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


Privacy, Democracy, and Self-Determination in Times of AI and Globalization

The sub-project focusing on ethical issues discusses how to realize individual self-determination in a digital and democratic society and how people can participate in and profit by its opportunities. Data processing rules and infrastructures should maintain and promote civil rights instead of putting them in danger. In collaboration with several partners we focus, e.g., on the potentials of media and data literacy in the course of a life span as well as the challenges for privacy and informational self-determination posed by global infrastructures.


Project partners


01 April 2021-31 March 2023


The project

Individual and social self-determination are essential values in democratic societies. The current dynamics of digital transformation and the implementation of digital technologies such as Artificial Intelligence involve data collection. However, traditional concepts of freedom or self-determination are challenged by such practices. This is where PRIDS and the sub-project on ethical issues elaborate rules and structures for a digital society to empower digital citizenship. One focus lies, therefore, on digital sovereignty. 

The ethical project’s focus lies on privacy during a lifetime and the future of privacy in digital societies. Against the background of digital transformation and its challenges, we will carve out suggestions on how a good childhood and youth may be realized. We elaborate concepts for self-determination for vulnerable or elderly groups. The aim is to analyze what abilities in handling digital media and data-based technologies should be communicated and taught. Furthermore, it addresses the challenges to privacy and self-determination posed by global infrastructures. The involved researchers elaborate policy proposals and ideas for governing databased technologies. We analyze and address governance possibilities on a national and European level and we will present proposals for governance ideas to enhance citizens´ self-determination.

PRIDS continues the work of the “Forum Privatheit”. PRIDS does interdisciplinary research with a methodologically diverse team from the IZEW (University of Tübingen), Fraunhofer ISI Karlsruhe, the Universities of Munich, Duisburg-Essen, and Kassel, as well as the Independent Center for Privacy Protection Schleswig-Holstein.