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mooc rpdp2021

Centre for Human Rights MOOC: 
The right to privacy in the digital age in Africa

Course date:
24 May - 28 June 2021

Hosted by the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, with the support of Google.

Free enrolment up to 21 June 2021

Enrol for this MOOC (FREE)

This Centre for Human Rights Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) is presented with the support of Google. The course focuses on the key elements of the right to privacy and data protection in the digital age in Africa.

Download the brochure for this MOOC

About the MOOC

The right to privacy in the digital age in Africa is designed to provide participants with the foundational elements of the right to privacy and data protection; the legal framework on privacy and data protection, restrictions on the right to privacy; privacy and cybersecurity and also provide a glimpse of some of the emerging issues on privacy in the digital age. 

The course is being presented at a time when many African countries are grappling with enacting specific and appropriate legislation on the regulation of data collection, control and processing of personal data. Implementation of existing frameworks and adopted laws in Africa is also lagging far behind other regional systems in addressing these privacy and data protection concerns. 

The uneven, inadequate or non-existent legal protection and institutional framework for protection of personal information in Africa creates vulnerabilities for personal data and increases susceptibility to privacy challenges and data breaches. These inadequacies are also in the context of advancements which themselves create new challenges for privacy and data protection. 

This course is designed as a massive open online course (MOOC) to educate and set the tone for an improved data protection landscape within the African region. It is targeted at academics, lawyers, human rights activists, regional and sub-regional bodies, data protection authorities, governments departments/agencies, Data Protection Authorities (DPAs) and other key stakeholders involved in policy and advocacy for privacy rights and data protection in the digital age.


Course Outline

The programme of the MOOC is divided in five modules:

  • Module 1: Introduction to privacy and data protection
    Overview: This introductory module sets the stage for the course with analyses and basic understanding of the right to privacy in general and data privacy in particular, as well as the distinct yet overlapping nature of both concepts. It discusses in the detail key concepts with respect to data protection; the historical development of data protection and the right to privacy; the relationship between the right to privacy and other human rights; policy and regulatory approaches to data privacy and concludes with key principles on privacy by design. 
    Outcome: It is expected that by the end of this module, a participant is able to understand the basic concepts in privacy and data protection as well as the regulatory approaches to privacy in the digital age.

    LIVE SESSION on Thursday 27 May 2021 at 09:00 GMT / 10:00 WAT / 11:00 SAST / 12:00 EAT

  • Module 2: Overview of the legal framework on privacy
    Overview: This module focuses on the normative frameworks for data protection. It considers the various existing legal and institutional systems with respect to data protection including regional standards on the right to privacy and data protection; the principles governing the lawful processing of data; scope of application; data processing formalities; rights of data subjects and obligations of data controllers. 
    Outcome: It is expected that by the end of this module, a participant in this course is able to understand the general and specific legal instruments involved with privacy rights and data protection in Africa and beyond. In addition, the participants should understand the various principles, rights and obligations in data protection.

    LIVE SESSION on Thursday 3 June 2021 at 09:00 GMT / 10:00 WAT / 11:00 SAST / 12:00 EAT

  • Module 3: Legitimate restrictions on the right to privacy
    Overview: This module examines the limitations to the right to privacy. Given the legally accepted practices of limitations of rights under international human rights law, this module discusses the acceptable instances of limitation of the right to privacy. In doing this, it analyses the internal and external limitations on the right to privacy in international human rights law; examines the interference with the right to privacy and communications surveillance and highlights surveillance-enabling laws and privacy in Africa.
    Outcome: There are instances limitations on certain human rights are allowed with the right to privacy included. It is expected that by the end of this module, a participant will understand the basis of such limitations and will be able to assess whether or not actions relating to data protection have been limited according to laid down standards. 

    LIVE SESSION on Thursday 10 June 2021 at 09:00 GMT / 10:00 WAT / 11:00 SAST / 12:00 EAT

  • Module 4: Privacy and cybersecurity 
    Overview: This module examines the relationship between privacy and cybersecurity. It defines the concept of cybersecurity; examines the international legal frameworks on cybersecurity; the risks and vulnerabilities associated cybersecurity threats and how these impacts on privacy and highlights global cybersecurity initiatives.
    Outcome: One of the major areas that intersect with privacy especially in the digital age is cybersecurity. The inter-relationship between the two concepts has made it important to understand how they intersect and what this means for the protection of personal information. By the end of this module, a participant should be able to understand this relationship and the impact it has on data protection.

    LIVE SESSION on Thursday 17 June 2021 at 09:00 GMT / 10:00 WAT / 11:00 SAST / 12:00 EAT

  • Module 5: Emerging issues – privacy in the digital age 
    Overview: This module looks at some of the prevalent challenges that arise in the context of the right to privacy and the rapid technological advances in the digital age. It carries this out by highlighting the key challenges posed by new technologies to privacy; assessment of data protection frameworks on new technologies in Africa; examining the concept of data minimization; conceptualisation of cross-border data transfer; ensuring compliance with existing data protection frameworks and discussing the issues of data sovereignty and data localisation in Africa. 
    Outcome: At the end of this module, a participant should understand the meaning and manifestations of new technologies. In addition to this, a participant will gain better knowledge of how various concepts and principles in data protection are being used to strike a balance between innovation and human rights with respect to data protection. Lastly, the participant will gain more knowledge on the status of data protection in Africa with respect to these new technologies.

    LIVE SESSION on Thursday 24 June 2021 at 09:00 GMT / 10:00 WAT / 11:00 SAST / 12:00 EAT

Lecturers and Experts

  • Avani Singh
    Director and Co-Founder of ALT Advisory, Johannesburg, South Africa
    Avani is a Director at ALT Advisory and an Attorney of the High Court of South Africa. She focuses on public law, information rights and media law, data privacy, and electoral law at the domestic, regional, and international levels, with a particular interest in advising clients in the areas of freedom of expression, online regulation, and privacy in Africa.

  • Kudakwashe T Hove
    Policy Officer, Privacy International, London, United Kingdom 
    Kuda works to promote the recognition and protection of fundamental rights in online environments. His work has primarily focused on privacy and free expression issues especially in low-income countries.

  • Dr Lukman Adebisi Abdulrauf
    Senior Lecturer, University of Ilorin, Nigeria
    Lukman is a Research Fellow (Iso Lomso) at the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study (STIAS) and a Fellow at the Institute for International and Comparative Law in Africa, University of Pretoria, South Africa. His teaching and research interests are digital rights, data protection law and constitutional law. He has published widely in data protection and privacy law.

  • Michael Power
    Director and Co-Founder of ALT Advisory, Johannesburg, South Africa
    Michael is a Director at ALT Advisory and an Attorney of the High Court of South Africa. Michael focuses on public law, information rights and data privacy, and emergent technology, with a particular interest in the development and implementation of constitutional law, international law, and emergent technologies.

  • Tomiwa Ilori
    Researcher, Expression, Information and Digital Rights Unit, Centre for Human Rights
    Tomiwa is a lawyer with particular interests in digital rights research and advocacy. His interests revolve around digital rights advocacy and research, international human rights law, the African human rights system and ICT4D.

  • Hlengiwe Dube
    Manager, Expression, Information and Digital Rights Unit, Centre for Human Rights
    Hlengiwe manages projects on freedom of expression, access to information, digital rights and other issues that fall within the democracy purview within the Expression, Information and Digital Rights Unit. She holds a Master’s Degree in Human Rights and Democratisation in Africa from the Centre for Human Rights.

  • Amanda Manyame
    Digital Rights and Law Consultant
    Amanda is a Digital Rights and Law Consultant, working at the intersection of technology and law. She is a proponent of public interest technology and advocates for policy and regulatory development that creates an enabling environment for technological advancements that do not risk human rights. Accordingly, she actively works with civil society, tech companies and policy influencers, at national, regional and international level, to provide an understanding of the different considerations that influence tech policy and digital rights.

  • Ridwan Oloyede
    TechHive Advisory, Abuja, Nigeria
    Ridwan leads the privacy, data protection and technology policy team at Tech Hive Advisory. He is also a policy analyst and a researcher. His expertise also includes cybersecurity governance and compliance, and data ethics.

Enrol for this MOOC (FREE)