Data Structures actors

Data, actors, infrastructures: The Governance of data-driven innovation and cyber security

Cities increasingly become smart, digitally connected devices are omnipresent in most people lives and data is an important resource for economies, governments, private corporations and the individuals using it. They yield both, positive and negative implications for every aspect of life. How can we secure sensitive data and who guarantees the user’s privacy? What responsibilities fall to private companies and what legal steps should be taken to balance the risks and adjust them in line with changing technologies? How to build smart cities in a privacy- and security-friendly way.

The research programme data, actors, infrastructures is aiming to rethink our understanding of data infrastructures, data ownership and data flows, as well as our approaches to data protection and cybersecurity, privacy, personal freedom and political participation in a globalised digital society. Central to the research programme is the study of the potential and risks of data-driven innovation. This includes understanding the implications of the changes for governance structures and processes at large.

The programme data, actors, infrastructure is structured in three thematic priorities:

Complexity by SBTS |


Are there new forms of data ownership? How is data shared and used?

Community by Gregor Cresnar |


In how far does data change the behavior between actors and the power relations between them?

Global infrastructure by Sachin Modgekar |


Which concepts and strategies exist, to create a global trust structures?


HIIG has adopted an open and applied basic research approach that aims to enhance the transfer of its research results of these projects to many other areas such as connected cars, smart cities, eHealth, Industry 4.0, smart government, international data transfer, or voice recognition (in smart homes and in general).

Research projects
Conference contribution and other activities
Research projects

  • Entrepreneurship and innovation · Media and data

    Data Governance

    The sharing and re-use of digital data can foster innovation and increase economic and social welfare. However, economic and legal obstacles as well as...
  • Digital Citizenship
    Politics and law · Society and culture

    DECiDe – Digital Identity, European Citizenship and the Future of Democracy

    We see an increasing number of citizens dissatisfied with their government organisations, at all political levels. At the same time, we believe in the...
  • Politics and law · Science and education

    The Futures of Telemedicine: Knowledge, Policy, Regulation

    Digital health card, electronic health record, medical telematics infrastructure – these are the terms dominating the public and political debates on the digitalization of...
  • Politics and law · Society and culture


    With critical infrastructure becoming increasingly networked and the number of networked sensors and other objects of everyday use in the Internet of Things growing...
  • Goodcoin
    Media and data · Society and culture

    Goodcoin – Robust Privacy for Loyalty Programmes and Payment Systems

    The processing of customer data plays an important role both in traditional business and e-commerce.
  • Media and data · Politics and law

    Global Privacy Governance

    In the age of the Internet, in the wake of new challenges from increased network connection, new data generation and collection, new analytical techniques...

Completed research projects

  • Media and data · Society and culture

    Big Data & Nudging – Regulation by Big Data and Behavioural Sciences

    In recent years, the possible intersections of “big data” and “nudging” (as well as related instruments) increasingly have attracted attention from different scientific disciplines....
  • Skyscrapers and Wifi signals
    Media and data

    Privacy by design in smart cities

    How to build smart cities in a privacy and security-friendly way, when more and more movements and human actions are tracked by means of public...
  • Politics and law · Society and culture

    KORSE @ HIIG – the Internet and civil security in Europe

    The emergence of cyberspace has challenged the law of civil security in Europe. Today, nearly all aspects of life have a digital dimension and...




Journal articles and conference proceedings

Grafenstein, M. v. (2016). Die Auswirkungen des Zweckbindungsprinzips auf Innovationsprozesse in Startups. Smart World - Smart Law? Weltweite Netze mit regionaler Regulierung. Tagungsband DSRI-Herbstakademie 2016, 233-246. Publication details

Pohle, J. (2015). Das Scheitern von Datenschutz by Design: Eine kurze Geschichte des Versagens. FIfF-Kommunikation, 32(2), 41-44. Publication details

Edited works

Große, M., Send, H. & Loitz, T. (2018). Smart Energy in Deutschland: Wie Nutzerinnovationen die Energiewende voranbringen. Berlin, Deutschland: Alexander von Humboldt Institut für Internet und Gesellschaft. Publication details

Pernice, I., & Pohle, J. (2018). Privacy and Cyber Security on the Books and on the Ground. Berlin, Germany: Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society. Publication details

Working paper

Djeffal, C. (2017). Leitlinien der Verwaltungsnovation und das Internet der Dinge: Vom E-Government Zum Smart Government Durch Verfassung, Gesetz, Organisation Und Strategie. HIIG Discussion Paper Series. Publication details


Conference contribution and other activities

Lectures and presentations

Turning Data Protection Upside Down and Placing It on Its Feet
TILTing Perspectives 2019: 'Regulating a world in transition'. Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology, and Society (TILT). Tilburg University, Tilburg, The Netherlands: 15.05.2019 Further information

Jörg Pohle, Julian Hölzel

Wirkmechanismen auf dem Prüfstand
IX. Interdisziplinärer Workshop "Privacy, Datenschutz & Surveillance". Institut für Friedenssicherung und Humanitäres Völkerrecht (IFHV). Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Bochum, Germany: 09.04.2019 Further information

Jörg Pohle

Data Governance - Elaborating on a Research Concept
Towards health futures: digital innovation, infrastructure, and entrepreneurship on bio data (Session: Propositions for research on bio data). Freie Universität Berlin. Einstein Center for Digital Futures, Berlin, Germany: 07.03.2019 Further information

Alina Wernick

Testing AI for health - introduction to legal questions
Workshop on Artificial Intelligence for Health & ITU/WHO Focus Group AI4H Workshop. International Telecommunication Union, World Health Organization. EPFL SwissTech Convention Center, Lausanne, Switzerland: 22.01.2019

Alina Wernick

Transgressing the Boundaries: Rethinking the Foundations of Data Protection Theory
Future of Data Protection Law. Towards the law of everything?. Tilburg Law School. Tilburg University, Tilburg, The Netherlands: 20.11.2018 Further information

Jörg Pohle

Nudging: Regulierung durch Big Data und Verhaltenswissenschaften
Gutachterfachtagung: Big Data: intelligente Datenanalyse für die Datenökonomie. ABIDA-Projekt. Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF), Berlin, Germany: 17.10.2018 Further information

Maximilian von Grafenstein, Jörg Pohle

Privacy, Surveillance und Datenschutz – Geschichte(n), Theorie(n), Streit(s) und die neue EU-Datenschutzgrundverordnung. Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Berlin, Germany: 09.10.2018

Jörg Pohle

Privacy and Data Protection by Design – A Critical Perspective
Building Common Approaches for Cybersecurity and Privacy in a Globalized World (Session: Building Security: Design and Certification). NYU Center for Cybersecurity, Humboldt Institut für Internet und Gesellschaft. New York University, New York, USA: 03.10.2018

Jörg Pohle

Welt → Modell → Einschreibung → Welt’ – Grundrisse eines Frameworks zur Analyse & Kritik der Machtmuster in soziotechnischen Systemen
FIfFKon 2018: Brave New World – Gestaltungsfreiheiten und Machtmuster soziotechnischer Systeme. Forum InformatikerInnen für Frieden und gesellschaftliche Verantwortung. TU Berlin, Berlin, Germany: 28.09.2018 Further information

Daniel Guagnin, Jörg Pohle

Verdatung, Modellifizierung und die Industrialisierung der gesellschaftlichen Informationsverarbeitung – Erkenntnisse aus der Frühzeit und Hochphase der Datenschutzdebatte
Komplexe Dynamiken globaler und lokaler Entwicklungen. 39. Kongress der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Soziologie (Session: Die Vergesellschaftung der Daten: Datenökonomie und Datenschutz in komplexen Digitalisierungsdynamiken). Universität Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany: 25.09.2018 Further information

Jörg Pohle

...und was ist mit dem Datenschutz? Aufgaben und Herausforderungen von Datenschutzbehörden
Deutsch-Marokkanische Akademie für Gute Regierungsführung. Europäische Akademie Berlin, Berlin, Germany: 11.09.2018

Jörg Pohle

Determining Datamining - A Marxist perspective
MyData Conference 2018 (Session: Debating Rights and Responsibilities). Open Knowledge Foundation Finland. Kulturittaallo, Helsinki, Finland: 29.08.2018

Christopher Olk

Datenschutz, Modellifizierung und gesellschaftliche Macht
VII. Interdisziplinärer Workshop "Privacy, Datenschutz & Surveillance". Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society. Humboldt Institut für Internet und Gesellschaft, Berlin, Germany: 10.07.2018

Jörg Pohle

Cybersecurity and the Protection of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms in the Internet
#sharedchallenges -- German-Turkish student dialogue. European Law School, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Berlin, Germany: 06.07.2018

Jörg Pohle

Kolloquium Demokratie und Digitalisierung. Weizenbaum-Institut für die vernetzte Gesellschaft, Berlin, Germany: 04.07.2018

Jörg Pohle

Summer Immersions. The Lauder Institute, University of Pennsylvania. Carl Duisberg Centrum, Berlin, Germany: 02.07.2018

Jörg Pohle

PETable GDPR? Anonymization Techniques and the Law
PET-CON 2018.1: 8th Privacy Enhancing Techniques Convention. GI: Fachgruppe Datenschutzfördernde Technik. Einstein Center Digital Future, Berlin, Germany: 20.05.2018

Julian Hölzel

Richterratschlag 2016: Kryptografische Währungen am Beispiel von Bitcoin. Justizakademie Nordrhein-Westfalen, Recklinghausen, Germany: 05.11.2016

Neue Richtervereinigung - Zusammenschluss von Richterinnen und Richtern, Staatsanwältinnen und Staatsanwälten e.V.


Privacy Talks: Die Datenschutz-Grundverordnung: Goldstandard oder Sackgasse?
Privacy Talks: Die Datenschutz-Grundverordnung: Goldstandard oder Sackgasse?. Center for Information Technology, Society and Law. Universität Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland: 15.10.2018 Further information

Jörg Pohle

Organisation of events

Fake News, Online disinformation and democratic processes in Europe
11.01.2019. Alexander von Humboldt Institut für Internet und Gesellschaft, Berlin, Germany. Co-Organised by: Centre international de formation européenne (CIFE) (International) Further information

Jacek Wiland, Konstantinos Tsakiliotis, Kai Gärtner, Ingolf Pernice

Data Protection by Design in Smart Cities
05.11.2018. Humboldt Institut für Internet und Gesellschaft, Berlin, Germany (International)

Kevin Klug, Maximilian von Grafenstein, Jörg Pohle, Nuri Khadem

Methodische Fragen zu Prüfprogrammen im Sinne der Artikel 42 und 43 DSGVO (mit ECDF)
29.10.2018. Deutsche Akkreditierungsstelle DAkkS, Berlin, Germany (National)

Julian Hölzel, Maximilian von Grafenstein, Jörg Pohle, Nuri Khadem

13. Diplomatenkolleg des Auswärtigen Amtes
From 20.09.2018 to 20.09.2018. Walter Hallstein-Institut, Berlin, Germany (International)

Ingolf Pernice

VII. Interdisziplinärer Workshop "Privacy, Datenschutz & Surveillance"
10.07.2018. Humboldt Institut für Internet und Gesellschaft, Berlin, Germany. Co-Organised by: Johannes Eichenhofer (National)

Jörg Pohle

Nudging and Digital Platforms
with attending Vip: Maximilian Mayer. 10.01.2018. Humboldt Institut für Internet und Gesellschaft, Berlin, Germany (International)

Florian Irgmaier, Maximilian von Grafenstein, Jörg Pohle

Transatlantic Conference "Privacy and Cyber Security on the Books and on the Ground"
From 06.11.2017 to 07.11.2017. Humboldt Institut für Internet und Gesellschaft, Berlin, Germany. Co-Organised by: NYU (International)

Christian Marks, Luis Oala, Marie-Christine Dähn, Jörg Pohle, Ingolf Pernice

Privacy: Historischer Überblick und Vergleich ausgewählter Konzepte
Security und Privacy in dezentralen Systemen. From 01.11.2017 to 14.02.2018. Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Berlin, Germany. Co-Organised by: Schoppmann, Phillipp; Sparka, Hagen; Brack, Samuel; Henningsen, Sebastian; Scheuermann, Björn; Dietzel, Stefan (National)

Julian Hölzel

Geschichte und Theorie des eGovernment
with attending Vip: Klaus Lenk. 19.04.2017. Alexander von Humboldt Institut für Internet und Gesellschaft, Berlin, Germany (National)

Julian Hölzel, Jörg Pohle

Regulatorische Aspekte von Kryptowährungen
Digitale Währungen (M.A. Informatik/Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin). with attending Vip: Samuel Brack. From 18.04.2017 to 18.07.2017. Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, RUD 25, Raum 3.113, Berlin, Germany (National)

Stefan Dietzel, Julian Hölzel