Dr Kevin Macnish


Kevin Macnish is Assistant Professor in Ethics and IT at the University of Twente, The Netherlands. His principle research is in the ethics of surveillance, security and technology. He is the author of the book Surveillance Ethics: an introduction as well as numerous articles on surveillance ethics. Kevin has been interviewed by BBC radio and television, Channel 4, the Atlantic magazine, and the Sydney Morning Herald, and has spoken at both the House of Commons and the House of Lords in relation to his research.

Kevin conducts ethical analysis for security and ICT projects. He has been involved with a number of European H2020 projects with a focus in these areas and is an Ethics Expert with REA, the research arm of the European Commission. He is currently leading the University of Twente input to the H2020 SHERPA project, investigating ethical issues arising from data analytics and artificial intelligence, and is a co-leader in the Marie-Curie Innovative Training Network PROTECT on privacy and personal data.

Research interests

Ethical issues arising in security (especially cybersecurity) and surveillance, including privacy, proportionality, automation and consent.



Macnish, K. (2019) “Privacy in Research Ethics” in R. Iphofen, ed., Handbook of Research Ethics and Scientific Integrity, Springer

Lawlor, R. and K. Macnish (2019) “Protecting Politicians’ Privacy for the Sake of Democracy” in C. Fox & J. Saunders, eds., Media Ethics, Free Speech, and the Requirements of Democracy, Routledge

Macnish, K. & Fernandez, A. (2019) Ethics in Cybersecurity and AI: A Case Study. ORBIT, 1/2

Macnish, K, Ryan, M., & Stahl, B. (2019) Understanding Ethics and Human Rights in Smart Information Systems: A Multi Case Study Approach. ORBIT, 1/2

Macnish, K. (2018) Government Surveillance and Why Defining Privacy Matters in a Post-Snowden World. Journal of Applied Philosophy 35/2, 417-32

Macnish, K. (2015) An Eye for an Eye: Proportionality and Surveillance. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice. 18(3), 529-548

Macnish, K. (2014) Just Surveillance? Towards a Normative Theory of Surveillance. Surveillance and Society. 12(1), 142–153

Macnish, K. (2012) Unblinking Eyes: The Ethics of Automating Surveillance. Ethics and Information Technology. 14(2), 151-167


Macnish, K. and J. Galliott (eds.) (forthcoming) Democracy and Big Data, tbc

Macnish, K. (2017) Surveillance Ethics: An Introduction, Routledge


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

Research groups and institutes

  • Ethics of Artificial Intelligence and Big Data