a comparative analysis of a recent legislative development in the field of digital law in a non-EU country.40%n/a
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 1
Indicative Reading List

  • Anu Bradford: 2019, The Brussels Effect: How the European Union Rules the World, OUP, Oxford,
  • Edoardo Celeste: 2022, Digital Constitutionalism: The Role of Internet Bills of Rights, Routledge, New York,
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes
EMLDAIEM in Law, Data &Artificial Intelligence
MDPPLCMA in Data Protection and Privacy: Law
SMPHSSSingle Module Programme (Hum Soc Sci)

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