The self-determined individual possesses the freedom to make decisions, through which she binds herself contractually, assumes moral responsibility for her own actions and disclosures personal data. However, interconnectedness and algorithmisation are changing the framework of this self-determination.
Shaping a person’s own living conditions presupposes that private actors can actually decide freely and independently. In a networked society, people face new services and contractual relationships. The so-called "Datafication" means that many aspects of our lives are transformed into computerized data, which creates new opportunities but also risks. For example, what does it mean that data is used as a means of payment? Which data-driven business model innovations hide behind the observed developments? What is the relationship between responsibility and the Internet of Things, both legally and morally?
The aim of this research topic is to lay the foundations for the construction of a theory of self-determination in digital markets, which, on the one hand focuses on the premises and consequences of self-determined behavior of private individuals, and on the other hand observes the perspective of innovative companies in the digital markets.
The Research Group examines data usage in the digital economy from legal, psychological and economic perspectives. Our research focuses on the functioning of digital markets as well as the chances and risks of data trade. It includes questions of private autonomy in the areas of tension between data markets, data protection, contract law, data rights, and cognitive and emotional-motivational dynamic processes that drive individuals to permit use of their personal data.
The research group combines theory construction on business model innovation with the empirical analysis of sectoral data-led innovation processes, e.g. in education, open data, mobility or the creative industries. Today’s production of infinite amounts of data by humans has a lasting impact on how business models are designed, even forcing well-established market participants to rethink and alter their business models. Data-driven business model innovation is therefore highly relevant for corporate practice and policy.
The aim of our research group is to comprehensively map the field of "Responsibility and the Internet of Things" and to make new contributions to unanswered questions concerning "ubiquitous responsibility and data platforms". While responsibility of technical actors has been a recurring theme in science and politics since antiquity, its scope is now expanding. Within the framework of our research, we consider the concept from an ethical-moral and legal point of view as well as with regard to technical feasibility.