CMSC 491 / 691 Data Privacy - Spring 2022


MoWe 4:00-5:15p


Roberto Yus [ryus at umbc dot edu]

  • Office: ITE 342
  • Office Hours: TBD by appointment.

Teaching Assistants

  • Suyash Chirme [suyashc1 at umbc dot edu]

Course Description

Data Protection can be viewed as the combination of Data Security, which focuses on protecting data from internal/external attackers, and Data Privacy, which focuses on governing how data is collected, shared, and used. This course examines the fundamentals of data privacy. In a world where ever-increasing amounts of information is captured about our daily lives, it is necessary for responsible computer scientists to take individuals' privacy into account throughout the whole engineering process. This course will discuss topics which include: history and fundamentals of data privacy, data privacy regulations, privacy-by-design, privacy enhancing technologies, privacy policies, differential privacy, cryptographic techniques (e.g., secure multi-party computation).

In addition to the instructor lectures, the course will involve presentations on the state of the art of different topics in the field by researchers from UMBC and other institutions.

Prerequisites: Students must have basic knowledge in algorithms, databases, and probability. Students also need to be proficient in programming for the group project.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand challenges to individuals' privacy in data management
  • Learn about techniques to perform data minimization
  • Learn about different privacy enhancing techniques and algorithms
  • Study examples of data privacy protection in contexts such as IoT and ML
  • Experience what challenges researchers in the field are focusing on today

Deliverables and Grading

There are no exams. Semester grades will be based on the following components. The percentages are initial estimates and subject to change.

What Grade % When
Class participation and presentation 20% throughout the course
Mini-critiques 25% roughly 6-8 in total
Project 55% group presentation at the end of the semester

Grades will follow the standard scale: A = 89.5-100; B = 79.5-89.4; C = 69.5-79.4; D = 60-69.4; F<60. Curving is at the discretion of the professor.

More details here.

Course Policies

More details here.