International Center for Ethics in the Sciences and Humanities (IZEW)

Forum Privacy

Forum Privacy and Self-Determination in a Digital World

In modern societies with widespread usage of digital media, private information can be disclosed on many occasions. The co-development of technical possibilities like data mining and genetic diagnostics and political regulation (e.g. data retention, biometric databases, body scanners) on the one hand and individual use of social networking sites, online shopping, or location based services on the other hand establish a tight mesh of information. This enables the ever more encompassing and detailed tracking of individuals’ lives. The Forum Privacy and Self-Determination in a Digital World” considers these questions from an interdisciplinary perspective, bringing together scholars from law, sociology, computer science, psychology, and philosophy.

The sub-project, which is located at the Ethics Centre, examines normative questions in relation to the change of privacy and the possibilities of a self-determined lifestyle in the digital society. The aim of the research project is, in conjunction with the other partners of the Forum Privacy, to critically analyse issues and technologies of the digital change and to develop criteria for the normative evaluation and (improved) design of the new technologies which have an impact on privacy and informational self-determination.

In the years 2017/18, research is done on the topics of ‘Privacy as a Good’ and ‘Identity Protection and Democracy’. The sub-project Ethics/Philosophy hereby cooperates with other sub-projects of the Forum Privacy as well as with actors stemming from economy, politics and civil society organisations.

Project Partners

  • Dr Michael Friedewald, Fraunhofer ISI, Karlsruhe (coordination)
  • Prof Dr Jörn Lamla, University of Kassel
  • Prof Dr Alexander Roßnagel, University of Kassel
  • Prof Dr Nicole Krämer, University of Duisburg-Essen
  • Prof Dr Thomas Hess, LMU Munich
  • Marit Hansen, Unabhängiges Landeszentrum für Datenschutz Schleswig-Holstein
  • Prof Dr Michael Waidner, Fraunhofer SIT, Darmstadt
  • Prof Dr Regina Ammicht Quinn and PD Dr Jessica Heesen, University of Tübingen


Duration: December 2013 – March 2021