Dr Sandra Wachter

Dr. Sandra Wachter is a lawyer and Postdoctoral Researcher in Data Ethics and Algorithms at the Oxford Internet Institute.

Email: sandra.wachter@oii.ox.ac.uk

Dr. Sandra Wachter is a lawyer and Postdoctoral Researcher in Data Ethics and Algorithms at the Oxford Internet Institute. Sandra is a member of the Ethics and Philosophy of Information Research Cluster and the Digital Ethics Lab. She is also a Turing Research Fellow at the Alan Turing Institute in London, a member of the Law Committee of the IEEE and 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 on topics such as connectivity, AI, and autonomous systems.

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 methods to ensure fairness, accountability, transparency, interpretability, and group privacy in complex algorithmic systems.

Sandra’s research also addresses 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.

Sandra holds a Master’s and PhD in law specialising on European, International, and human rights law as well as technology and data protection law. In her PhD, she explored the concept of democracy according to the European Court of Human Rights and tested whether democracy 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 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, and emotion detection; predictive policing

Position held at the OII

  • Research Fellow, February 2018 –
  • Postdoctoral Researcher, February 2017 – January 2018
  • MSc Student, October 2014 – August 2015

Current projects

Past projects