Andrew Charlesworth holds a joint post in the Law School and Computer Science Department. His post was initially funded by a range of commercial sponsors, and Andrew continues to work with organisations such as Vodafone, Herbert Smith LLP and HP Labs on a range of legal issues. His research runs across a number of legal subject areas including, but not limited to, information technology law, intellectual property law, e-commerce law, public law, and socio-legal studies. The thread that holds this somewhat disparate collection together is the role of the law in determining the access to, use of, and controls over, all kinds of information; whether the information is software source code, personal data, information collected for research, or data held by public authorities.
After the marathon effort to complete the new edition of Information Technology Law (with Diane Rowland and Uta Kohl of Aberystwyth University) forthcoming in August 2011, Andrew is currently on sabbatical working on a monograph on data privacy regulation. This develops Andrew's previous work, including ‘Information Privacy Law in the European Union: E Pluribus Unum or Ex Uno Plures’ (2003) 54 Hastings Law Journal 931-969; ‘The Future of Data Protection Law’ (2006) 11 Information Security Technical Report 46-54. ISSN: 1363-4127; and 'Accountability as a Way Forward for Privacy Protection in the Cloud' 5931/2009 Lecture Notes in Computer Science 131-144 (with Pearson, S.). It also draws upon research undertaken during the ESRC E-Society Programme project Federated Identities, ‘Circles of Trust’ & Decentred Regulation in M-commerce (2005-2007), the joint research project undertaken for the Information Commissioner’s Office, Privacy Impact Assessments in the UK (2007) (which won a prize for research from the Spanish Data Protection Agency) and the joint AHRC project Digital Lives: Research Collections for the 21st Century (2007-2009). The book will:
While much of his present research is heavily geared towards data privacy, Andrew's recent research has included consideration of: the impact of Digital Rights Management technology on copyright law; international approaches to regulating encryption technologies; the legal and ethical implications of online research; computer misuse, mutual legal assistance and extradition; and the impact of freedom of information legislation on academic research. He particularly enjoys undertaking research that has outputs and impacts beyond just academic publications, i.e. that affect policy and practice in Higher Education and beyond. While the ICO's Privacy Impact Assessments in the UK project has probably had the most impact, with PIAs now being undertaken on a regular basis by local and central government, as well as the private sector, Andrew admits that he takes a certain pride in another rather different output, that will probably have the highest readership of anything he ever writes.
Andrew currently supervises three postgraduate research students. Mireille Caruana (uses of personal data in the European criminal justice sector) and Robert Binney (open source software as an IP paradigm shift) in the Law School; and David Tancock (An Automated Decision Support System for Privacy Impact Assessments) in Computer Science. He welcomes applications for doctoral study in any of the areas in which he researches.