• Sandra Wachter

Dr Sandra Wachter

Research Fellow

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.

Selected Publications

Transparent, explainable, and accountable AI for robotics

Science Robotics  31 May 2017:
Vol. 2, Issue 6, eaan6080
DOI: 10.1126/scirobotics.aan6080

Journal articles

Internet publications

  • Wachter, S., Mittelstadt, B. and Russell, C. (2017) Counterfactual Explanations without Opening the Black Box: Automated Decisions and the GDPR.