Exercise – prepare a memo on topics of privacy and data protection


You have landed a position as an intern (paid) for the governor of the state of Númenor, Governor Tar-Míriel.

Númenor has not enacted any privacy laws to protect the personal information/data of its citizens. Hearing about recent incidents of thefts and misuse of personal information/data, Númenoreans have been calling Governor Tar-Míriel’s office to angrily complain about the lack of protection of their personal information/data. A large number of the callers believe that their privacy is being violated. As it now stands, their personal information/data is being collected and used by people and organizations – sometimes with and sometimes without their consent. Some citizens express concern about the collection and use of their “biometric data”; others mention something about “PII”; and others call for Númenor to enact a law like the “GDPR”. Governor Tar-Míriel wants to understand the problem better and perhaps propose legislation (she is up for re-election in November). She learned that you are taking a Cyber Law course so she has turned to you for help.

Governor Tar-Míriel does not know much about privacy and personal information/data protection issues, so she tasks you to write a memorandum answering the questions below in plain English. Be sure to first review chapter 12 of the textbook, related course materials, and conduct some of your own additional research. Then answer these questions in your memorandum to her.

  1. Provide a one paragraph overview for the governor that discusses: (1) what is privacy; (2) what are personal information/data protection concerns all about; (3) why protection of personal information/data protection is important to citizens (i.e., what bad things can happen without protection?)
  2. Provide a paragraph that defines and gives examples of biometric data and PII.
  3. Provide a paragraph that describes the GDPR: who is covered; what areas does it encompass (broadly speaking) – for instance, the data protection principles it sets forth.
  4. Provide a paragraph on what other states are doing to protect privacy. Give a specific example of a law enacted by another state.
  5. Provide a paragraph giving your opinion whether Governor Tar-Míriel should push to have Númenor enact a personal information/data protection law or whether she should focus on trying to get the Federal government to pass such a law. Identify and discuss the pros and cons of each course of action.

Use common memorandum format:

To: Governor Tar-Míriel

From: Your name




The paper is worth 25 points (5 points per paragraph). I will evaluate your paper based on these criteria:

  1. You fully answered all five questions.
  2. The quality, clarity, and thoroughness of your analysis.
  3. The quality and clarity of your writing (including grammar and punctuation, so please proofread.) **I’ve been lenient as to grammar, syntax, spelling, etc., on discussion boards, but I expect this written product be of the quality you would submit to a (demanding) supervisor at work.

Other Requirements

Be sure to include a cover page with your title, name, class, date, and a reference page (if other references are used).

The paper should be a minimum of 700 words – not including the to/from/subject/date information.

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