Research Interests

Transparency; artificial intelligence; gender; critical race theory; human rights

Additional Information

Dr Rachel Adams is a Senior Research Specialist at the Human Sciences Research Council, South Africa. Dr Adams was previously the Senior Researcher for Civil and Political Rights at the South African Human Rights Commission, and completed a post-doctorate at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, University of London. Dr Adams sits on the Independent Expert Panel of the South African Department of Science and Innovation and Council for Scientific and Industrial Research’s Centre on Artificial Intelligence Research (CAIR), and she is a member of the Independent Advisory Group of the Surveillance Camera Commissioner for the UK Home Office. Dr Adams is further an Editor of the South African Journal on Human Rights. 

Other Information

Dr Adam's is affiliated to the Human Sciences Research Council, South Africa.



R. Adams, Transparency: New Trajectories in Law (Routledge, 2020)

R. Adams, ‘What does it mean to Decolonising Artificial Intelligence?’ ( November 2020) Special Issue ‘AI and its Discontents’ of Interdisciplinary Science Review 

R. Adams, W. Fourie, V. Marivate and P. Plantinga, ‘Introducing the Series: Can AI and Data Support a more Inclusive and Equitable South Africa?’ (2020) PAN Topical Guide Series (available at:

C. Darch, Y. Majikijela, R. Adams and S. Rule, ‘AI, Biometrics and Securitisation in Migration Management: Policy Options for South Africa’ (2020) PAN Topical Guide Series (available at:

R. Adams, ‘The Gendered Impact of Artificial Intelligence and the Fourth Industrial Revolution in South Africa: Inequality, Accessibility and Skills Development’, in Willie Pearson and Vijay Reddy (eds) Social Justice and Education in the 21st Century – Research from South Africa and the United States (Springer, forthcoming 2020)

R. Adams, S. Rule and T. Masilela, ‘From the Bewysboek to the Biometric State: A Historical Exploration of the Role of Public Institutions on Migration in South Africa’, in Institutions and Institutionalisation, edited by Daniel Plaatjies (forthcoming publication, 2020)

R. Adams, K. Yu and C. Darch, ‘Taking back control through openness and inclusivity? The case of Internet Governance in South Africa’ chapter in Internet Governance in the Global South, NUPRI-USP, University of São Paulo Press, 2018

T. Masilela, R. Adams and S. Rule, ‘Accounting’ for migrants in inequality and the future: the distance to openness . In: Soudien, C., Reddy, V. & Woolard, I. (eds).The state of the nation: poverty & inequality: diagnosis, prognosis and responses. Cape Town: HSRC Press. 137-166

R. Adams, ‘Localising the Right of Access to Information in Africa’ in Ruffling Feathers: A Review of Access to Information in Africa (edited by Colin Darch and Fatima Diallo), Juta Press, (forthcoming, 2020)

R. Adams, ‘The Role of the South African Human Rights Commission in Ensuring State Accountability to the Poor’, Poverty and Human Rights in Africa, University of Pretoria Law Press, (forthcoming, April 2020)

R. Adams and F. Adeleke, ‘Media and the Right of Access to Information in Africa’, 2019). In A. Adekunle. (ed). Freedom of Information and Democratic Governance in Nigeria. Lagos: NIALS Publication: pp. 11-25 


P. Plantinga, R. Adams and S. Parker, ‘Artificial Intelligence Technologies for Responsive Local Government in South Africa’ in Global Information Society Watch 2019: Artificial Intelligence: Human Rights, Social Justice and Development (2019, APC and ARTICLE 19 Publication)

P. Plantinga and R. Adams, ‘Rethinking open government as innovation for inclusive development: Open access, data and ICT in South Africa’, African Journal of Science, Technology, Innovation and Development (2020)

R. Adams and N. N Loideain, ‘Addressing Indirect Discrimination and Gender Stereotypes in AI Personal Assistants: The Role of International Human Rights Law’ Cambridge International Law Journal (December 2019)

R. Adams and F. Adeleke, ‘Institutional changes in the protection of the right to privacy in South Africa: Toward Co-operation between the Information Regulator and the South African Human Rights Commission’ International Data Privacy Law (Special Issue, January 2020)

C. Staunton, R. Adams, D. Anderson, T. Croxton, D. Kamuya, M. Munene and C. Swanepoel, ‘Protection of Personal Information Act 2013 and Data Protection for Health Research in South Africa’, International Data Privacy Law (Special Issue, January 2020)

N. N Loideain and R. Adams, ‘From Ava to Siri: The Gendering of Virtual Personal Assistants and the Role of Data Protection Law’, Computer Law and Security Review (in press, 2019)

R. Adams, ‘Stopping the Spies: Constructing and Resisting the Surveillance State in South Africa: Book Review’ South African Journal on Human Rights, January 2020

Staunton, C., Adams, R., Botes, M., Dove, E. & Loots, G. (2019) Safeguarding the future of genomic research in South Africa: broad consent and the Protection of Personal Information Act No. 4 of 2013. South African Medical Journal. 109(7):141-148

R. Adams, ‘South Africa’s Social Contract: The EFF and the Rise of a New Constituent Power?’, Acta Academia, (December Vol 33, Issue 2, 2018)


Staunton, C., Adams, R., Dove, E.S., Harriman, N., Horn, L., Labuschaigne, M., Mulder, N., Olckers, A., Pope, A., Ramsay, M., Swanepoel, C., Loideain, N.N. & de Vries, J. (2019) Ethical and practical issues to consider in the governance of genomic and human research data and data sharing in South Africa: a meeting report. AAS Open Research