Studying Law at RomaTre

Academic Year 2018-2019

Spring Semester (March 1 - May 31, 2019)


The Digital Technologies and the Law

Prof. Giorgio Resta


4 CFUs - ECTS, Monday-Tuesday, 14;15-16:00, room 11 (Tommaseo Building)

Office hours: Tuesday 12:30 – 14:30, Dipartimento di giurisprudenza, Room 239 2nd Floor

Course description:  
This course will provide an overview of the major issues related to the impact of digitalisation, interconnected networks, and artificial intelligence on contemporary law. Namely, it will focus on data-driven innovation and will explore the complex relationship between social and technological change and the evolution of the law. Controversial issues such as the regulation of digital platforms, decision making by algorithms, ownership of data, liquid surveillance, Internet of things, privacy in the social networks, smart contracting, liability in the cyberspace, will be analysed and discusses from a comparative law perspective. The main aim of the course is to provide an up-to-date overview about the major legal issues raised by the advent of digital technologies.

Course Learning Objectives
At the end of this course, students should:
  • Develop a better understanding of the impact of digitalisation on contemporary law
  • Develop the skills required for a lawyer working in an increasingly borderless and data-driven society
  • Foster analytic and reasoning abilities by confronting the black-letter rules with a rapidly changing societal context
  • Performing legal research and writing in English in the area of the law of digital technologies

Course Learning Activities

To achieve the above objectives, students will carefully read assigned materials, engage in class discussions, attend and report on guest lectures, make oral presentations and write a final research paper.

Assessment tools
Active participation to class activities (50%); research paper (50%).

Attendance policy
Class attendance is mandatory.

Course textbook(s)
Materials will be provided in class or through the e-learning platform.

Supporting / Recommended course reading material
See above

Course Schedule

Tentative course schedule (tbc)
Class    Topic and/or Activity Readings
1. Introduction, review of syllabus, state of the art  
2. Data and borders: digital sovereignty? Google v. Equustek solutions case
Chinese Digital Programs
3. The issue of transborder data flow.
Data from the space?
ECJ Schrems decision
4. Anonimity in the era of big data ECHR Delfi v. Estonia
5. Electronic mass surveillance in the era of big data Big Brothers Watch v. UK ; ECJ Digital Rights case
6. Liquid surveillance and Internet of things Article by Neil Richards, Dangers of surveillance
7. Decision making by algorithms: the black box society Article in Nature (2018)
8. Predictive justice ? Digitalisation and judicial law-making French article ; Art. 22 GDPR
9. Data as property: the debate on data ownerhsip J. Drexl article
10. Can we sell personal data? Draft Directive Digital Contents and GDPR Schmidt Kessel
11. Forgetting in the digital era : the right to be forgotten Google Spain decision and GDPR
12. Dying in the digital era BGH Facebook ruling and article by Resta, Digital Inheritance
13. Regulating digital platforms Schmidt Kessel book (excerpts)
14. Ownership in the digital space  Article on Panorama Freedom
15. Civil liability in the cyberspace  



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