CIPP/US Course Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

by John Bandler

If you are landing here you are probably thinking about taking my online privacy study course to prepare for the CIPP/US certification and I have prepared some answers to frequently asked questions (FAQ).

I take some liberties to keep this (somewhat) readable and entertaining. Some are inspired by actual feedback and comments after teaching for students at many levels and now for the world on Udemy.

I have two CIPP/US courses:

  • One course is geared for information security professionals, on the Infosec Skills Cengage learning platform. This is a pretty detailed course.
    • Use my 50% off coupon code for any subscription on their platform for all of their content - BANDLER50 (case sensitive)
  • One course is geared for lawyers and law students, on the Udemy learning platform. This is a briefer run-through, it assumes a higher degree of existing knowledge and study skills.
    • Look around for coupon codes, and the Pace Law community can get a free coupon code

Your online course for CIPP/US will be as fun as watching Netflix/HBO/Max/Hulu, right?

No, you will still need to keep your streaming services for entertainment. Life would be too easy if work and study were as much fun as play and entertainment. I provide information, and am not an entertainer or edutainer.

I will never have a show on Netflix/Max/Etc. I would if they asked, but I am sure they will never ask.

Despite the lack of entertainment value, even the folks who don't enjoy my courses seem to concede that I am knowledgeable. So I am happy to share some of that knowledge, research, and work with you.

You put a lot of time and money into the editing, visual effects, and special effects, right?

No, I can barely edit a video, and don't have time to try. I do straight-through recorded lectures, with a PowerPoint slide deck. You get it warts and all, no editing, no fancy effects. Any graphics are my own creation or properly sourced and public domain.

Is this course for everyone?

No, some people are just not going to like it. So read the description, see a sample video, and try before you purchase. After you buy, there is a great refund option through Udemy if you are not satisfied. As indicated, I can barely edit a video, and these are straight-through recorded lectures with my PowerPoint slide decks. Some of the videos are longer than some Udemy viewers would prefer.

In the videos, you're just reading some notes, how is that teaching?

Remember that I'm not using just "some notes" -- those are the slide decks I created, and the bullet points are the most important points (in my opinion) for you to see. I often narrate them, so the voice and screen reinforce each other, and so any commuters (who are listening only) get the full benefit of the video.

This is how I prepare my lectures, serves as my notes while I lecture, ensures I do not skip important points, and is there for the viewer and for me at the next revision to improve upon. So that's my style and it keeps things efficient for me. I realize some students are not going to be able to stay engaged.

Is your course all I need to pass the CIPP/US exam?

It’s hard to know what you will need for the test because everyone starts from a different place and with different studying and test-taking skills.

I try not to “teach the test” but provide the broad knowledge the certification is supposed to certify. I provide some exam preparation tips and I emphasize the priority of what to study based on what is tested in each domain, and additional resources on my main landing page, and I have links to the IAPP site. The IAPP is the ultimate authority on their test and certification.

PS: Be wary of test preparation products that promise to provide you with "everything" you need to pass a test, and remember it is not just about passing the test, but learning the broad professional knowledge.

Does your course cover everything I need to know?

See the above question and answer, and also realize the certification is designed to be for professionals with a deep understanding of privacy. As I discuss, if you look at the IAPP reference materials and body of knowledge, they are voluminous, and there is no way that can all be covered in a 7 or even 14 hour course. So I have tried to prioritize with the most important concepts and details, and I discuss how you can prioritize your further studying.

For example, one reference material IAPP suggests is an entire book on California privacy law. That is great to read if you have the time, but should be a lower priority for your studying.

Your course was created X months/years ago, does it incorporate the changes to the Body of Knowledge (BoK)?

Check the revision date on the course handout (updated periodically), on my website landing page, and you can see the revision date for each video. More importantly, check the IAPP BoK and their materials. Over the last few years, the changes to the BoK have been really minor, and remember that my course does not pretend to cover every single thing that might be on the test, but to give you that solid foundation on the most important aspects.

Your course was created X months/years ago, so it is obsolete now, right?

As above, remember that the changes to the BoK seem to be relatively minor, and important privacy concepts are steady. My course is designed to cover the high priority concepts which are less likely to change. And remember that additional studying and the details are up to you. As above, remember that the course is not intended to be an exhaustive course covering everything and anything that might be on the test.

I am not a lawyer nor law student, and found your CIPP/US Udemy course hard to understand

Remember that my Udemy CIPP/US course was designed specifically for US law students and lawyers, and assumes some knowledge and good studying skills. That's how I was able to rip through the material so fast. I made that clear in the title and description, but I also realize some non-lawyers will take the course anyway (welcome to all), and it is good to hear how that experience goes. I offer resources for non-lawyers too.

I am not from the U.S and am not familiar with US law, and I found your CIPP/US Udemy course hard to understand

As above, the Udemy CIPP/US course was designed for a certain type of student with a familiarity of US law, so see the answer above.

It is exciting to see people from all over the world take my courses, and I am happy to share my knowledge with everyone.

After I pass the CIPP/US exam, what do I need to do?

Consider providing positive feedback to John to warm his heart and so this course reaches more people.

Remember you will need to obtain and enter your continuing professional education (CPE) credits with the IAPP to maintain the certification.

What does CIPP/US stand for?

CIPP/US stands for Certified Information Privacy Professional, United States and focuses on US privacy law and practice. The certification is administered by the IAPP

What does IAPP stand for?

IAPP stands for International Association of Privacy Professionals. A non-profit, the leading privacy organization in the world.

What really is "privacy law"?

What the CIPP/US calls "Privacy Law", includes other types of law relating to data, cybersecurity, data breach reporting, and more. In fact, it also covers broad swathes of traditional law. See my articles (and videos) on that.

I am still working on convincing Udemy to create a categories of "privacy" and "privacy law".

What really is "privacy"?

Privacy is a term that means different things to different people. See my articles (and videos) on that for more, think on it, and decide what it means to you.

Privacy is not an established professional field or category, is it?

Privacy is definitely an established field, growing rapidly, with the IAPP, many existing and new privacy laws, and tens of thousands of gainfully employed privacy professionals, and many individual privacy certifications.

I am still working on convincing Udemy of these facts, to get them to create a "privacy" category.

When should I take the CIPP/US exam?

There is never a perfect time to take any exam. So my advice is just to schedule now, pick a date as best you can, and set your deadline, study, and take the test.

  • Law students have a lot going on, classes, exams, the bar exams. But maybe you fit it in during a summer, before the bar exam (a warm-up), right after the bar exam.
  • Lawyers have a lot going on, getting clients, serving clients and managing caseload, etc. But you can fit in in.

Where can I get the actual exam questions to study from?

I suggest focusing on learning the body of knowledge content as a professional, and being able to apply it all.

Then consider the IAPP rules. People who promise they have exam questions and exam dumps are probably violating IAPP rules and doing something unethical. You don't want to be a part of that and there are rules about what IAPP expects for test preparation and certification.

The course feedback is only X% positive, so it's not a good course, right?

I will leave it to you to decide if this course is right for you. The course is right for some, but certainly not for all. Everyone learns differently.

Once upon a time, I thought my courses would appeal to a vast majority of people. But now I see that is just not realistic. This world is full of a lot of people with a lot of different backgrounds, learning styles, viewpoints, and beliefs. I can't possibly appeal to everyone. And consider these statistics:

  • 10% of the population believes (or is open to the possibility) that the earth is flat.
  • Segments of the population fervently believe certain conspiracy theories which are just not true.
  • Over 50% of certain geographical areas voted certain really terrible people into high U.S. offices, including U.S. House of Representatives, Senate, and more.
  • A large minority of people (e.g. 49% to 30%) have voted for really terrible people for office. Fortunately those terrible people lost that particular election, but the fact remains many wanted them to win and actually voted for them.
  • I won't name names on who I think is terrible because we may disagree on that. But we can agree that people have different opinions on who is great and who is terrible.

Conclusion and Disclaimer

The CIPP/US is an excellent certification from an excellent organization, and studying for it will give you an excellent foundation in law and privacy (and laws relating to information security).

I prepared the CIPP/US study courses because I like the body of knowledge and certification. They might be right for you.

See the course descriptions and other information on this site and on the learning platforms. Remember this is just a brief summary and that IAPP is the final authority on the certification and body of knowledge that they administer.

John Bandler’s Articles & Work Relating to the CIPP/US certification and Privacy Laws

This page is hosted at Copyright John Bandler, all rights reserved.

Page posted 10/19/2023. Updated 12/24/2023.