Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Available

Department of Computer Science, University of St Andrews 

Tristan Henderson, Senior Lecturer in Computer Science at the Univnetwork-cablesersity of St Andrews is recruiting for a research fellow to work on a new Wellcome Trust funded project on predicting consent in online social network health research.

Online social networks (OSNs) such a s Facebook and Twitter are used by hundreds of millions of people daily. This popularity means that they form an attractive venue for health research, used both by patients for seeking support, and researchers seeking to gather data about behaviour. Studying people on such services is fraught with ethical challenges, however, owing to the sensitive nature of the topics being discussed. Concerns about privacy and surveillance mean that OSN users might not wish to share data with researchers, and researchers might inadvertently gather data to which consent had not been granted.

This new project will investigate whether it is possible to predict when social media users consent to share data with stakeholders, specifically in health research, such as researchers and clinicians. We aim to make the consent process better reflect the context in which data were created, and respect users’ preferences about which data should be made available to which stakeholders. For example, someone seeking support from their peers because they are anxious about an upcoming medical procedure might not want this shared with medical researchers, while they may want reports about the side effects of their medication to be made available to clinicians.

Our previous work shows that consent for sharing social media data with researchers is driven by the purpose of research. More recently we found that traditional `informed consent’ forms are insufficient for capturing willingness to share social media data. By applying a model based on “contextual integrity” we improve the accuracy of consent without burdening participants with consent requests, by detecting whether participants conform to social norms for sharing data with researchers.

The research fellow will explore whether it is possible to extend our contextual integrity consent work to health research. It would be suited to someone with an HCI and ethics background, and/or with some experience in machine learning. The project is initially funded for one year through a Wellcome Trust Seed Award, but these awards are intended to lead to full multi-year follow-on projects.

The full details can be found on the St Andrews vacancies web site. Informal queries are welcomed by e-mail to The closing date is 30 June 2016.

Big Data Surveillance PhD studentships available

Two Doctoral Studentships are available at the School of Management, University of St Andrews, October 2016 start
CRISP is the UK partner of the SSHRC funded Big Data Surveillance project, led by Queens University in Canada. We currently have funding available for two PhD studentships to complete research that will contribute to the project’s findings. The studentships are funded by SSHRC and by The School of Management at the University of St Andrews.

The Big Data Surveillance project aims to understand the impact of big data analytics in everyday life. At CRISP we are very interested in understanding how analytics changes aspects of the consumer experience as well as the activities of marketing professionals.

We invite applications from doctoral candidates in the following two areas:

–      Big Data Analytics and the changing nature of marketing work

–      Consumer experiences of data donation

‌The ‌successful applicants will have the opportunity to work with a number of scholars and students associated with the Big Data Surveillance project at Queen’s University, the University of Victoria, the University of Alberta, the University of Ottawa and University of Toronto, as well as those at the University of St Andrews School of Management and the Centre for Research into Information, Surveillance and Privacy. Both studentships will be supervised by Professor Kirstie Ball.

For more information about the studentships and how to apply, please see this page, or contact Kirstie directly:  The deadline for applications is 30th June 2016

Duncan Campbell to deliver the CRISP Annual Lecture

fiberoptic-cable21st June, 2016, University of Edinburgh, 5.45pm.

CRISP is pleased to announce that the 2016 CRISP Annual Lecture will be delivered on 21st June 2016 at The Teviot Lecture Theatre, University of Edinburgh by Duncan Campbell. Among other things, Duncan is known for his pioneering journalism and campaign activity around government communications surveillance. His lecture is entitled:

Big Data and Broken Law: Suspicionless Surveillance in a World of Ubiquitous Data

Attendance is free, but participants must register for tickets by emailing

You can download and distribute the event poster here

The Third Biannual CRISP Doctoral Training School

The COld College Quad. Credit Neal Smith crop_0ountdown Begins…

The third biannual CRISP Doctoral Training School will take place at the University of Edinburgh from the 20–24 June 2016. The School will feature five days of intensive training in multi-disciplinary research methods and skills in the field of Surveillance Studies. It will also feature a range of knowledge-exchange and research-training activities, as well as providing social and networking opportunities.

The school will be delivered via a range of interactive lectures and workshops and will be facilitated by leading surveillance scholars. Students will have the opportunity to apply this training to their own doctoral research and to learn transferable research skills. Scheduled speakers include (in no particular order):

Dr Heather Morgan, University of Aberdeen

Dr Claudia Pagliari, University of Edinburgh

Dr Randolph Lewis, University of Texas

Professor Mike Nellis, University of Strathclyde

Dr Eric Stoddart, University of St Andrews

Nik Williams, Scottish PEN

Professor Kirstie Ball, University of St Andrews

Duncan Campbell, Investigatory Journalist and Forensic Scientist

Dr Richard Jones, University of Edinburgh

Dr Michael Nagenborg, University of Twente

Professor Charles Raab, University of Edinburgh

Dr Kami Vaniea, University of Edinburgh

Professor William Webster, University of Stirling

Also keep your eyes open for the CRISP annual lecture which takes place on the 21st June


Welcome to CRISP at St Andrews University


External Website –
Twitter – @CrispSurv

Welcome to the website for the Centre for Research into Information, Surveillance and Privacy (CRISP). CRISP is a collaborative initiative between the University of St Andrews’ Management School, Stirling Management School and the University of Edinburgh’s School of Social and Political Sciences and School of Law. It is a new research centre that aims to become one of the leading research and knowledge exchange centres in Europe studying the many dimensions of the surveillance society and its consequences. CRISP also incorporates the Scottish Privacy Forum, a group of Scottish privacy, data protection and information professionals.

We will achieve our aims through producing and disseminating the results of funded scholarly research, media engagement and the promotion of networking and knowledge exchange between practitioners, academics, students, activists and society more generally.

Professor William Webster
Professor Kirstie Ball
Professor Charles Raab

CRISP Directors

This site is managed by St Andrews CRISP team:

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