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Data privacy and policy

In the spotlight alongside big data we increasingly see a debate on privacy and the unanswered questions surrounding how Internet service providers and social media companies use their clients' data.  There is concern about how to promote scientific research while protecting individuals' privacy and policy experts are being called upon to weigh in on scientific research proposals to ensure these important details have been addressed adequately.

Privacy here is understood as a topic that both involves law studies as well as ethics as both academic traditions deal with "norms" and "normative questions". This overlap can be seen as a continuum regarding the formal and informal quality of 'norms' and reflection thereof.  The line of demarcation is understood as permeable and subject to the interplay of ethical reflection and legal status as brought about in the deliberative process within political institutions. Questions of interest for Prof. Cottier's and Prof. Seele's collaboration on privacy in the digital age can be seen in:

  • adequate reformulation of legal privacy standards
  • conflicts of interest caused by divergent international standards
  • reformulation of the concept of privacy given the new big data reality

Link to Knowledge Area:

Ethics and Communication Law Center

Institute for Public Communication

Knowledge Area Leaders:

Bertil Cottier's work focuses on communication law issues with a particular focus on the conflict between freedom of information and privacy, as well as the challenges of the new technologies to classical personal data protection.

Peter Seele works in the field of business ethics and researches on the consequences of digitalization in the areas of corporate social responsibility reporting, sustainability indicators in XBRL and more general on the ethical consequences of digitalization regarding legal, economic and societal implications.


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