Certificate in Data Protection, Privacy and Biometrics

Sebastien Marcel, Scientific Head of Programme

This training programme helps citizens, decision makers and authorities to better understand data protection, as well as biometrics technologies and privacy issues. Attendants will master the topics of technology implications, compliance to privacy regulations and potential loss of privacy.

What are biometrics and data protection?

New applications using biometric technologies are launched every day. They change our vision of society and pose challenging questions regarding citizens’ identities and the end of privacy.

Biometrics includes all data generated by the measurement and statistical analysis of peoples’ physical, behavioural and technical characteristics: fingerprints, faces, irises, or passwords, photos and activities recorded on various devices. Biometrics poses a growing challenge in many areas: Where is the data stored? Who can access it for what purpose? Could it be hacked and misused? How can citizens protect themselves? How should employee files be managed?

The General Data Protection Regulation and its impact on companies risk and data protection management

In 2016 the European Commission adopted the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This new text will enter into force in May 2018. It will apply to all companies and institutions offering goods or services to EU’s citizens and organisations. The GDPR demands that companies implement adequate and auditable Data Protection frameworks and risk management. Organisations will have to prove that they are permanently reviewing and updating personal data protection measures.. The new regulation will raise ethical, cultural and social issues which will be adressed in the programme.

Why this training programme helps you mastering the changes ahead

The goal of this Certificate of Advanced Studies (CAS) is to teach concepts and technologies in the area of Biometrics and Privacy and provide students with a full understanding of data protection, privacy preservation, compliance with privacy regulations and potential privacy losses.

The training provides a general overview of all above mentioned issues and aims at helping companies and institutions preparing themselves to this new situation.

Degree issued

Certificate of Advanced Studies (CAS) in Biometrics and Privacy - 12 ECTS.
This degree has been designed according to the Bologna Agreements.


This CAS Biometrics & Privacy has been created in collaboration with the Idiap Research Institute.

The Idiap Research Institute is an independent, non-for-profit, research foundation affiliated with Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL). Its activities encompass basic research and development in the areas of multimedia information management, perceptual and cognitive systems, social media, biometric person recognition, multimodal information interfaces, and large scale machine learning.

Programme essentials


3x per year in January, April and September


Certificate of Advanced Studies in Biometrics and privacy, 12 ECTS


self-paced learning, min. 3 months and max.12 month

Personal investment

approx. 50 hours per module

Admission requirements

  • higher education diploma (university or equivalent)
  • and/or at least three years relevant professional training or experience
  • proficiency in English

Teaching language