UCL Faculty of Laws

Dr Michael Veale

Dr Michael Veale

Associate Professor

Faculty of Laws


Joined UCL
1st Sep 2019

Research summary

Michael's research sits at the intersections of emerging digital technologies, Internet and data law, technology policy and human­­–computer interaction. His work has previously examined areas such as how the law applies to machine learning techniques in practice, how civil servants grapple with issues of algorithmic discrimination, how data protection law copes with new data processing practices, and the use and limitations of data rights. He is currently working on areas including the compliance of online tracking and advertising systems such as 'real-time bidding' with data protection law, the legal tensions caused by encrypted data analysis and business-side privacy-enhancing technologies (PETs), and the implications of synthetic content (such as so-called 'deep fakes'). He does, however, think that a blockchain is more or less just a distributed database with some tamper evident features, and there are many more interesting technologies in the world to research and deploy.

Teaching summary

Module convenor for:

  • LAWS0339 Internet Law and Policy (LLB)

  • LAWS0338 Privacy and Surveillance Law (LLM)

Contributes teaching on:

  • LAWS0008 Laws' Connections
  • LAWS0013 Tort Law

Previously taught on:

  • LAWS0014 European Union Law
  • LAWS0164 Corporations, Global Business and Environmental Protection
  • LAWS0210 Law and Policy of Climate Change
  • LAWS0211 Environmental Lawyering
  • LAWS0225 Law, Innovation and Public Policy
  • LAWS0021 Company Law


Dr Michael Veale joined the Faculty of Laws as Lecturer in Digital Rights and Regulation in 2019, and was appointed Associate Professor in 2021. His expertise sits at the cross over of computer science and technology law, particularly in the context of fundamental rights and advanced data analysis including machine learning and artificial intelligence. Dr Veale holds a PhD in the application of law and policy to the social challenges of machine learning from UCL STEaPP and UCL Computer Science. He previously worked at the European Commission and holds degrees from Maastricht University and the London School of Economics.

Dr Veale has authored and co-authored reports for a range of organisations, including the Law Society of England and Wales on Algorithms in the Justice System, the Royal Society and British Academy on the future of data governance, the United Nations on AI and public services, and the Commonwealth Secretariat on electoral cybersecurity. He has worked with a range of government departments and regulators in various capacities around issues of emerging technologies, law and society, including in the UK and the Netherlands.

His research on technology policy and his work bringing data rights issues to data protection regulators has been widely covered by the media, including the BBC, the Economist, the Financial Times, the Times, the Guardian, the New York Times, WIRED and New Scientist. It has also featured in Parliamentary debates and been cited favourably by a range of national and international regulators and governmental organisations. His paper “Slave to the Algorithm” (with Professor Lilian Edwards) received a Privacy Papers for Policymakers Award at the US Senate in 2019 for influential policy work in the area of data and society. His work has been published in law and policy journals as well as top computer science and HCI conferences.

In 2019­-2020 Dr Veale was also Digital Charter Fellow between the Alan Turing Institute, the UK’s National Centre for AI and Data Science, and the Department for Digital, Culture,  Media and Sport. He co-organises the ACM FAccT Conference on Fairness, Accountability and Transparency (formerly known as ACM FAT*) and is General Chair of Hot Topics in Privacy Enhancing Technologies (HotPETS) 2020-21. Dr Veale is a member of the Advisory Councils of the Open Rights Group and of Foxglove, and a research affiliate of the PILOT Lab at Penn State University. He is a member of the Ada Lovelace Institute's Rethinking Data working group, the scientific board of ALTEP-DP at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), and the Advisory Board of the EPSRC ReEnTrust project. He also acts as an advisor to the Open Society Foundations' Information Programme.

Funding Declaration:

  • DCMS & Alan Turing Institute (£20,420), September 2019–September 2020
  • Fondation Botnar (£270,000), April 2020–