Dr Maria Grazia Porcedda

Dr Maria Grazia Porcedda


I joined the School of Law as a post-doctoral Research Fellow in April 2017. I conduct research on cybercrime, privacy and data protection in the context of the CRITiCaL project funded by the EPSRC.

Before joining the University of Leeds, I was a Research Associate at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies (RSCAS, 2016-2017) and at the Department of Law of the European University Institute (EUI, 2012-2015). I previously worked at the Research Centre in Information, Law and Society (CRIDS, 2010-2011). I trained in the legal and societal matters of privacy, data protection and information security at the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD, 2011) and the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS, 2009).

I hold a PhD in Law and an LLM from the EUI, an MA in International Relations from the University of Bologna (with honours from the Collegio Superiore), and a BA in Political Science from the University of Cagliari. I was an exchange student at Nottingham Trent Univeristy (2005), Johns Hopkins SAIS (2007), University of California at Berkeley (2008) and ENS Lyon (2009). In 2007, I took part in the third Silicon Valley Study Tour.

My early work has been funded and acknowledged by the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei (Premio Ruffini) and the Italian Information Security Association (Clusit). I publish my work in European journals and edited collections on law and technology, and regularly present my research internationally.

In 2017 I was invited by the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) to teach classes on law and technology. In 2017/2018, I served as an international expert for the European Union Institute for Security Studies' Cyber Capacity Building Task Force, which advised the European Commission (DG DEVCO) on promoting a strategic approach and understanding of cyber capacity building among EU stakeholders. I am a member of Europol’s Data Experts Network, and advisory board member for data protection matters of the ERC-funded DomEqual Project.

Research interests

I research into law and technology with an applied, collaborative and interdisciplinary approach.

My main focus is on data protection, privacy, cybercrime and cyber security as regulated in EU law, a field I have been passionate about ever since taking part in the 2007 Silicon Valley Study Tour (https://www.siliconvalleystudytour.com/). In the context of the EPSRC-funded, cyber security-relevant CRITiCal Project (http://gtr.ukri.org/projects?ref=EP%2FM020576%2F1), I study with colleagues from different disciplinary backgrounds the feasibility and implications of understanding cybercrime in a cloud computing environment with the support of data science. In my PhD thesis, I investigated the interrelations between the prevention of cybercrime, the protection of personal data, private life and confidential communications within the cyber security policy of the European Union by looking into the role played by technological applications (http://cadmus.eui.eu/handle/1814/45944).

I also conduct resarch on the permissibility of surveillance technologies to safeguard public security, an area which I have worked on extensively as a member of the SurPRISE (http://surprise-project.eu/) and SURVEILLE (https://surveille.eui.eu/) FP7-funded projects. I recently co-edited a book on Privacy, Surveillance and Control with philosophers from the Centre for Security and Society of the University of Freiburg. 

Furthermore, my legal research is empirical. The legal analysis I conduct in the context of the CRITiCal project is backed by data collected from direct and indirect sources. As a member of the CharterClick! project (http://www.charterclick.eu/), I surveyed the approach of National Data Protection Authorities towards the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights; within the SurPRISE Project, I led the Italian participatory events on surveillance, privacy and security (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ylHp4ZUgaGE), to question whether citizens wish to give up privacy in exchange for greater security.

My research is policy-oriented. All work mentioned above features policy advice, and as a member of the Cyber Capacity Building Task Force I directly advised the European Commission (https://www.iss.europa.eu/content/cyber-capacity-building-task-force-0).


<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://essl.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD (2017) 'Cybersecurity and Privacy rights in EU law', European University Institute
  • LLM (2012) 'Data Protection and the Prevention of Cybercrime', European University Institute
  • MA in International Relations (2009), University of Bologna
  • Degree of Collegio Superiore (2009), University of Bologna
  • BA in Political Science (2006), University of Cagliari

Research groups and institutes

  • Centre for Criminal Justice Studies