Dr Maria Murphy


Senior Lecturer
Associate Professor

New House
(01) 474 7223


Dr Maria Helen Murphy joined the faculty at Maynooth University in 2014. Maria researches in the areas of privacy law, surveillance, data protection, media law, and technology law and human rights. In addition to publishing in a variety of national and international journals, Maria has authored the book, Surveillance and the Law: Language, Power and Privacy (2019) and coauthored the book, Information and Communications Technology Law in Ireland (2017). 

Maria is an Executive Board Member of the Irish Council for Civil Liberties, a Member of the National Advisory Council for Online Safety, a Team Member of the Center for AI and Digital Policy, and a Member of the National Standards Authority of Ireland Top Team on Standards for Artificial Intelligence.

In addition to completing her Irish Research Council funded PhD at University College Cork in 2013, Maria holds a magna cum laude LLM degree from Temple University (Philadelphia), and a First Class Honours BCL (International) degree from UCC.

Maria tweets about privacy, data protection, and technology law at https://twitter.com/maria_h_murphy.

Research Interests

My research focuses on the intersections of law and technology. In particular, my work considers the appropriate role of law in ensuring sufficient protection of human rights, including the rights to privacy, freedom of expression, and the protection of personal data

Research Projects

Title Role Description Start date End date Amount
Understanding the risks to cross border transfer of personal data: EU-UK Data Adequacy Technical Proposal PI While the UK data protection framework is currently recognised as adequate by the EU, the adequacy decisions are explicitly time-limited (subject to review by the EU Commission in 2025 at the latest) and proposed and mooted legal reforms threaten to change the legal landscape in a way that would jeopardise the viability of a further adequacy finding. This research seeks to understand the credibility of this threat and what alternatives would be available for Northern Ireland to mitigate the impact of the loss of adequacy should this occur. This research requires a profound understanding of existing EU data protection law, including the factors influencing the Commission’s current adequacy decisions and the caselaw of the CJEU. This must be combined with detailed knowledge of the UK’s existing data protection law and proposed data protection reforms, including the legal and political context which drove these proposals, as well as broader proposals considering the reform of human rights law in the UK. This legal analysis must be combined with relevant economic insights, which inform the context in which adequacy sits and highlight its significance for the Northern Ireland economy. 07/07/2023 30/09/2023 0
Trust, Artificial Intelligence, and Human Rights PI 01/09/2023 31/08/2024
Media representations of data protection during the Covid-19 pandemic: Assessing the portrayal of data protection issues alongside and in opposition to public health interests PI This project seeks to assess how the media portrays the issue of data protection during the Covid-19 pandemic. Data protection challenges have been identified in many contexts – from the development of the COVID Tracker App, to the unplanned shift to working/studying from home, to the collection of personal information by private parties for the purposes of contact tracing. A key part of this project’s assessment of the media coverage will be aided by systematic content analysis of articles published in major newspapers. This project is particularly interested in whether data protection issues are presented as matters of fundamental rights. Both the right to ‘respect for private life’ and the right to ‘protection of personal data’ are limited rights in the European Constitutional order. There are circumstances where other rights and interests will legitimately circumscribe their exercise. Notwithstanding this, human rights law requires that rights are only limited in a way that is provided for by law and is proportionate to the legitimate aims pursued. This project aims to provide insight into the role the media plays in informing public understanding of the nuanced questions of data protection in the context of a public health crisis. 01/12/2020 31/05/2021 0
Citizen Juries and Online Harms PI The purpose of this funding is to run two online citizens’ juries (in London/Dublin) as a means of exploring what the concept of and legislated proposal for online harms means to the participants. These dialogues, convened with citizens and expert stakeholders (those with knowledge of online harms, social media and the internet and the legal frameworks governing its use), will deliberate and come to conclusions on the impact of the regime. It is intended that these ‘scoping’ events will form the foundation for larger, face-to-face, citizen juries that will take place in different locations in the UK and Ireland. 01/06/2021 01/07/2022 0
Privacy: Gathering insights from lawyers and technologists PI 01/01/2015 01/02/2015 0


Year Publication
2019 Maria Helen Murphy (2019) *Surveillance and the Law: Language, Power and Privacy. London: Routledge.
2017 Rónán Kennedy and Maria Helen Murphy (2017) *Information and Communications Technology Law in Ireland. Dublin: Clarus Press.

Published Report

Year Publication
2023 Orla Lynskey, Maria Helen Murphy, and Katherine Nolan (2023) Understanding the risks to cross border transfer of personal data: EU-UK Data Adequacy. Department for the Economy Northern Ireland, . [Link]

Peer Reviewed Journal

Year Publication
2022 Murphy, MH (2022) 'Assessing the Implications of Schrems II for EU–US Data Flow'. International and Comparative Law Quarterly, 71 :245-262. [DOI] [Full-Text]
2017 John Danaher, Michael J Hogan, Chris Noone, Rónán Kennedy, Anthony Behan, Aisling De Paor, Heike Felzmann, Muki Haklay, Su-Ming Khoo, John Morison, Maria Helen Murphy, Niall O'Brolchain, Burkhard Schafer, Kalpana Shankar (2017) 'Algorithmic Governance: Developing a Research Agenda through the Power of Collective Intelligence'. BIG DATA AND SOCIETY, 4 (2). [Full-Text]
2017 Maria Helen Murphy (2017) '*Algorithmic Surveillance: The Collection Conundrum'. International Review of Law, Computers & Technology, . http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13600869.2017.1298497 [Full-Text]
2016 Maria Helen Murphy (2016) '*Technological Solutions to Privacy Questions: What is the Role of Law''. Information and Communications Technology Law, 25 . [Link] http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13600834.2015.1134148 [Full-Text]
2016 Maria Helen Murphy (2016) '*Transparency and Surveillance: Assessing the Approach of the Investigatory Powers Tribunal in Liberty & Others''. Public Law, . [Full-Text]
2015 Maria Helen Murphy (2015) '*The Introduction of Smart Meters in Ireland: Privacy Implications and the Role of Privacy by Design''. Dublin University Law Journal, 38 . [Full-Text]
2015 Maria Helen Murphy (2015) '*Repealing the Human Rights Act: Implications for the Belfast Agreement''. King's Law Journal, 26 . [Link] http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09615768.2015.1104948 [Full-Text]
2014 Maria Helen Murphy (2014) '*Data Retention in the Aftermath of Digital Rights Ireland and Seitlinger'. Irish Criminal Law Journal, 24 . [Link] [Full-Text]
2014 Maria Helen Murphy (2014) '*A Shift in the Approach of the European Court of Human Rights in Surveillance Cases: A Rejuvenation of Necessity'. European Human Rights Law Review, 5 .
2014 Maria Helen Murphy (2014) '*The Views Expressed Represent Mine Alone: Academic Freedom and Social Media'. SCRIPted, 11 . [Full-Text]
2014 Maria Helen Murphy (2014) '*The Pendulum Effect: Comparisons Between the Snowden Revelations and the Church Committee. What are the Potential Implications for Europe?'. Information and Communications Technology Law, 23 (3):192-219. [DOI] [Full-Text]
2013 Maria Helen Murphy (2013) '*The Relationship between the European Court of Human Rights and National Legislative Bodies: Considering the Merits and the Risks of the Approach of the Court in Surveillance Cases'. IRISH JOURNAL OF LEGAL STUDIES, .
2012 Maria Helen Murphy (2012) '*Investigative Use of GPS Tracking Devices and the European Court of Human Rights'. Irish Criminal Law Journal, 22 (1).
2010 Maria Helen Murphy (2010) '*The Criminal Justice (Forensic Evidence and DNA Database System) Bill 2010: The Legislative Response to the Marper Judgment—Are the Proposals Compliant with the European Convention on Human Rights?'. University College Dublin Law Review, 10 .

Book Chapter

Year Publication
2024 Maria Helen Murphy (2024) 'Article 26' In: The EU Law Enforcement Directive (LED). Oxford : Oxford University Press. [Link]
2020 Maria Helen Murphy (2020) '*Fundamental Rights and Evolving Technologies: Considering the Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 70' In: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at Seventy: A Review of Successes and Challenges. Dublin : Clarus Press. [Link]
2019 Maria Helen Murphy (2019) '*The Irish Adaptation of the GDPR: The Irish Data Protection Act 2018' In: National Adaptations of the GDPR. Luxembourg : Collection Open Access Book Blog Droit Européen. [Link] [Full-Text]
2018 Maria Helen Murphy (2018) '*Pseudonymisation and the Smart City' In: Creating Smart Cities. London : Routledge.
2016 Maria Helen Murphy (2016) '*Surveillance and the Right to Privacy: Is an 'Effective Remedy' Possible?' In: Justiciability of Human Rights Law in Domestic Jurisdictions. : Springer.
2013 Maria Helen Murphy (2013) '*Emerging Privacy Questions and New Surveillance Methods: GPS Tracking under the European Convention on Human Rights and the Constitution of the United States of America' In: Living in Surveillance Societies: The State of Surveillance. California : CreateSpace.

Other Journal

Year Publication
2016 Maria Helen Murphy (2016) '*The True Negatives of False Positives' Ulidia 4: Proceedings of the fourth international conference on the Ulster Cycle of Tales, 27 (3) .


Year Publication
2016 Maria Helen Murphy and Brian Simpson (2016) *Technological Challenges and Opportunities: the Future of Law in 25(1) Information and Communications Technology Law 1-3. [Editorial] http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13600834.2015.1134145
2014 Maria Helen Murphy and Brian Simpson (2014) *Cyber-privacy or cyber-surveillance? Legal responses to fear in cyberspace in 23(2) Information and Communications Technology Law 189-191. [Editorial] http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13600834.2014.978551

Book Review

Year Publication
2016 Maria Helen Murphy (2016) *Book Review: Protecting Privacy in Private International and Procedural Law and by Data Protection in 6 (3) International Data Privacy Law 251-253. [Book Review] https://academic.oup.com/idpl/article-abstract/6/3/251/2447253/B-Hess-and-C-M-Mariottini-eds-Protecting-Privacy?redirectedFrom=fulltext

Magazine Article

Year Publication
2014 Maria Helen Murphy (2014) *Privacy and Social Media in Ireland in Walton Science and Technology Magazine. [Magazine Article]

Newspaper Articles

Year Publication
2021 Maria Helen Murphy (2021) 'Will we have a say in Ireland's artificial intelligence strategy?' RTÉ Brainstorm (18 February 2021). [Newspaper Articles] [Link]
2018 Maria Helen Murphy (2018) What is the future for fake news?. [Newspaper Articles] [Link]
2015 Maria Helen Murphy (2015) *Snowden Leaks Provided Momentum to Bring us to this Crucial Point in Data Protection in The Journal. [Newspaper Articles] [Link]
2015 Maria Helen Murphy (2015) *Your Personal Data was Talked about at the Web Summit, but it Looks like you Might Have to Pay to Keep it Safe in the Future in The Journal. [Newspaper Articles] [Link]
2014 Maria Helen Murphy (2014) *EU Ruling Raises Individual Privacy Over Business Interest in The Irish Examiner. [Newspaper Articles] [Link]
2014 Maria Helen Murphy (2014) *Crucial Case for Privacy and Data in The Irish Examiner. [Newspaper Articles] [Link]

Edited Journal Issue

Year Publication
2016 Brian Simpson and Maria Helen Murphy (2016) Information and Communications Technology Law. [Edited Journal Issue]
2014 Brian Simpson and Maria Helen Murphy (2014) Information and Communications Technology Law. [Edited Journal Issue]
Certain data included herein are derived from the © Web of Science (2024) of Clarivate. All rights reserved.

Professional Associations

Description Function From / To
Irish Council for Civil Liberties Executive Board Member 01/09/2017 -
Centre for ArtificiaI Intelligence and Digital Policy Team Member -
National Standards Authority of Ireland ArtificiaI Intelligence Top Team Legal Working Group -
National Advisory Council for Online Safety Member -

Teaching Interests

Modules Coordinated

Postgraduate Level
Information Privacy Law (LW647)
Information Technology Law (LW685)

Undergraduate Level
Media Law (LW360)
Civil Liberties (LW455)