Hamburg Interdisciplinary Summer School “Governance Technologies: Privacy, Fairness & Transparency”

Organized by the University of Hamburg (Department of Informatics), Hamburg University of Technology (Institute for Software Systems), and the Leibniz Institute for Media Research/Hans-Bredow-Institut (HBI)

To be held at the guest house of the Universität Hamburg and the adjacent Leibniz Institute for Media Research/Hans-Bredow-Institute (Rothenbaumchaussee 34/36, D-20148 Hamburg), September 16-19, 2019

Hyper-connected services are core to digital innovation. Yet, critical cases of misuse of such connected technologies (e.g. Cambridge Analytica) raise question about the governance of such dynamic phenomena. The interaction of users with hyper-connected digital services poses particular challenges for privacy, transparency and fairness. The summer school thus focuses on different forms of governance in these socio-technical systems to protect those values.

Socio-technical governance is also the focus of an interdisciplinary research group at Hamburg that involves different academic disciplines such as computer science, philosophy, and law. We are particularly interested in interdisciplinary analyses as well as in the advancement of instruments and forms for political, legal, or technical solutions to issues of governance and privacy.

This summer school invites young scholars PhD candidates or early-career Post-Doc researchers interested in this interdisciplinary area intersection of computer science, law, and philosophy. The summer school provides them with the opportunity to connect and engage with outstanding researchers and peers to acquire new insights and get feedback on their current research.

The key note speakers and faculty of the summer school includes: 

  • Professor Mireille Hildebrandt, Vrije Universiteit Brussels (Belgium) & Radboud University Nijmegen (Netherlands)
  • Professor Bart Jacobs, Radboud University Nijmegen (Netherlands)
  • Professor Niva Elkin-Koren, Haifa University (Israel) & associate faculty at the Berkman Klein Center, Harvard University (USA)
  • Professor Nikolas Guggenberger, Universität Münster (Germany) & Information Society Project (Yale University, USA)

The summer school is co-organized by the joint research group on Information Governance Technology by Universität Hamburg, Leibniz-Institut for Media Research/Hans-Bredow-Institut, Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH). Principal investigators and co-organizers of the summer school: Prof Tilo Böhmann, Prof Hannes Federrath, Prof Ingrid Schirmer, Prof Wolfgang Schulz, Prof Sibylle Schupp, Prof Judith Simon.

Interested participants are requested to apply by submitting an abstract summarizing current research of max. one page (about 500 words). Applicants should send the abstract and a current CV to Mattis Jacobs, The abstracts should be submitted no later than July 1 (extended deadline).

The participation is free of charge. Participants need to cover travel expenses, accommodation, and some meals. We will provide information about accommodation and local information to accepted participants.

Organization Team of the Summer School:
Prof Judith Simon
Mattis Jacobs, M.A.

Interdisciplinary Contribution at the Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (52) with Best Paper Nomination

In the article “The Unlikely Siblings in the GDPR Family: A Techno-Legal Analysis of Major Platforms in the Diffusion of Personal Data in Service Ecosystems” two privacy-invasive cases were examined in a techno-legal analysis. Here, the apparent actors and their responsibility were identified based on the GDPR. For this article, Christian Kurtz, Martin Semmann, and Tilo Böhmann used the IT perspective and Florian Wittner with Wolfang Schulz the legal view for the joint cooperation. It is particularly noteworthy that the article was nominated as “Best Paper” at the conference.

Florian Wittner and Christian Kurtz at the presentation at the HICSS.

Symposium "Information Governance of algorithmic decision-making systems"

The symposium in Berlin on the topic “Information Governance of algorithmic decision-making systems” in the framework programme of the #INFORMATIK2018 was very well attended with more than 70 participants.

Welcome and introduction – Hannes Federrath (President of the Society for Computer Science/University of Hamburg)

In addition to the lecture “Big Data, Algorithms and Regulation from an ethical point of view” from Prof. Dr. Judith Simon (Data Ethics Commission of the Federal Government/University of Hamburg), there were other interesting presentations such as “Algorithm-based pricing and protection of competition” by Achim Wambach (President of the Centre for European Affairs and Chairman of the German Monopoly Commission) as well as the lecture “Privacy Engineering” by Stefan Schiffner (Université du Luxembourg). This resulted in a very broad and interdisciplinary mix for the listeners.

Lecture “Big Data, Algorithms and Regulation from an Ethical Perspective” – Judith Simon (Federal Government Data Ethics Commission/University of Hamburg)

Finally, following the presentations, there was a panel discussion on “Digital Development Debates-Responsibility and Governance in the Digital Realm” with international representatives such as Didier Nkurikiyimfura (, Rwanda), Dev Lewis (Digital Asia Hub, Hong Kong, China) and Dr. Stefan Schiffner (Université du Luxembourg). There was also political participation with MinR Dr. Rudolf Gridl (Federal Ministry of Economics, Department of Internet Governance and International Digital Dialogue) as well as project participation with media researcher Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Schulz (Hans Bredow Institute Hamburg).

Joint Panel with Conference “Digital Development Debates”:
Responsibility and Governance in the Digital Realm