20th Berlin Colloquium
Data Man – Of Liberty and Self-Determination in the Digital World


May 11, 2016
10.30 - 18.00 Uhr
Langenbeck-Virchow-Haus, Berlin


Whoever uses information technology today leaves data traces. In the digital world, a comprehensive profile of any person can be generated within a very short time. Virtual and real information are now merging, so that increasingly efficient analysis methods are making the behavior not only of individuals, but even of entire groups of people predictable and thus controllable. Acquired, used, controlled: Is this the “data man” of the modern era?

Many people still accept evaluation of their personal data as a necessary evil. But is this really necessary? What about our liberty as guaranteed by the constitution, or our right to self-determination? Will we relinquish both of these, either willingly or of necessity – or are there in fact alternatives to “homo translucidus”? At the 20th Berlin Colloquium of the Daimler and Benz Foundation, renowned experts discussed the significance of these developments for the individual and our society in view of the new and seemingly unlimited capabilities of information technology. Scientists and representatives of companies and NGOs examined the status of informational self-determination in the digital world from an interdisciplinary perspective. They discussed the economic value of data, the question of human dignity, and the possibilities open to politics for protecting citizens by legislation.

Scientific director:
Prof. Dr. Alexander Roßnagel, Institute of Economic Law, University of Kassel

Markus Beckedahl, Netzpolitik.org
Florian Glatzner, Federation of German Consumer Organisations (vzbv)
Prof. Dr. Jeanette Hofmann, Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society (HIIG)
Prof. Dr. Gerrit Hornung, Department of Public Law, IT Law, and Environmental Law, University of Kassel
Prof. Dr. Johannes Masing, Federal Constitutional Court
Thoralf Schwanitz, Google Germany GmbH
Prof. Dr. Indra Spieker (Döhmann), Institute of Public Law, University of Frankfurt