Dr Brent Mittelstadt

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Dr. Brent Mittelstadt is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in data ethics at the Oxford Internet Institute. His research addresses the ethics of algorithms, machine learning, artificial intelligence and data analytics (‘Big Data’). Over the past five years his focus has broadly been on the ethics and governance of emerging information technologies, including a special interest in medical applications. Reflecting this, in the past year he has worked on the Data Analysis in IoT Solutions for Healthcare (DASH) project, part of the EPSRC’s PETRAS IoT Hub, to develop ethical guidelines for designing the health-related Internet of Things. Prior to this he collaborated with Prof. Luciano Floridi on the Ethics of Biomedical Big Data project at the University of Oxford. With support from the Brocher Foundation and the University of Oxford’s John Fell Fund he has recently organised workshops and symposia on ethics, policy and governance for biomedical Big Data, which led to the publication of an edited volume in Springer’s Law, Governance and Technology book series and a special issue in Philosophy & Technology. He also organises the Oxford Internet Institute’s Ethics and Philosophy of Information research cluster.

His immediate research focuses on ethical auditing of algorithms, including the development of standards and methods to ensure fairness, accountability, transparency, interpretability, and group privacy in complex algorithmic systems. A recent paper on the lack of meaningful and accountability and transparency mechanisms for automated decision-making in the General Data Protection Regulation highlights the pressing need for work in these areas. 

He holds two Master’s degrees from Utrecht Universiteit and Linköpings Universitet relating to a dissertation on the ethical acceptability of genetically modifying animals used in scientific research to not feel pain. His doctoral research, conducted in collaboration with the FP7 projects ETICA and PHM-Ethics, looked into the ethical implications of personal health monitoring devices, in particular how they may undermine ‘internal goods’ of traditional medical relationships.

Research interests

ethics, medical ICT, data mining, technology governance, responsible research and innovation, Habermas, information ethics, virtue ethics, hermeneutics, bioethics, computer ethics, epistemology

Positions held at the OII

  • Research Associate, February 2017 –
  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow, October 2014 – February 2017


  • Mittelstadt, B.D. and Floridi, L. (2016) The Ethics of Biomedical Big Data. Springer.


  • Mittelstadt, B., Fairweather, B., Shaw, M. and McBride, N. (2015) "The ethical implications of personal health monitoring" In: Business Law and Ethics: Concepts, Methodologies, Tools, and Applications. 1414-1440.
  • Mittelstadt, B., Stahl, B. and Fairweather, B. (2013) PHM-Ethics and ETICA: complementary approaches to ethical assessment.. 117-135.

Conference papers

  • Timmersman, J. and Mittelstadt, B.D.M. (2014) "Reflexivity and Value-Sensitive Design", Computer Ethics: Philosophical Enquiry (CEPE) 2014 conference proceedings.
  • Mittelstadt, B.D.M., Fairweather, N.B., McBride, N. and Shaw, M. (2012) "Privacy, risk and personal health monitoring", ETHICOMP 2013 Conference Proceedings.
  • Mittelstadt, B.D.M., Fairweather, N.B., McBride, N. and Shaw, M. (2010) "Ethical issues of personal health monitoring: a literature review", ETHICOMP 2011 Conference Proceedings.

Journal articles


  • Mittelstadt, B.D.M. (2013) "On the ethical implications of personal health monitoring" In: A conceptual framework for emerging discourses. Leicester: De Montfort University.
  • Mittelstadt, B.D.M. (2013) "Privacy and personal health monitoring" In: FRRIICT Observatory.
  • Mittelstadt, B.D.M. (2013) "Personal health monitoring" In: FRRIICT Observatory.
  • Mittelstadt, B.D.M. (2013) "Personal data protection" In: FRRIICT Observatory.
  • Mittelstadt, B.D.M. (2009) Transforming the Brute: On the Ethical Acceptability of Creating Painless Animals. Linkoping University Electronic Press.

Internet publications

  • Mittelstadt, B.D.M., Wachter, S. and Russell, C. Counterfactual Explanations Without Opening the Black Box: Automated Decisions and the GDPR.