Course Details

Course CSC 533 - Privacy in the Digital Age, Fall 2022
Meeting Times M/W 11:45 AM - 1:00 PM
Meeting Place EB2 1230
Credits 3
Instructor Anupam Das
Office 2240 EB2
Phone 919-515-2683
Office Hours
  • Tuesday: 3-4 pm, Zoom or by appointment
  • Thursday: 8 pm (only for DE students) through Zoom
TA Office Hours
Angela Zhang (; Wed (in-person)/Th 1:30-2:30 pm; EB2 1229B or Zoom
Taufiq Islam Protick (; Tu (in-person)/Fr 2-3 pm; EB2 1229B or Zoom
Class Forum Class discussion will take place on Piazza
Assignment Submission Assignments submitted via Moodle
Recorded Video Lecture Videos will be uploaded after each lecture on Panopto

Course Resources

You can find the class schedule and all slides from the lectures here.
We will use Piazza for our online communication.
Also, video recording of class lectures will be available through Moodle.

Course Prerequisites

Prerequisites: CSC 316 (ST 370 is recommended)
Informal: You need to have some understanding on (1) basic concepts on statistics and probability and (2) basics of systems implementation (e.g., web, distributed systems, networking, etc.). If you do not have a basic understanding of these areas, you may have difficulty with certain parts of the course. If you have questions regarding these prerequisites, please contact the instructor.


Privacy is a growing concern in our modern society. We interact and share our personal information with a wide variety of organizations, including financial and healthcare institutions, web service providers and social networks. Many times such personal information is inappropriately collected, used or shared, often without our awareness. This course introduces privacy in a broad sense to provide students an overview of the challenging and emerging research topics in privacy.

This course will expose students to many of the issues that privacy engineers, program managers, researchers and designers deal with in the industry. By the end of the course, students will learn about the following areas in privacy:

Textbooks and Reading Material

This course has no formal textbook. The course readings will come from online book chapters, seminal papers, and other informative sources. Slides will serve as the main reading resource summarizing the lecture content.

Here are some useful online books that provide additional information:

Student Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

Technology Requirements

Following software will be required/used for the course.

Course Structure and Grading

The course will consist of exams, home assignments (worst graded one will be dropped) and a course project.

25% Midterm Exam
25% Final Exam
35% Homework Assignments
15% Course Project

The final letter grade will be based on the final percentage as follows:

A+ 96 - 100%
A 92 - 95%
A- 88 - 91%
B+ 84 - 87%
B 80 - 83%
B- 76 - 79%
C+ 72 - 75%
C 68 - 71%
C- 64 - 67%
D+ 60 - 63%
D 56 - 59%
D- 52 - 55%
F 0 - 51%

REG 02.50.03 (Grades and Grade Point Average) describes the grade point interpretation of letter grades.

Homework Assignments

The instructor will assign homework on a periodic basis for topics associated with the class syllabus. These homework assignments require the students to write, program, or perform other basic research. The content and due dates of these assignments will be decided over the course of the semester (usually giving around 2 weeks per assignment). If you cannot attend a lecture, contact fellow students to see if any assignments have been published or revisit the course assignment page Assignment. The lowest graded assignment will be dropped. Assignments will posted and collected through Moodle.


Exams will be scheduled covering topics until the exam date. The exam will last around one to two hours. Question format will be discussed in class. The exact date of the exam will be provided in the Schedule.

Class Project

The class project will require students to conduct research related to the course material. Students will work in groups of two or three depending on the scope of the project. Students are encouraged to propose their own projects. The main objective of the project is to provide students with hands-on experience with real-world privacy problems. Some projects will involve analyzing user data, while others may involve developing a system to collect and analyze real-world system data. High quality works will potentially lead to conference/workshop papers. Students will be expected to submit a project report before the end of the semester.

Policies on Incomplete Grades

If an extended deadline is not authorized by the instructor or department, an unfinished incomplete grade will automatically change to an 'F' after either (a) the end of the next regular semester in which the student is enrolled (not including summer sessions), or (b) the end of 12 months if the student is not enrolled, whichever is shorter. Incompletes that change to 'F' will count as an attempted course on transcripts. The burden of fulfilling an incomplete grade is the responsibility of the student. The university policy on incomplete grades is located at

Weekly Course Schedule

See the course schedule. Note that the schedule is subject to change as the semester evolves.

Late Policy

No late assignments will be accepted. Students with legitimate reasons who contact the professor before the deadline may apply for an extension.

Re-grade Policy

No re-grading requests will be honored after one weeks of releasing the grade for any assignment/report/project. If you see any issues with the grading, please contact the instructor within one weeks of releasing the grade.

Communications Policy

Announcements and online class discussion will occur via Piazza. It is the responsibility of the student to sign up for an account. Questions to the instructor or TA should occur in Piazza unless there is a reason not to. The instructor or the TA will do their best to respond to questions in Piazza within 24 hours. When appropriate, make the question viewable to everyone so that the answer can benefit all students. For sensitive matters (e.g., grading), email the instructor and/or TA. Whenever emailing the TA about grading concerns, please CC the instructor.

Students should be aware that their behavior impacts other people, even online. I hope that we will all strive to develop a positive and supportive environment and will be courteous to fellow students and your instructor. Due to the nature of the online environment, there are some things to remember when taking an online course and engaging with others.

Tips for Success:

Video Recording Policy

The class lectures will be recorded to be viewed by students who are unable to attend. By taking this course, you agree for your video and audio to be recorded and shared with other students taking this course this semester. However, student faces will not be intentionally captured rather audio stream will be captured during class discussions.

Electronically-Hosted Course Components

Students may be required to disclose personally identifiable information to other students in the course. Examples include online discussions of class topics on Piazza. All students are expected to respect the privacy of each other by not sharing or using such information outside the course.

Attendance Policy

The instructor will not take any formal attendance for class meetings. Students can asynchronously view class lecture videos offline due to health concerns arising from the novel coronavirus or other legitimate concerns.

The university policy on excused absences will be observed (see The students are responsible for discussing makeup exams if they miss exams due to excused absence. The instructor will choose a mutually agreed date and time for the makeup exam. Late submission of homework assignments due to excused absences is not subject to the policies on late assignments.

Academic Integrity Policy

The university, college, and department policies against academic dishonesty will be strictly enforced. You may obtain copies of the NCSU Code of Student Conduct from the Office of Student Conduct, or from the following URL:

The instructor expects honesty in the completion of test and assignments. The instructor has a zero-tolerance policy for violations of academic integrity. The instructor carefully monitors for instances of offenses such as plagiarism and illegal collaboration, so it is very important that students use their best possible judgement in meeting this policy. The instructor will not entertain any discussion on the discovery of an offense, and will assign the 'F' grade and refer the student to the appropriate University bodies for possible further action. It is the understanding and expectation of the instructor that the student's signature on any test or assignment means that the student neither gave nor received unauthorized aid. For additional information, visit

Note that students are explicitly forbidden to copy anything off the Internet (e.g., source code, text) for the purposes of completing an assignment or the final project. Also, students are forbidden from collaborating on any assignment except were explicitly allowed in writing by the instructor.

Academic Honesty

See for a detailed explanation of academic honesty.

Ethics Statement

This course considers topics involving personal and public privacy and security. As part of this investigation we will cover technologies whose abuse may infringe on the rights of others. As an instructor, I rely on the ethical use of these technologies. Unethical use may include circumvention of existing security or privacy measurements for any purpose, or the dissemination, promotion, or exploitation of vulnerabilities of these services. Exceptions to these guidelines may occur in the process of reporting vulnerabilities through public and authoritative channels. Any activity outside the letter or spirit of these guidelines will be reported to the proper authorities and may result in dismissal from the class. Please refer to the ACM code of ethics and professional conduct for more details.

When in doubt, please contact the course professor for advice. Do not undertake any action which could be perceived as technology misuse anywhere and/or under any circumstances unless you have received explicit permission from the instructor.

Statement on transportation

Students have to provide their own transportation for any and all class related trips.

Statement on safety and risk assumption

This course does not require activities that pose physical risk to students.

Accommodations for Disabilities

Reasonable accommodations will be made for students with verifiable disabilities. In order to take advantage of available accommodations, students must register with Disability Services for Students at 1900 Student Health Center, Campus Box 7509, 919-515-7653. For more information on NC State's policy on working with students with disabilities, please see the Academic Accommodations for Students with Disabilities Regulation (REG 02.20.01).

Non-Discrimination Policy

NC State University provides equality of opportunity in education and employment for all students and employees. Accordingly, NC State affirms its commitment to maintain a work environment for all employees and an academic environment for all students that is free from all forms of discrimination. Discrimination based on race, color, religion, creed, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, or sexual orientation is a violation of state and federal law and/or NC State University policy and will not be tolerated. Harassment of any person (either in the form of quid pro quo or creation of a hostile environment) based on race, color, religion, creed, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, or sexual orientation also is a violation of state and federal law and/or NC State University policy and will not be tolerated. Retaliation against any person who complains about discrimination is also prohibited. NC State's policies and regulations covering discrimination, harassment, and retaliation may be accessed at or Any person who feels that he or she has been the subject of prohibited discrimination, harassment, or retaliation should contact the Office for Equal Opportunity (OEO) at 919-515-3148.

N.C. State University Policies, Regulations, and Rules (PRR)

Students are responsible for reviewing the PRRs which pertain to their course rights and responsibilities. These include: (Equal Opportunity and Non-Discrimination Policy Statement), (Office for Institutional Equity and Diversity), (Code of Student Conduct), and (Grades and Grade Point Average).

Course Evaluation

Online class evaluations will be available for students to complete during the last two weeks of class. Students will receive an email message directing them to a website where they can login using their Unity ID and complete evaluations. All evaluations are confidential; instructors will never know how any one student responded to any question, and students will never know the ratings for any particular instructors.

Resources Link
Evaluation website:
Student help desk:
Info about ClassEval:

Trans Inclusive Syllabi Act

In an effort to affirm and respect the identities of transgender students in the classroom and beyond, please contact me if you wish to be referred to using a name and/or pronouns other than what is listed in the student directory.

COVID-19 Related Additional Information

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, public health measures continue to be implemented across campus. Students should stay current with these practices and expectations through the Protect the Pack website ( The sections below provide expectations and conduct related to COVID-19 issues.

Health and Participation in Class

We are most concerned about your health and the health of your classmates and instructors/TAs.

Health and Well-Being Resources

These are difficult times, and academic and personal stress is a natural result. Everyone is encouraged to take care of themselves and their peers. If you need additional support, there are many resources on campus to help you:

Community Standards related to COVID-19

We are all responsible for protecting ourselves and our community. Please see the community expectations (which have been updated for 2021) and Rule 04.21.01 regarding Personal Safety Requirements Related to COVID-19 RUL 04.21.01 – Personal Safety Requirements Related to COVID-19 – Policies, Regulations & Rules

Course Expectations Related to COVID-19

Course Delivery Changes Related to COVID-19

Please be aware that the situation regarding COVID-19 is frequently changing, and the delivery mode of this course could change accordingly, including from in-person to remote. Regardless of the delivery method, we will strive to provide a high-quality learning experience.

Other Important Resources

Need Help?

If you find yourself in a place where you need help, academically or otherwise, please review these Step-by-Step Help Topics. In addition, the following College of Engineering individuals are very available to assist students with any matter, please reach out to them: