Fair digital services [EN]

The content on this page was translated automatically.

BMBF project "Fair digital services: co-evaluation in the design of data-economic business models (FAIRDIENSTE)", duration 02/2021 to 02/2024

Companies that market digital products or services often face the dilemma that their interest in and need for customer data conflicts with the customers' desire for privacy. For consumers, it means an encroachment on their rights of self-determination if they have to disclose too much data or if their behavior is guided unnoticed by digital surveillance. In the project "Fair digital services: co-evaluation in the design of data-economic business models (FAIRDIENSTE)", this structural conflict is taken as an opportunity to explore and relate different ways of fairly communicating values in the course of business model design using sociological and (business) informatics approaches. First, it is investigated to what extent different values can be translated into an economic language of prices and fairly accounted for (accounting). Second, it is elaborated how companies can use their economic design power to channel value conflicts (design). Third, it will be examined to what extent the negotiation of value conflicts can be outsourced via social media elements in order to promote a culture of fairness among users (cultivation). In this way, a multidimensional methodology of "co-evaluation", i.e. cooperative value mediation, is to be developed and tested in practice, which helps companies to harmonize their economic business models with aspects of data-economic fairness.

The project is a cooperation between the departments of Sociological Theory (Prof. Dr. Jörn Lamla, coordinator), Gender/Diversity in Informatics Systems (Prof. Dr. Claude Draude) and Knowledge Processing (Prof. Dr. Gerd Stumme) at the University of Kassel, the Institute for Digital Management and New Media at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich (Prof. Dr. Thomas Hess), the company BurdaForward (Dr. Richard Weber, Munich) and the Institute for Technology and Journalism (Miriam Ruhenstroth, Berlin).

Subproject GeDIS

The GeDIS sub-project focuses in particular on the design level. It investigates to what extent a fair coexistence of different value systems can be realized by using economic organizational and design power with technical means of separation and coupling. For this purpose, the potentials of IT-based tools are explored, which can be supportive in the development of fair digital services. Fairness and democratic value orientation in the context of digital services not only touch on issues of mediation and regulation, but also pose a challenge for information technology design itself. In computer science, there are various design methods that aim at value-oriented development or, as in participatory design, for which democratization of digital artifacts and empowerment of users are fundamental. The aim of the sub-project is to tie in with these design directions and to make them usable and applicable to the subject of the overall project. This means that existing methods of participatory IT development must be updated with regard to fair business models, and existing IT tools must be tested and, if necessary, further developed. The special focus of the sub-project is on the trans-shipment point of technical development and social, normative values.

The people involved from the GeDIS department are Claude Draude, Viktoria Horn and Nils Knoth, and formerly Nana Kesewaa Dankwa.