GRA 4137 Data Protection and Ethics in the Modern Business Environment

GRA 4137 Data Protection and Ethics in the Modern Business Environment

Course code: 
GRA 4137
Law and Governance
Course coordinator: 
Samson Yoseph Esayas
Course name in Norwegian: 
Data Protection and Ethics in the Modern Business Environment
Product category: 
MSc in Business Analytics
2022 Autumn
Active status: 
Level of study: 
Teaching language: 
Course type: 
One semester

The course will give insight on legal rules on data protection—i.e., a set of norms which specifically govern the processing of data relating to persons (personal data) in order to protect the privacy and related interests. The course also seeks to raise the key ethical concerns related to the usage of personal information for individuals, organizations, businesses and society.

The course seeks to have a business and a practical perspective, in order to fulfill its obligation to be applicable knowledge and relevance.

Learning outcomes - Knowledge

The students will gain knowledge of the basic requirements concerning privacy law in the EEA and the EU as well as the ethical implications vs. competitive advantage of the use of personal information by businesses and wider implcations for society. The course seeks to have a business and practical perspective, in order to fulfill its obligations to offer applicable knowledge and relevant.

  • Acquire knowledge of the terminology of data protection
  • Gain a basic understanding of the rules and principles for protecting privacy and personal information, particularly as laid down in EU and other international instruments.
  • Knowledge of the newest regulation on data protection from EU (GDPR; General Data Protection Regulation)
  • Knowledge of the rules concerning transfer of data to other countries
  • A basic knowledge of Norway`s obligation in the EEA-agreement and European law and relevant case law
  • Acquire knowledge of the ethical problems in modern business arising from the usage of personal information and Big data: monitoring, surveillance of individuals behavior and offering personalized services and products while at the same time limiting individuals options and choices available on the market
  • Learn about the Big data paradoxes: transparency, Identity and power
Learning outcomes - Skills
  • Be able to identify legal problems concerning privacy protection
  • Be capable of discussing possible solutions to threats in electronic commerce and Big data
  • Be able to see the potential for technological development and discuss it based on regulations in privacy protection.
  • Be able to understand the ethical challenges of using Big data analytics.  For individuals, who use social media services, organizations who source, manage, analyze and share data for profit and from a societal perspective such as, government authorities and industry associations, who are responsible for regulating and shaping the  - personal information/Big data - market. 
  • Be able to understand the necessary balance between the need of privacy and control over data in business settings and markets at large
  • Be able to recognize the ethical issues of Big data and data sharing as well as the relationship between data curators and data producers
General Competence
  • Have developed a special ethical consciousness when assessing data protection
  • Be aware of the grey area outside the clearly defined rules.
  • Understand the ethical principles established in legal standards in the legislation.
Course content
  • Privacy and data protection
  • GDPR and privacy by design
  • Electronic commerce
  • Regulations regarding Internet and algorithms
  • Rule of law concerning Big data
  • Codes of practice
  • Privacy by design
  • Transfer of data
  • Modern business ethical challenges of usage of personal information, Big data analytics and data sharing
Teaching and learning activities


Software tools
No specified computer-based tools are required.
Additional information

Please note that while attendance is not compulsory in all courses, it is the student’s own responsibility to obtain any information provided in class. 


All courses in the Masters programme will assume that students have fulfilled the admission requirements for the programme. In addition, courses in second, third and/or fourth semester can have specific prerequisites and will assume that students have followed normal study progression. For double degree and exchange students, please note that equivalent courses are accepted.


Deviations in teaching and exams may occur if external conditions or unforeseen events call for this.

Exam category: 
Form of assessment: 
Written submission
Group/Individual (1 - 3)
1 Semester(s)
Exam code: 
GRA 41371
Grading scale: 
Examination when next scheduled course
Type of Assessment: 
Ordinary examination
Total weight: 
Student workload
36 Hour(s)
Student's own work with learning resources
Group work / Assignments
Feedback activities and counselling
Case teaching
Sum workload: 

A course of 1 ECTS credit corresponds to a workload of 26-30 hours. Therefore a course of 6 ECTS credits corresponds to a workload of at least 160 hours.