Joy is a lawyer whose primary research interest is human rights and technology. Prior to joining the University of Otago, Joy was Assistant Commissioner (Policy and Operations) at the Office of the Privacy Commissioner, responsible for oversight of policy- and technology-related research and advice and managing the Commissioner's investigations into alleged interferences with privacy. Between 2011 and 2014, Joy coordinated a global campaign for the Association for Progressive Communications, working with human rights defenders in the United Nations Human Rights Council, developing internet-related human rights curricula, and publishing related research. A Human Rights Commissioner for eight years, Joy was responsible for research on women's rights and national human rights institutions and led the Commission's 2010 inquiry into the experiences of transgender people in New Zealand. Joy is a member and vice president of InternetNZ which is responsible for domain name policy for the country code top level domain .nz.