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College Contact Details

Room: B5

Tel: 32551

Professor of Law and the Open Society; Director, Centre for Intellectual Property and Information Law (CIPIL)

BA (Oxon); LLB (London); MA PhD (Princeton)


Commonwealth Studies and History, British-Irish relations, Citizenship Rights, Data Protection, Defamation Law, Empirical Legal Studies, EU Law, Freedom of Expression, Human Rights, Internet Governance, Law of Confidentiality and of the Misuse of Private Information, Media Law, Privacy Law, Research Governance, Socio-Legal Studies

CV / Biography


David Erdos is Director of the Centre for Intellectual Property and Information Law (CIPIL) and Professor of Law and the Open Society in the Faculty of Law and also WYNG Fellow in Law at Trinity Hall, University of Cambridge.  Before joining Cambridge in October 2013, David spent six years as a research fellow at the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, Faculty of Law and Balliol College, University of Oxford.

David’s principal research explores the nature of data protection especially as it intersects with the right to privacy, freedom of expression, freedom of information and freedom of research. In addition, David has research interests in Commonwealth and European legal and historical development including as this relates to "Westminster"-style bills of rights and related constitutional developments and to the British-Irish relationship.

David’s Data Protection and the Open Society project has developed arguments about the nature, substance and operation of the law by drawing on rigorous comparative empirical analysis using both quantitative and qualitative methods. This analysis, which draws on his background in both law and political science, has demonstrated that in terms of the application of Data Protection law to journalism, literature and the arts, large differences continue to be apparent between European Union countries. Moreover, such differences appear to reflect broader fissures in legal culture. Anglo and Germanic jurisdictions have tended to insulate journalism from Data Protection, whilst the law of Latin and East European jurisdictions stipulate onerous Data Protection standards even in this sensitive field. A strict approach here also seems correlated both with tight restrictions in the cognate fields of social science and biomedical research and with stringent formal Data Protection standards generally. At the doctrinal level, the project has explored, firstly, how to determine which activities fall within the special purposes derogation for journalism, art and literature and also how to map out an area "midway" between the special purposes derogation and default data protection for activities which either are only or very predominantly concerned with self-expression (for example, many types of social networking which involve indeterminate publication) or which facilitate both special purposes and self-expression (for example, general search engines).  In addition, David has explored how data protection has affected the flow of information within research – an area where its stipulations are taken relatively seriously - as well as the impact which the General Data Protection Regulation's inclusion of "academic expression" within the special purposes may have in this area. 

David’s consolidated research focuses on the origins and impacts of bills of rights especially in the UK and other Westminster-styled democracies (Australia, Canada, New Zealand). This work resulted in a publication of a single-authored OUP monograph, Delegating Rights Protection, in 2010. A review of this book is available here.

David’s academic work has received funding from a range of sources including the British Academy, Council of Europe, Economic and Social Research Council, European Union and Leverhulme Trust.

David can be found on Twitter @daviderdos

For a list of publications please see the CIPIL website.




European Data Protection Regulation, Journalism, and Traditional Publishers: Balancing on a Tightrope?, 2019)

ISBN 13:
Published Dec 2019

Delegating Rights Protection: The Rise of Bills of Rights in the Westminster World, 2010)