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Big Data – Data protection– Privacy

The process of digitization affects almost all areas of our lives, and the volume of personal data that is being generated, stored and analyzed in a variety of contexts is increasing at an unprece-dented rate. At the same time, technology that enables automated data processing – so-called “big data technology“ – is continuously developing and becoming ever more efficient.

The power of modern algorithms used in this process increases the economic value of data. Thanks to big data technology, various data from a number of different databases can be easily correlated and analyzed, allowing for many conclusions regarding sensitive personal information. Therefore new standards and regulations, as well as new technology and concepts, are needed to protect data in a contemporary way that corresponds to the interests of the user.

The working group aims to develop a new code of conduct that will help trigger a major overhaul at both the national and international levels in how large volumes of data are handled. Particular attention will be paid to the fact that due to the technological possibilities of big data, almost all data is linked to personal information. The code of conduct, to be drawn up in form of a statement, will be aimed primarily at policymakers, but should also improve public awareness of the issues surrounding this topic.


  • National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina (responsible)
  • Union of the German Academies of Science and Humanities
  • German Academy of Science and Technology acatech

Spokespersons of the Working Group

  • Prof. Dr. Thomas Hofmann, Data Analytics Lab, Eidgenössisch-Technische Hochschule Zürich
  • Prof. Dr. Klaus-Robert Müller ML, Institut für Softwaretechnik und Theoretische Informatik, Technische Universität Berlin

Members of the Working Group

  • Prof. Dr. Michael Backes
    CISPA - Center for IT-Security, Privacy & Accountability, Universität des Saarlandes
  • Prof. Dr. Erwin Böttinger
    Head, Digital Health Center, Professor for Digital Health, Hasso Plattner Institute GmbH and University of Potsdam
  • Prof. Dr. Johannes Buchmann ML
    Fachbereich Informatik, Technische Universität Darmstadt
  • Prof. Dr. Jörg Eberspächer ML
    Lehrstuhl für Kommunikationsnetze, Technische Universität München
  • Prof. Dr. Claudia Eckert
    Chair for IT Security, Technische Universität München
  • Prof. Dr. Anja Feldmann ML
    Direktorin am Max-Planck-Institut für Informatik, Saarbrücken
  • Prof. Dr. Petra Grimm
    Institut für Digitale Ethik, Hochschule der Medien, Stuttgart
  • Prof. Dietmar Harhoff, Ph.D., ML
    Max-Planck-Institut für Innovation und Wettbewerb, München
  • Prof. Dr. Otthein Herzog
    Professor of Visual Information Technologies, Jacobs University Bremen
  • Prof. Dr. Thomas Hoeren
    Institut für Informations-, Telekommunikations- und Medienrecht, Universität Münster
  • Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Hoffmann-Riem
    Professur für Recht und Innovation, Bucerius Law School, Hamburg
  • Prof. Dr. Jeanette Hofmann
    Projektgruppe Politikfeld Internet, Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung
  • Prof. Dr. Paul Hoyningen-Huene ML
    Institut für Philosophie, Leibniz Universität Hannover
  • Prof. Dr. Jan C. Joerden
    Lehrstuhl für Strafrecht, Europa-Universität Viadrina, Frankfurt (Oder)
  • Prof. Dr. Paul J. Kühn ML
    Institut für Kommunikationsnetze und Rechnersysteme, Universität Stuttgart
  • Prof. Dr. Thomas Lengauer ML
    Max-Planck-Institut für Informatik, Saarbrücken
  • Prof. Dr. Volker Markl
    Institut für Softwaretechnik und Theoretische Informatik, Fachgebiet Datenbanksysteme und Informationsmanagement, TU Berlin
  • Prof. Dr. Peter Propping ML †, Institut für Humangenetik, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn
  • Prof. Dr. Helge Ritter
    Neuroinformatics Group, Universität Bielefeld
  • Prof. Dr. Bernhard Schölkopf ML
    Max-Planck-Institut für Intelligente Systeme, Tübingen
  • Prof. Dr. Fritz Strack ML
    Lehrstuhl für Psychologie II, Universität Würzburg

ML = Member of the Leopoldina



Dr. Elke Witt

Scientific Officer, Department Science - Policy - Society

Phone 0345 - 47 239 - 873
Fax 0345 - 47 239 - 839
E-Mail elke.witt @leopoldina.org