COMP 555 - Software Privacy

Offered by Martin Robillard in the McGill School of Computer Science in Winter 2023 (4 credits). Tuesdays and Thursdays 11:30-13:00 in Adams 211.


The pervasive collection of personal information by end-user and infrastructure software creates important implications for most stakeholders of software systems, including users, administrators, developers, and vendors. Engineering privacy in software requires both technical know-how and knowledge of regulatory standards and practices. As evidenced by the daily reporting of software vulnerabilities and privacy breaches, much remains to be done to improve the standards or privacy protection in software. This course will provide students with the knowledge and experience necessary to make informed privacy-related decisions both as software users and developers.

Course Topics

Conceptual Foundations

Technical Controls

Application-Specific Concerns

Learning Outcomes

After this course, students should be able to...

Course Work and Evaluation

Most lectures will be dedicated to active learning and involve the completion of in-class activities such as: synthesizing data breach reports, comparing privacy policies, searching vulnerability databases.

© Martin P. Robillard 2023