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Title: Legal clashes and uncertainties in the digital age, with a particular focus on the public sector : researching across boundaries
Author: Oswald, Marion
ISNI:       0000 0005 0290 8343
Awarding Body: Northumbria University
Current Institution: Northumbria University
Date of Award: 2020
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The last decade has seen digital technologies become ubiquitous and integrated into everyday life. The Work spans eight years of this period and addresses several legal challenges, clashes and uncertainties that have arisen as a result, particularly in respect of the use of digital technologies by public sector bodies. In this thesis commentary, the Work is categorised by reference to three sub-themes: i) digital processing of information, legal conflicts and harms; ii) questions around data sharing and trust; iii) AI and algorithmic analysis in policing and the legal and policy framework. The commentary discusses how the Work, as an integrated whole, represents an independent and original contribution to Cyberlaw and has championed and proven the value of an approach that is 'interdisciplinary' both within the legal field and outside of it. Digital technologies do not exist in a vacuum. Research across legal and other boundaries, as demonstrated by the Work, is necessary to address the impact on interlocking legal, operational and policy systems, and therefore to support convincing recommendations for change. Mixed-methodologies underpin the Work, combining doctrinal and law-in-context/law-in-action approaches with empirical research, historical and comparative methods, freedom of information request methods and/or participatory research, in order to deepen understanding of the issues identified and explored from different perspectives. These methodologies, combined with interdisciplinary working, could be described as an 'inhouse' approach to legal research, defined by practical knowledge and understanding of an operational context, awareness of relevant legal frameworks, translation of theoretical concepts, and the independence of thought necessary for pragmatic conclusions and recommendations. The Work has informed further academic investigation, both by the author and others, and led to policy and operational developments. Various new avenues of research are suggested by Work as we continue to see misuses of the digital person, the siloing of knowledge by commercial bodies and the side-lining of the law in favour of en vogue self-regulatory and 'ethical' approaches for the oversight of algorithm-assisted public sector decisionmaking.
Supervisor: Newman, Christopher ; Mccartney, Carole Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: M200 Law by Topic