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Fundationes II 2015 : Fundationes II: Anforderungen an eine Theorie des Datenschutzes für das 21. Jahrhundert // Requirements for a Theory of Data Protection for the 21st Century


When Mar 27, 2015 - Mar 27, 2015
Where Berlin
Submission Deadline Nov 2, 2014
Notification Due Nov 23, 2014
Final Version Due Feb 1, 2015
Categories    privacy   social sciences   philosophy   law

Call For Papers

The digitization seizes all areas of life. Then, why is the categorical separation between "public" and "private" still retained? Bourgeois society is a society, not a community. Sociologically, such a finding makes a significant difference. So why is the vast majority of privacy and data protection theories based on under-complex assumptions, which are based on a community-relatedness and a community-boundedness of the individual? Many passages use the pronoun "we" to cite examples, an identifier for a community. Who exactly is meant by this consensus-sheltering "we"? One of the central features of modern social information processing is that it is increasingly industrialized. Why are then individual sensitivities and needs still chosen as the starting point for a problem analysis? And why is the focus primarily on persons as potential attackers? Why should different demands be made on public and private data processors, if their organizational and technical practices of information processing are now largely the same? Is this distinction between "public" and "private" perhaps only an artifact planted by legal thinking?

The number of works describing and explaining privacy, Privatsphäre, Privatheit, surveillance or data protection is tremendous - their quality often scientifically questionable. Assumptions are often either not disclosed, are historically outmoded or based on a widespread misunderstanding of the information technological and sociological foundations. The constellations of actors of the underlying theories do not or only marginally overlap with the constellations of actors observed in the phenomenon area. For the participating actors are properties assumed such as rationality, knowledge or practices of information processing, which do not necessarily coincide with the observable and the observed. The same applies to the objectives pursued by the various stakeholders with their information processing. Finally, the question of how actors and social structures, how individuals and social systems come together, is not even recognized as a problem. In short, the current discussion on privacy, Privatsphäre, Privatheit, surveillance and data protection lacks sound theoretical foundations in the context of a global society, where organizations even in the field of information processing act largely in an industrialized manner. We do not believe that a theoretical study with these issues has become obsolete, quite the opposite.

In the workshop, we want to formulate quality requirements for a well-founded theory of data protection for the 21st century. What demands are to be made to such a theory and its genesis from a scientific - disciplinary as well as interdisciplinary - point of view? Which phenomenon areas shall be described and explained by the theory, which shall not? Which actor constellations and what power relations shall be described and explained by the theory, which shall not? What assumptions about the environment - society, organization, interaction, technology, processes - are allowed and what not?

Please submit your abstracts until 2 November 2014.

The workshop will be held in German and English. You should therefore be able to speak either German or English and to understand both. Abstracts and papers could be submitted in either German or English.

It’s the second workshop in our series "Fundationes" ( The first one was on the history and the theory of data protection (

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