Joe Cannataci studied law at the University of Malta and the University of Oslo. He later qualified in the UK as a Chartered Information Technology Professional and also holds Chartered Fellowship of the British Computer Society. He received a Doctor of Laws degree (LLD) from the University of Malta in 1986 with a thesis on privacy and data protection law published by the Norwegian University Press in 1987. Joe was T54 Project Director at the Norwegian Research Center for Computers and Law during 1986-1987 before he joined the Department of Public Law at the Faculty of Law of the University of Malta, where in 1988 he established the Law & IT Research Unit (LITRU). In 2006 he was appointed (full) Professor of Law at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN) in the United Kingdom. Between 2006 and 2007 he was Head of Lancashire Law School and from 2007-to 2011 he was Director of the Centre for Law, Information & Converging Technologies at UCLAN. In 2011 he was appointed Head of the Department of Information Policy & Governance http://www.um.edu.mt/maks/ipg at the Faculty of Media & Knowledge Sciences of the University of Malta and also Chair of European Information Policy & Technology Law http://www.rug.nl/staff/j.a.cannataci/index within the Faculty of Law at the University of Groningen. He is addiitonally Adjunct Professor at the Security Research Centre, School of Computer and Security Science at Edith Cowan University Australia http://www.secau.org
Joe founded and today co-ordinates the LexConverge network which groups IT Law research institutes and law firms from over 30 countries including Australia, Egypt, Kenya, USA as well as all of the EU’s member states. He is presently managing over 8 million Euros worth of externally funded projects in which he is currently co-ordinating the research work of over 100 researchers organised within 33 teams across 29 institutions in 25 countries carrying out projects across Europe, Kenya, India, Australia and the Americas. During 2011-2014 he is also expected to continue in the role of Expert Consultant engaged by the Council of Europe’s Consultative Committee (T-PD) and Directorate for Legal Affairs & Human Rights to review provisions of the European Data Protection Convention and especially Recommendation R(87)15 on police use of personal data.
He has written books and articles on Data Protection Law, Liability for Expert Systems, Legal aspects of medical informatics, copyright in computer software and co-authored various papers and textbook chapters on self-regulation and the Internet, the EU Constitution and data protection, on-line dispute resolution, Data retention and Police data.
In 1993 Joe was Rapporteur on the use of personal data for Police Purposes to the Project Group on Data Protection of the Council of Europe a role he reprised in 2010 when he was engaged by the Council of Europe as External Consultant to advise on the future of data protection in this sector. He was Chairman of several Committees of Experts of the Council of Europe: MedialLex (1994), the Working Party on Data Protection in Insurance (1994-1997), Working Party on Data Protection in New technologies (1995-2000), the Committee of Experts on Data Protection (1996-98) and Vice-Chairman of the Group of Specialists on the impact of New Communications Technologies on Fundamental Rights & Democratic Values (1999-2001).
While he has been in academic life without a break since 1986, he has also maintained first a full-time and then,(since 1993) a part-time presence as an IT lawyer involved in international practice in the B2B legal aspects of new technologies including drafting and negotiating IT Project contracts, Hardware & Software sales & licensing contracts and various IP-related issues including source code agreements. He is currently a UDRP Panelist of the Czech Arbitration Court where, utilizing On-line dispute resolution (ODR) methodologies, he was amongst the first “on-line judges” to deliver decisions in disputes on .eu Top Level Domain names.
His experience in the business sector and academic management has not been confined to law. Between 1992 and 1996 he was consultant to and subsequently Chairman of the IT Steering Committee for Malta’s largest bank (today HSBC). During 1998-1999, he led a team from the Centre for Communication Technology of the University of Malta in a national project on “Redefining the role of public broadcasting in Malta” commissioned by the Minister of Education, Media & Culture. Between 2000 and 2002, he was the Project Director entrusted with kick-starting the 5-campus Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology, which is now responsible for FE provision to some 5,000 students. Between 2001 and 2002 he was a member of the IT Steering Committee responsible for the successful implementation of inter alia ORACLE Financials within the national carrier Air Malta. During 2002-2005 he was Project Director for the multi-million Euro IKONOS project where he designed and implemented a Satellite-enabled Wide Area Network for distance learning in cultural heritage across Algeria, Jordan, Greece, Malta, Morocco, and the Netherlands.
Joe is as passionate about history, education and cultural heritage as he is about law and information sciences. A Committee Member and later Treasurer of the Malta Historical Society (1978-1985), he was appointed by the Council of the University of Malta as (founding) Chairman of the Malta Centre for Restoration for two terms between 1999 and 2005 where he established the Institute for Conservation and Restoration Studies. His publications during this period include papers on the Philosophy of Conservation Education, Thealasermetry and the use of hybrid technologies to survey heritage sites and e-heritage. He was a Trustee of the Foundation for Cultural Heritage Memory established by Maltacom to use technological means to preserve and facilitate access to parts of our heritage such a music, images and oral tradition. He maintains his sanity and a sense of humour by forming part of cultural heritage conservation teams together with colleagues from Czech Republic, Italy, Romania and the UK engaged in field-work research around the world.
Current Research and Supervision
Joe’s current research interests include:
Integrated Information policy development
Inter-disciplinary approaches to information ethics including
Data Protection Law, Security and Surveillance
Consensual issues in on-line social networking
Cyber-security including Cyber-crime and Cyber-terrorism
Digital Divide issues
Holistic approaches to law, economics, cultural heritage and IT
Cross-cultural issues in personality law, especially privacy