Annual conference of the Forum Privatheit 2019

The annual conference of the Forum Privatheit on the topic "Growing up and learning in supervised environments - data protection for children, learners and in educational institutions" will take place this year on 21 and 22 November in Berlin. Abstracts for the Call for Papers can still be submitted until 15.06.2019.

CfP: Growing up and learning in supervised environments

Data protection for children, learners and in educational institutions

Digital technologies are increasingly shaping childhood and youth: from video surveillance in infancy to learning robots in kindergartens and learning assistants controlled by artificial intelligence for individual educational success. Digital media are used for learning processes, knowledge transfer and information acquisition and are discussed under the buzzword of computer literacy. They are part of the (school) everyday life of adolescents and offer on the one hand new forms of participation, but on the other hand also monitoring by commercial service providers and also by and of pupils, teachers and parents. The applications, which are used in particular by children and young people, are not limited to the formal educational context, but also find their way into children's rooms on the basis of informal learning environments. However, little is reflected about privacy, surveillance and data protection issues in this sensitive and important area of society.
Most of these applications generate data that says a lot about adolescents. Education is a core task of a modern society. Above all, adolescents should not only be trained, but should also be empowered as (future) responsible citizens for participation and socially responsible self-determination in a free and democratic society.
The Annual Conference 2019 "Growing up and Learning in Monitored Environments" of the Forum Privatheit - Selbstbestimmtes Leben in der digitalen Welt on 21 and 22 November 2019 in Berlin is dedicated to this complex of topics. The Forum Privatheit cordially invites to an inter- and transdisciplinary exchange beyond disciplines and scientific boundaries, to an exchange with practitioners from educational work and to (socio)political discussion. We are looking forward to outstanding keynotes, e.g. from Sonia Livingstone.


The analysis of learning behaviour can reveal very personal information about skills, intelligence or content interests. The technical keys to this access are "interactivity" and "personalisation" of learning and education, such as through gamified e-learning smartphone apps. The advantage of interactive and accordingly adaptable systems is that they can adapt very precisely to the learner/child, taking into account individual preferences and competences. Especially IT-based systems can contribute to the refinement of individualisation, document learning processes and help to promote the learner "optimally". There are risks here, for example when personality assessments are made, resources are distributed or career paths are excluded on the basis of profiling by (partially) automated decision-making systems. Technical infrastructures and software solutions and their design also play an important role. Due to the special (vulnerable) situation of the learner and the often asymmetrical power structures in (school) learning contexts, many ethical questions arise here. There is a clear tension between the particular need for protection of personal data of children and young people and the usefulness of the knowledge generated from this for good promotion and support. In addition, stigmatisation processes are possible, for example through the fact that information about children can already be used in the context of an expanded concept of crime prevention. However, questions also arise in the area of university and vocational education and training, as well as in adult education, as a result of the tension between taking into account and promoting the individuality of learning processes on the one hand and the repressive effect of observation and data collection on the other. In addition, the consequences of monitoring are particularly relevant for schools as a place to live and experience, for trust between learners and teachers and, in particular, as a democratic place of learning in which an educational ideal for leading to maturity, social responsibility and freedom is at the forefront. This spectrum of topics gives rise to a multitude of questions and research objectives, of which only a small selection is to be outlined:

Problems, risks and benefits - What problems arise for the learning situation (in a "monitored" environment)? How can digitisation programmes in the classroom be assessed from these points of view? To what extent do interactive learning programs use and protect personal data? To what extent do users perceive a threat to privacy in this environment and to what extent can a weighing of benefits and risks be observed?

  • Legal challenges -What are the legal challenges in this particular environment? What role does the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child play here? How can individualised learning programmes be based on detailed learning profiles of individual users and thereby avoid the risks of abuse of such learning profiles? How should the learning processes of the learning programmes be designed in order to avoid discrimination? Which application scenarios promote or endanger the free development of personality? Which technical and organisational measures are necessary to protect the rights of the persons concerned and to implement the principles of data protection law such as data economy?
  • Economic aspects and technical infrastructure - What role do economic aspects play here, what happens, for example, under the aspect of private-public partnerships for the provision of hardware and software in the education sector, or how can digital business models be designed to preserve privacy? What role and significance do the technical infrastructures and rapid innovation cycles have in this area?
  • Privacy from the point of view of adolescents - To what extent do concepts of childhood change through surveillance? What types of privacy can and do children claim? What is privacy from a child's point of view? How do the ideas and needs of children and adults possibly differ and how are private interests negotiated intergenerationally? What norms are emerging among adolescents with regard to privacy, media consumption, self-representation and digital self-fashioning? What new divisions are emerging between children of different backgrounds and educational careers in questions of privacy and the (responsible) use of digital technologies?
  • Privacy and media competence -In addition, not only do questions arise about the significance of privacy and data protection in education, but the significance of education and media competence for data protection, privacy and the responsible use of digital technologies and living environments is also important. Education/media literacy is seen by many as the most promising means of improving data protection and privacy. On the other hand, such concepts are criticised with regard to the individualisation of social responsibility to protect. How can this area of tension be addressed appropriately? How can possible conflicts between calculations of the data economy and the comprehensive social educational mandate of schools and other educational institutions be avoided or resolved? How can educational offers be practically designed in order to effectively impart the necessary media skills?
  • Practical experiences –What experiences have practitioners made with data-based learning applications in educational work in schools, universities and other environments? What problems and challenges do they face?


This Call for Papers is addressed to scientists in the technical, humanities, social sciences and engineering disciplines, law, sociology, psychology, philosophy, politics, economics, media and communication sciences. We are pleased about empirical as well as theoretical work, especially interdisciplinary submissions are welcomed. 20 minutes are available for the presentation and 10 minutes for the discussion. The conference language is primarily German, contributions in English are possible. On request, the lecturers can be reimbursed for travel expenses and two nights in a hotel.
Abstracts (up to 500 words) can be submitted via EasyChair until 15.06.2019: conference forum

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Johannisstrasse 2
10117 Berlin
Kalkscheune –
Date: November 21 and 22, 2019
Workshop: Topic: CfP – Workshop on Feminist Data Protection
Date: 20. November 2019
Further information: