Data Sovereignty

The term data sovereignty has had an astounding trajectory in a short time. It may even become a guiding paradigm of the digital society, as it stands for a “European path” of digital transformation. However, there are still considerable ambiguities associated with the concept. It is also being discussed controversially in part.

Against this background, the work of the project group aimed at exploring conceptual and terminological variances and tracing the different contexts of use of “data sovereignty”. This also includes the delineation against related terms such as digital sovereignty, filter sovereignty, infrastructure sovereignty or platform sovereignty. On this basis, a clarifying understanding of data sovereignty was developed. The current EU legislation (Data Governance Act) and innovative options (e.g. data trust models) to facilitate something like an “implementation” of data sovereignty were also considered.

The results of the project group’s work encompass interdisciplinary contributions to the debate, including a joint book publication (Augsberg/Gehring 2022), as well as specialised scientific publications, plus numerous events in academic as well as policy advisory formats and a follow-up project with the Hessian Data Protection Commissioner. The discussions were also useful to further develop technical solutions.

Principal Investigators

Prof. Dr. Steffen Augsberg, Justus-Liebig Universität Gießen | spokesperson | more information»
Prof. Dr. Petra Gehring, Technische Universität Darmstadt | deputy | more information»

Prof. Dr. Gerd Doeben-Henisch, Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences | more information»
Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Kerber, Philipps-Universität Marburg | more information»
Prof. Dr. Florian Möslein, LLM (London), Philipps-Universität Marburg | more information»
Prof. Dr. Elif Özmen, Justus-Liebig Universität Gießen | more information»
Prof. Dr. Anne Riechert, Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences | mehr Information»
Prof. Dr. Jan C. Schmidt, Hochschule Darmstadt | more information»
Dr. Gerhard Schreiber, Technische Universität Darmstadt | more information»
Prof. Dr. Ralf Steinmetz, Technische Universität Darmstadt | more information»

Interdisciplinary Conference

The conference “Data Sovereignty: Problems and Opportunities” explored (mis)understandings of the term and discuss its viability with a broad audience and selected experts. Is the concept of data sovereignty a theoretically and practically appropriate response to the challenges of digitality? And how can it be linked to other governance strategies of the digital society?

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Data Sovereignty: Problems and Opportunities

11 October 2021
9:30 – 17:00
digital format

conference report

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