The course will be delivered via HBS Online’s course platform and immerse learners in real-world examples from experts at industry-leading organizations. By the end of the course, participants will be able to:

  • Understand the various attempts to define privacy and the ongoing conflict of privacy laws and norms within technology advancements
  • Review approaches to collecting, using, and selling data, including data privacy policies—and the impact on user protections incentives
  • Analyze challenges related to the anonymization of data and the trade-offs between privacy and utility
  • Examine the price of personal data and the trade-offs between privacy and other values
  • Explore the impacts of emerging technologies on the future of privacy, protection, and law
  • Think critically about privacy issues from multiple angles, exploring policy, cultural, and societal impacts

About the Professors

Michael D. Smith is the John H. Finley, Jr. Professor of Engineering and Applied Sciences and a Distinguished Service Professor at Harvard University. He spent 11 years as the Edgerley Family Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, leading Harvard’s oldest and largest school. Smith was actively involved in the launch of edX, and served on its board from 2012 to 2018. Earlier in his career, he spent time in industry building a range of computing hardware for Honeywell Information Systems and, in 2001, co-founded the data security company Liquid Machines, which was acquired in 2010 by Check Point Software Technologies. While at Harvard, he received a prestigious National Science Foundation Young Investigator Award and the Alpha Iota Prize for Excellence in Teaching.


IT, Programming, & Marketing Professionals

Utilize best practices in collecting and using personal data.

Managers & Decision-Makers

Set clear strategies and policies about consumer data, website security, and technology best practices.

Advocates & Policy Makers

Explore current policies and regulations to define data education and protection.


Data Privacy and Technology consist of approximately 25 hours of material delivered over a five-week period. You can complete the coursework on your own time while meeting regular deadlines.

February 2022
Length: 5 Weeks
Program Dates: 2/2/22 – 3/9/22
Cost: $1600
Application Deadline: January 24
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Data Privacy and Technology is a complex and multifaceted concept. This course aims to help you become a better-informed citizen and contributing member of privacy-forward communities, business task forces, and your personal data-sharing practices. You’ll explore the legal and ethical implications of one’s personal data, the risks and rewards of data collection and surveillance, and the need for policy, advocacy, and privacy monitoring.

Learning requirements: In order to earn a Certificate of Completion from Harvard Online, participants must thoughtfully complete all 5 modules.

Download Syllabus (pdf)


  • World-class faculty
  • Edge-of-your-seat online learning
  • Global peer collaboration and networking
  • Real-world, case-based learning

Harvard Business School Online offers a unique and highly engaging way to learn vital business concepts. Immerse yourself in real challenges faced by business leaders across a variety of industries. You will explore legal and ethical implications of one’s personal data, the risks and rewards of data collection and surveillance, and the need for policy, advocacy, and privacy monitoring.

Stories from Our Learners

The platform was engaging, innovative, and allowed me to interact with the material in a way I never expected from an online course.

Bethany Larson, HBS Online Participant

I had never experienced such an immersive platform online, and could argue that it was more effective at building and solidifying knowledge than some of the in-class courses I took in college.

Ryan Dumlao, HBS Online Participant

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Enrollment Eligibility

Our easy online application is free, and no special documentation is required. All applicants must be at least 18 years of age, proficient in English, and committed to learning and engaging with fellow participants throughout the course. We confirm enrollment eligibility within one week of your application.

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Earn Your Certificate

Enroll today in Harvard Online's Data Privacy and Technology course.

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