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Trust & Technology Initiative


The Compliant and Accountable Systems Research Group (CompAcctSys), led by Dr Jat Singh, is a multi-disciplinary team working at the intersection of computer science and law.

Research focuses on issues of compliance and accountability as they relate to emerging technologies. We consider how technology can be better designed, engineered and deployed to accord with legal and regulatory concerns, and seek to better ground legal and policy discussions in technical realities.

Current research themes

Broadly, our research focuses on issues of compliance and accountability as they relate to emerging technologies. Some current topics include:

  • Auditing complex and automated systems:   Exploring requirements and mechanisms for facilitating the meaningful inspection and interrogation of systems and their behaviour. A current focus is on (i) augmented reality systems and the Internet of Things, and (ii) the use of machine learning in various contexts.
  • Compliance and rights engineering:   How systems can be better built to be (demonstrably) compliant with legal obligations, and to account for the rights of individuals.
  • Algorithmic 'reviewability’:   Contrasting with the general focus on ‘explanation’, we consider that which is necessary to facilitate the review of algorithmic and automated decision-making (ML) systems.
  • Decision provenance:   Considering how tracing the flow of data can be leveraged to assist accountability in complex, automated and ML-driven environments.
  • Centralised v. decentralised infrastructures:   Considering the potential of data management and compute infrastructures, and their legal, regulatory and policy implications. Currently looking at personal data stores and data trusts.
  • Platforms and online harms:   Considering the design, use and abuse of platforms in perpetuating harms. The current focus is on social media (recommender systems), and cloud services.

Lead contact: Dr Jat Singh

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