Privacy is an important condition for democracy, the rule of law and informational self-determination. Digitalization and comprehensive global networking create new needs for protection, but also for a critical redefinition of privacy between individual and social expectations and economic opportunities.

Goals and procedures:
Based on technical, legal, economic, humanities and social science approaches, the Forum Privatheit works on an interdisciplinary, well-founded, contemporary understanding of the role of privacy. Following on from this, concepts are developed for (re)defining and guaranteeing informational self-determination and the private sphere in the digital world.


Innovations and Perspectives:
In addition to its core disciplines, the Forum Privatheit sees itself as a platform for professional exchange and develops orientation knowledge for public discourse in the form of scientific publications, conferences and white papers.


The research of the Forum Privatheit is divided into the following four thematic focuses:

  • The focus area “Privacy Governance” aims at a better generalizable understanding of how changed ideas on the handling of personal data can influence rules of data protection law, and vice versa, how new legal rules on data protection lead to changed normative expectations on the handling of personal data and to changed data protection practices. At the same time, new insights are to be gained into the development of non-legal standards and their influence on data protection practices.
  • The “Value Creation” priority area aims to gain insights into how digitisation creates new value creation processes and exchange relationships in centrally and decentrally organised data economies that change business models and consumer relationships in such a way that they have a massive impact on privacy and self-determination. Subsequently, new insights are expected into the consequences this will have for privacy and self-determination in political, regulatory, economic and civil society terms.
  • The priority area “Inclusion and Exclusion” will gain insights into how digitisation reinforces or counteracts social inclusion and exclusion processes by changing social power structures and inequalities related to privacy practices. These findings will be followed by further insights into how society should react normatively to these processes and how it should shape technical and social constraints.
  • The priority area “Change through and of technology” aims at insights into how digital technologies induce social change, how they threaten privacy and self-determination and how technical, organisational and legal design of digital technologies can influence the development of technology and society in a desirable way.