Centre for Information Rights
Examining the overlap between information and privacy law, new technologies and methods of Big Data analysis.View content
The CIR is based in the Department of Law in the Faculty of Law, Crime and Justice and linked with the Department of Digital Technologies. CIR recognises that the term 'information rights' spans a wide range of live issues, including: machine learning, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, the 'Internet of Things', information sharing, freedom of information (FOI), privacy, data protection, cyberlaw, intellectual property, e-disclosure and Government open data.
The CIR aims to:
- Provide a focus for research in Information Rights;
- Contribute to developing policy and practice;
- Explore ways of exchanging knowledge with subject matter experts, practitioners, students and other academics;
- Contribute to training and educational activities;
- Engage with the local and wider community to provide opportunities for information-related issues to be debated.
The CIR is pleased to endorse the syllabus of Act Now's Data Protection Practitioner Certificate. The syllabus is focussed on providing practitioners with a practical understanding of data protection and knowledge of how the law may change in the future. NB: this endorsement does not imply any guaranteed progression onto University of Winchester programmes, nor does the certificate give you any advanced standing for University of Winchester Programmes.
The implications of family use of technology for children's privacy
Today's children are 'Generation Tagged' - born into a world where social media sharing and data exploitation have become the norm. However, a backlash is brewing: children increasingly take legal action against their parents for sharing images of their offspring on social media without their consent. In a recent interview for Glamour magazine, Dr Emma Nottingham calls for better regulation around 'sharenting'.
For her latest topical blog post on the LSE website, Sharenting in a socially distanced world, CIR Director Dr Emma Nottingham has teamed up with former CIR Director Marion Oswald and Claire Bessant from Northumbria University to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on family use of technology. With families actively encouraged to share images of their personal life during lockdown, are COVID-19 response measures altering public attitudes and cultures towards the sharing of data and information about children? What are the possible future implications for children’s privacy?
For more blog posts, see below.
What we do
The annual Trust, Risk, Information and the Law Conference (TRILCon)
The CIR organises the annual high-profile Trust, Risk, Information and the Law Conference (TRILCon), which has featured such high-profile keynote speakers as John McNamara, Senior Inventor and Innovation Centre Technologist Lead at IBM, Renate Samson, Chief Executive of Big Brother Watch, and Professor Sir David Omand GCB, former Director of GCHQ.
The 2019 conference took place on 1 May and was convened by Dr Emma Nottingham, Senior Lecturer in Child and Family Law. This year's theme was 'Caring for critically ill children in the glare of digital media'. Find out more.
TRILCon 2018 was held on Wednesday 25 April. The overall theme was: 'Public Law, Politics and the Constitution: a new battleground between the law and technology?'
We welcomed keynote speakers Michael Barton, Chief Constable of Durham Constabulary, and Jamie Bartlett, Director of the Centre for the Analysis of Social Media for Demos in conjunction with the University of Sussex and author of several books, including Radicals and The Dark Net.
Open-access journal 'Information Rights, Policy & Practice'
Members of CIR edit the open-access Journal of Information Rights, Policy and Practice, published by Winchester University Press.
Projects and presentations
Generation Tagged/Children in the Media projects
Former Centre Director Marion Oswald instigated a major participatory research project titled Children in the Media, which explores the long-term effects on young people of having been depicted in the broadcast media as children. Currently led by Child and Family Law specialist Dr Emma Nottingham under the overarching title 'Generation Tagged', it had broadened its scope to also include a focus on parental posting of children’s lives on social media ('sharenting').
This interdisciplinary project considers the pervasive nature of data collection about the individual underage learner through digital means within the schooling context.
In light of the present-day global outbreak of Covid-19, learners rely more than ever on digital systems to be educated - a basic human right: Articles 28 and 29 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Yet while UNICEF states that the purpose of education is ‘the preparation of the child for responsible life in a free society’, we question whether the commercialised power structure of learner data processing for the purpose of formal schooling will indeed instil taught freedom.
In addition, children today are born into a society in which privacy intrusion appears to be a social norm and where digital platforms have always featured within their school learning experience. We seek to directly and effectively educate underage learners to be aware of their legal right to opt out, and why they might want to exercise this.
Funded by Human Data Interaction (Learning Skills and Social Justice Theme), this project is a collaboration between Dr Caroline Stockman (Department of Education Studies and Liberal Arts), Dr Emma Nottingham (Centre for Information Rights) and Professor Maria Burke (Faculty of Business, Law and Digital Technologies).
Artificial Intelligence and Algorithms within Criminal Justice project
This project explores the potential impact of introducing machine learning algorithmic support tools into criminal justice decision-making. Led by Marion Oswald, Christine Rinik and Centre research student Petros Terzis.
Members of the Centre are involved in networks, committees and organisations focussed on Information Rights issues, and they regularly present on Information Rights matters.
On 27 November 2018, CIR welcomed Christina Blacklaws, the 174th President of the Law Society of England and Wales and the fifth woman to hold this office. Christina’s talk covered diversity in the law, the impact of technology, and equality and access to justice. Watch the full video of Christina Blacklaws' 2018 talk for the Centre for Information Rights.
Marion Oswald (former CIR Director):
- On 12 Nov. 2018, Marion Oswald gave oral evidence at the 2nd session of the Law Society's Commission on algorithms in the justice system. Find out more.
- On 4 November 2018, Marion Oswald presented an invited talk at Southwell Minster (the Cathedral for Nottinghamshire) on Artificial Intelligence, machine learning and human flourishing.
- Keynote address at CyGen EU project conference on 6 February 2018
- Invited speaker at Royal Society Discussion meeting 'The growing ubiquity of algorithms in society' 30-31 October 2017 (read it HERE; listen to it HERE).
- Invited speaker at 'Artificial Intelligence, Big Data and the Rule of Law' 9 October 2017
- In 2016, Marion Oswald talked about social media and privacy at a workshop exploring the spread of provocative content on social media. Watch the video.
Timandra Harkness (Visiting Fellow): 'Big Data: who's in control?'
Professor Maria Burke:
- Inaugural Lecture 'The Ever Expanding Boundaries of Knowledge'
- 3 Nov. 2018: 'The Ethics of Artificial Intelligence' at Science or Religion Symposium, Winchester Science Centre. Prof. Burke shared the stage with Keynote Speaker Prof. Brian Cox.
In Nov. 2016, Ben presented 'A Novel Taxonomy of Opportunities and Risks in Online Gaming Environments' at the International Conference on Management of Emergent Digital EcoSystems (MEDES) in Hendaye, France.
Highlight CIR blog posts
Latest blog: Covid-19 and the implications for children's privacy of family use of technology
For her latest topical blog post on the LSE website, CIR Director Dr Emma Nottingham has teamed up with former CIR Director Marion Oswald and Claire Bessant from Northumbria University to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on family use of technology. With families actively encouraged to share images of their personal life during lockdown, are COVID-19 response measures altering public attitudes and cultures towards the sharing of data and information about children? What are the possible future implications for children’s privacy?
For more blog posts, please see Dr Nottingham's academic profile
Meet the team
Department of Law
Visiting Fellows and Professors
Petros Terzis: 'Who, then, in law is my neighbour: privacy, tort law and the design of intelligent systems'
Supervisors: Dr Emma Nottingham; Dr Ben Sanders
Petros' interdisciplinary research mainly focusses on liability issues arising from the ‘actions’ undertaken by systems of Artificial Intelligence. He has presented his research findings at national and international conferences including, Symposium on Data Ethics 2019 at the Centre for Translational studies University of Sydney, WeRobot 2019 at the University of Miami, the Socio-Legal Studies Association Annual Conference 2019 and the British and Irish Law and Education Technology Association Annual Conference 2019.
Petros worked as a Research Associate on the 2018-19 Artificial Intelligence and Algorithms within Criminal Justice Project - find out more. Petros' latest publication, 'Shaping the State of machine learning algorithms within law enforcement' co-authored with Marion Oswald and Christine Rinik, is a workshop report exploring the implications of machine learning in a police context.
Petros has also received grant funding from HumanDdata Interaction for a research project exploring 'Judgment, responsibility, and expectations of the onlife reality', alongside Dr Emma Nottingham and Dr Martina Hutton.
In 2019 he was awarded the Outstanding Commitment to Research Award by the Director of PGR studies at University of Winchester.
John Northam:'An examination of the correlation between informational data privacy expectations and specific social contexts'
Supervisors: Prof. Maria Burke; Dr Emma Nottingham
Supuni Perera: 'Mafia Women and Artificial Intelligence - What You See is Not What You Get: a diagnostic enquiry of a lost femininity in the judicial reasoning. What does the technological modern court hold?'
Supervisors: Dr Vicenzo Scalia, Professor Tim Hall, Dr Emma Nottingham
Supuni has extensive experience of collaborative and peer reviewed legal research projects. She has presented research findings during conferences at Harvard University (US), University of Wroclaw (PL) and the University of Southampton (UK). She has also served on the organising committees for academic conferences hosted by the University of Southampton, and as Editor-in-chief of the University of Southampton Law Review. Supuni's recent publications include a contribution to Women's Legal Landmarks: Celebrating 100 Years of Women and Law in the UK and Ireland (Hart Publishing, 2018). Supuni also has experience of teaching law to undergraduates and international postgraduates.
Supuni works at Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP in the commercial law team, with direct experience of legal practice and support in the UK, Italy and Sri Lanka. She is commencing a training contract with them in September 2020 and will quality as a solicitor in 2022.