Dr. Sandra Wachter is a lawyer and Research Fellow in Data Ethics, AI, robotics and Internet Regulation/cyber-security at the Oxford Internet Institute.Email: email@example.com
Dr. Sandra Wachter is a lawyer and Research Fellow in Data Ethics, AI, robotics and Internet Regulation/cyber-security at the Oxford Internet Institute and the Alan Turing Institute in London as well as a member of the Law Committee of the IEEE. She serves as a policy advisor for governments and NGO’s around the world on regulatory and ethical questions concerning emerging technologies. Prior to joining the OII, Sandra worked at the Royal Academy of Engineering and at the Austrian Ministry of Health.
Sandra’s research focuses on the legal and ethical implications of Big Data, AI, and robotics as well as governmental surveillance, predictive policing, and human rights online. Her current research focuses on ethical design of algorithms, including the development of standards and (auditing) methods to ensure fairness, accountability, transparency, interpretability, and group privacy in complex algorithmic systems. She is also interested in legal and ethical aspects of robotics (e.g. surgical, domestic and social robots) and autonomous systems (e.g. autonomous and connected cars), including liability, accountability, and privacy issues as well as international policies and regulatory responses to the social and ethical consequences of automation.
Internet policy and regulation as well as cyber-security issues are also at the heart of her research, where she addresses areas such as online surveillance and profiling, censorship, intellectual property law, and human rights and identity online. Sandra also teaches the course Internet Technologies and Regulation at the Oxford Internet Institute.
Sandra holds a Master’s and PhD in law specialising in medical-, technology-, and data protection law as well as European-, International-, and human rights law. “Interventions in the Genome and Genetic Testing under the Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine” was the topic of her Master’s thesis. In her PhD, she explored the concept of democracy according to the European Court of Human Rights and tested whether this concept is compatible with mass surveillance methods such as the European Data Retention Directive. Sandra also holds a Master’s of Science from the Oxford Internet Institute. Her thesis looked at tensions between freedom of speech and the right to privacy on social networks.
Research and Supervision Interests
Data Ethics; Big Data; AI; machine learning; algorithms; robotics; privacy; data protection and technology law; European, -International-, and human rights law; governmental (algorithmic) surveillance; emotion detection; predictive policing; Internet regulation; cyber-security; (bio)-medical law.
Position held at the OII
- Research Fellow, February 2018 –
- Postdoctoral Researcher, February 2017 – January 2018
- MSc Student, October 2014 – August 2015
Latest blog posts
Participants: Dr Sandra Wachter, Dr Brent Mittelstadt
This project aims to ensure that automated decision-making systems remain accountable and comprehensible to the individuals affected by their decisions.
Oxford Internet Institute Launches Digital Ethics Lab: Tackles Ethical Challenges Posed by Digital Innovation
17 May 2017
The Oxford Internet Institute has today launched the Digital Ethics Lab (“DELab”), which aims to tackle the ethical challenges posed by digital innovation.
1 May 2018 The Economist
Dr Sandra Wachter offers guest commentary in the debate on the future of the tech giants.
30 April 2018 BBC News
There's a strong chance you've recently seen an email or pop-up box offering "some important updates" about the way a social media company or website plans to use your data. Are we about to regain control of our personal information?
10 April 2018 Wired
Once mocked, Europe’s new data protection has become a source of transatlantic envy
5 March 2018 The Guardian
The automation revolution has hit recruitment, with everything from facial expressions to vocal tone now analysed by algorithms and artificial intelligence. But what’s the cost to workforce diversity – and workers themselves?
1 August 2017 The Telegraph
"The way we live our lives is often not solely determined by us, but by others," says Sandra Wachter in an opinion piece on the ethics of AI for the Telegraph.