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2017
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Regulating Big Tech: Competition, Privacy, and Intellectual Property

Organizing institution
Utrecht University, Faculty of Law, Economics and Governance (UU)
Course code
E22
Course fee (incl. housing)
€ 800
Level
Advanced bachelor level

The rise of big technology companies such as Google, Apple and Facebook, has raised questions in the areas of competition, privacy, and intellectual property. The European Commission has started several antitrust investigations into technology companies to ensure fair and undistorted competition. Data protection authorities are concerned with the privacy implications of the collection and sharing of large amounts of data by these companies. This summer school course aims to give an overview of how technology companies are regulated in the EU. What are the common threads? And what challenges does one encounter when regulating in areas of rapid technological change?

Technologies provided by companies such as Google, Apple, and Facebook make up a great part of our daily lives. They offer us the services and devices we to inform ourselves, chat, listen to music, shop, or otherwise interact with others. It is no surprise that these companies and their technologies are subject to different forms of regulation and that they are in the spotlight of both Member States’ and EU regulators. This course focuses on how big technology companies, and their technologies, are regulated in the EU. What are the common threads? And what challenges does one encounter when regulating in areas of rapid technological change?

This course offers an introduction into different fields of law that are relevant when regulating the providers of information technologies. The focus will be on competition law, privacy and data protection law, and intellectual property law. We will consider the competition proceedings of the EU Commission against big tech companies. For instance, the case against Google in relation to its Android smartphone operating system. The course furthermore explores the collection and sharing of large amounts of personal data, and how data protection law aims to ensure that such data are fairly processed. For example, by way of the recently introduced ‘right to be forgotten’, which gives people the right to delete particular search results from search engines. Or the introduction of a rule on ‘data portability’ that gives people the right to take their data with them to another service.

In relation to intellectual property law the dynamic between the law and innovation is looked at more closely. At the EU level, there are several directives and regulations in place that harmonize rules on intellectual property. These rules aim to promote innovation and creativity. However, we also see that technologies can also be used to infringe. What responsibilities do internet companies have to stop and prevent copyright infringements under these rules?

The importance of data is one of the common threads in this course. Companies may collect data to improve their services. For instance, a search engine operator analyses data about people and their searches to produce personalized search results. But these data are also used to create profiles of users and to advertise more effectively. Most of these data are ‘personal data’ to which data protection and privacy law applies. However, competition authorities have also shown an interest in regulating these companies, for these data have become critical to building successful internet platforms.

The central theme of this course is the regulation of big technology companies and the technologies that they provide. After successfully completing this course the student will have obtained an overview of the different fields of law that are involved in regulating such companies and their technologies. Students can obtain credits for this course by writing a paper that is graded.

Tags: technology, regulation, law, competition law, privacy, data protection, intellectual property law, copyright law

» Download the day-to-day programme (PDF)

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COURSE LEADER

Stefan Kulk

TARGET GROUP

Law students with an interests in the regulation of information technologies. No technical knowledge is required.

COURSE AIM

After successfully completing this course the student will have obtained an overview of the different fields of law that are involved in regulating such companies and their technologies.

STUDY LOAD

Every day there will be two lectures of two hours (4 hours in total per day). On the final (fifth) day of the program we will have an interactive session that synthesises the studied materials and lectures.

To prepare for a lecture, students will be asked to read one or two articles.

Students wanting to obtain credits must write a short paper about the challenges of regulating technologies.

FEE

• € 800 - Course + course materials + housing
• € 600 - Course + course materials

DISCOUNTS AND COMBINATIONS
» Overview of all available discounts

SCHOLARSHIPS

Utrecht Summer School doesn't offer scholarships for this course.

MORE INFORMATION

Stefan Kulk
Phone: +31 (0)30 253 7021
Email: s.kulk@uu.nl

» Contact Utrecht Summer School

REGISTRATION

Deadline for registration: 28 June 2017

Application closed