Skip to main content
Law Library Homepage About the Law Library Research Services Faculty Students Help Ask a Law Librarian Law Library Home page UNC Libraries Law Library Blog Twitter

Privacy Law

An overview of privacy law resources available through the UNC Law Library.



A legal treatise is an extensive scholarly work covering all the law related to a particular legal topic. Treatises serve to provide information about the law and references to specific statutes, cases, and other relevant resources. There is not a standard format for treatises, and they may be in bound, looseleaf, or digital format. A treatise may be of use to a student or practitioner for study, research, or practical purposes. The following are a list of legal treatises on privacy law. Dates listed in parentheses indicate the most recent online update.

Privacy and Data Security
  • W. Andrew H. Gantt, ed., E-Health, Privacy, and Security Law (2015). [KF3827.R4 E34 2011; Bloomberg Law]
  • Lisa Sotto, Privacy and Data Security Law Deskbook (2018). [KF1263.C65 S672]
  • Ronald N. Weikers, Data Security and Privacy Law (2018). [Westlaw]
  • Christopher Wolf, Proskauer on Privacy:  A Guide to Privacy and Data Security in the Information Age, (2016). [KF1263.C65 P76 2d; PLI]
Privacy and Technology
  • David Bender, Computer Law: A Guide to Cyber Law and Data Privacy Law (2018). [Lexis Advance]
  • James G. Carr et al., Law of Electronic Surveillance (2018). [Westlaw]
  • George B. Delta & Jeffrey H. Matsuura, Law of the Internet (2018). [Cheetah]
  • Clifford S. Fishman and Anne T. McKenna, Wiretapping & Eavesdropping (2017). [Westlaw]
  • Raymond T. Nimmer and Holly K. Towle, Data Privacy, Protection, & Security Law (2018). [Lexis Advance]
Privacy and the Workplace
  • Matthew W. Finkin, Privacy in Employment Law (2017). [KF3457.5 .F56; Bloomberg Law]
  • L. Camille Hébert, Employee Privacy Law (2018). [Westlaw]
  • Robert Sprague et al., eds., Workplace Data: Law and Litigation (2013). [Bloomberg Law]
  • Miriam H. Wugmeister and Christine E. Lyon, eds., Global Employee Privacy and Data Security Law (2011). [Bloomberg Law]

Other Privacy Law Topics

  • David A. Elder, Privacy Torts (2017). [KF1262 .E358; Westlaw]
  • J. Thomas McCarthy, Rights of Publicity & Privacy (2018). [KF1262 .M43; Westlaw]
  • Steve C. Posner, Privacy Law and the USA Patriot Act (2018). [KF9430 .P67; Lexis Advance]
  • Andrew B. Serwin, Information Security and Privacy: A Guide to Federal and State Law and Compliance (2017). [Westlaw]
  • Wayne R. LaFave, Search and Seizure: A Treatise on the Fourth Amendment (2017). [Westlaw]
  • Michael D. Scott, Scott on Information Technology Law (2018). [Westlaw]

Law Review Articles

Law journal articles are a rich source of legal information and particularly influential in privacy law. Before using a journal article as support for your research, make sure you evaluate the authoritativeness of the article. Key evaluative factors for a law review article are the content, the author, the journal, and the date. In the field of privacy law, the Future of Privacy Forum awards papers every year as "Privacy Papers for Policy Makers." These papers may be especially good sources of law and policy in the field of privacy.

To locate law journal articles published in the last twenty to thirty years, search the Law Reviews and Journals database on Westlaw Edge or Lexis Advance. To locate older journal articles or to view articles in their original format, search the Law Journal Library on HeinOnline. To locate unpublished or forthcoming articles, search free databases like SSRN or bepress Legal Repository. You may also consult the website of a particular journal to locate articles or a law school's online scholarship repository (like the Carolina Law Scholarship Repository).

Your privacy law research may also involve locating scholarship from other disciplines outside of law, like computer science, consumer health, or business. Sources of scholarship that may help with your research include the UNC Libraries E-Journals Listing for a list of available journals or UNC Libraries E-Research by Discipline for a list of online databases organized by research area. You can also search for articles by keyword, author, or title in UNC Libraries Articles+  to search UNC Libraries extensive collection of digital journal articles

Privacy News

In order to stay up-to-date on changes and new developments in privacy law, keeping track of privacy news updates is important. There are many different online outlets that provide news specifically related to privacy law developments. By monitoring news, you can help determine if your law is accurate as well as keep informed about new applications of old law.

Be sure to consider other sources of news including technology publications like Ars Technica, law firm blogs, advocacy organization websites, and traditional sources of news like The New York Times and Wall Street Journal. If you are interested in the privacy implications within another area of law, make sure to seek out news and practice centers from that area of law!


In addition to news, you may need additional sources for compelling facts to support your privacy law research. Information in the form of statistics and reports may be necessary for locating information on the public's opinions on privacy, privacy law policies, or numbers on household using certain products.

To learn more about sources of statistics, consult the research guide for Online Statistical Information for the UNC Law Community. The guide is organized by topic, including Internet and Technology.

50 State Surveys

50 State Surveys

A 50 State Survey is a compiled list of laws across all 50 states on a particular topic. 50 State surveys can be very useful for areas of privacy governed by state law and may save hours of time involved in researching a topic from the beginning.  However, topics with surveys available are limited, and the compiled laws should be updated and verified before relying on them. The following resources provide access to compiled 50 State Surveys on privacy law topics:

  • LexisNexis: 50 State Surveys, Statutes & Regulations
    • This database includes some privacy-related 50-state surveys under headings such as Computer & Internet Law, Labor & Employment Law, and Civil Rights Law.
  • Lexis Practice Advisor Privacy & Data Security State Law Surveys
    • This collection of 50-state surveys is separate from the one above and appears to include more recent updates and surveys on more unusual topics such as RFID, event data recorders, and student social media.
  • Westlaw: 50 State Surveys
    • Westlaw’s 50 State Survey database includes statutory and regulatory surveys. It can be searched by topic or keyword to find subjects ranging from medical records, school records, and financial records privacy to state Freedom of Information acts.
  • National Conference of State Legislatures
    • The National Conference of State Legislatures makes available 50-state surveys on a variety of privacy and security topics, including cybersecurity laws and privacy laws for social media and internet service providers. The organization also maintains surveys of state laws on information breaches.
  • HeinOnline: Subject Compilations of State Laws
    • This searchable database provides citations and sometimes links to comparisons of state laws that are published elsewhere in articles, books, government publications, loose-leaf titles, court opinions, and websites. Search by keyword or browse the subjects to find state-law comparisons on topics such as privacy, data security breaches, electronic records, personnel records, medical records, biometric information, event data recorders for motor vehicles, social media, and many more.
  • HeinOnline: National Survey of State Laws
    • This database provides direct access to basic state-by-state comparisons of current state laws on certain topics such as "Theft of Identity," "Privacy of School Records," and "Freedom of Information Acts". Users can access the latest edition (2015, with interim updates) as well as two previous editions (2008 and 2005) to compare the same laws as they existed in prior years. Also available in a print edition (KF386 .N38 2015).
Chart Builders

Chart Builders are tools that allow users to create their own exportable charts of state laws by selecting jurisdictions and aspects of the law to compare.

  • Bloomberg Privacy & Data Security Practice Center: Chart Builders
    • Bloomberg's Chart Builders tool currently provides the greatest range of privacy-related topics for comparison as well as the greatest level of control over the viewing and formatting of results. The Practice Tools section of this resource center has a list of Chart Builders allowing users to build their own surveys of state (domestic) laws on the topics of data breach notification requirements, treatment of medical information and records, and workplace privacy. Charts can be exported to Excel format.
  • Lexis Practice Advisor: State Law Comparison Tool
    • Currently, the only privacy-related area available for comparison using this tool is that of data breach notification laws. Charts can be downloaded in Excel, Word, or PDF format.
  • Westlaw Practical Law: State Q&A Comparison Tool
    • Privacy-related topics can be found under the Intellectual Property & Technology heading. They include Data Breach Notification Laws, Employee Privacy Laws, and Right of Publicity Laws. The current format does not allow for direct visual comparison of multiple states' laws at the same time; the tool simply builds a written report displaying each state's laws that can be exported in Word, RTF, or PDF format.
  • Cheetah Cybersecurity & Privacy Center
    • Cheetah allows the user to build global comparison charts on a number of privacy law topics by selecting a topic and countries. The center also has a chart builder for medical privacy statutes.

Resources for Practice

Practical Resource Centers

The major legal research databases (available to the UNC Law community with a login) maintain practical resource centers for privacy law that gather privacy law-related forms, checklists, policies, practice guides, 50-state surveys, news, and other resources in one place.

  • Bloomberg Privacy & Data Security Practice Center
    • Bloomberg provides the widest range of privacy law resources via this Practice Center. Its key features include:
      • A Practical Guidance section with forms and checklists for various areas of privacy law practice.
      • News articles searchable by country, state, and topic.
      • Privacy Profiles that seek to provide comprehensive treatment of all of the various privacy laws and the regulatory landscape in a particular state or nation.
      • Links to "Portfolios" and treatises on a variety of privacy law topics.
  • Cheetah Cybersecurity & Privacy
    • Wolters Kluwer's Cheetah legal research platform provides a dashboard with access to several treatises, news sources, global (country-to-country) privacy law comparison smart charts, links to several federal agencies and state resources, and standards promulgated by organizations such as the American Bar Association, ISO, and NIST.
  • Lexis Practice Advisor: Data Security & Privacy 
    • This resource center provides access to practice notes, forms, clauses, checklists, and articles, as well as some state and federal statutes and regulations. One of its more unique functions is its Federal Agency Enforcement Decision Tracker which highlights recent guidance and key enforcement actions by federal agencies including the FCC, CFPB, and SEC.
  • Westlaw Practical Law: Privacy & Data Security
    • This resource center depends on the use of filters on the left to allow narrowing by resource type, practice area, topic, and jurisdiction. It provides access to practice notes, standard documents and clauses, checklists, articles, updates, and Q&As.
Other Sources for Forms, Checklists, and Privacy Policies
  • Corporate Counsel’s Guide to Privacy (2018) [Westlaw]
    • This guide focuses primarily on the areas of workplace privacy and privacy relating to the internet and e-commerce. It includes a master privacy checklist for corporations, as well as concise and practical discussions on international issues, records retention, appropriate privacy policies, and other subjects.
  • IAPP Resource Center (some content accessible only to organization members with a login)
    • The International Association of Privacy Professionals resource center includes a range of tools and templates for creating various privacy policies and reports. It also includes documents on privacy laws and discussion of privacy issues and trends.