Nudger - Nudging Privacy in the Digitized Working Environment - Systematic Concept Development and Piloting

Initial Situation

As an increasing number of decisions are made online today, such as shopping, holiday bookings or insurance, nudging is becoming increasingly important in the digital context, especially when it comes to influencing individual decisions within digital work systems. Problems of privacy and informational self-determination, for example, could be solved by empowering users of digital systems to make "better" choices while preserving their freedom of choice. Despite their great importance, these nudges have hardly been tested to date and there is no reliable knowledge about the design of nudges in digital work systems.

Project Aims

The joint project Nudger pursues the goal of developing and implementing privacy nudging concepts that can be integrated into digital work systems. By including nudges in the decision making process of employees in digital work systems, private-friendly IT systems with a high degree of informational self-determination can be developed. At the same time, it enables flexible working models of the future and improves business models for solution providers. The use of digital nudges in the form of small design modifications is a promising approach to promote data protection, which has so far hardly been tested in the field of digital work systems. In the context of digital work systems, employees should be influenced by privacy nudges in such a way that they make "better" decisions that strengthen their privacy and informational self-determination. Typical examples of privacy nudges are the use of default settings, the provision of feedback and the creation of incentives for informational self-protection. A theory-based and practice-oriented basis of the developed solutions ensures their transferability to different industries and applications. In order to ensure the sustained success of the developed nudging concepts and IT tools, they are iteratively piloted and evaluated in the project by using feasibility studies as part of the 'smart' industry. The project supports the technological progress and its acceptance as well as an organizational trust and work culture by creating practical concepts on the basis of 'Privacy by Design' and by supporting the security of the technology-based employee data protection.

Project Partners

• University of Kassel, Information Systems, Prof. Dr. Jan Marco Leimeister (Coordination)
• University of Kassel, Public Law, Information Technology Law and Environmental Law, Prof. Dr. Gerrit Hornung
• smarTransfer GmbH, Dr. Philipp Bitzer
• Fraunhofer IAO — Operations Management and Future Work Lab, Dr. Stefan Gerlach

The project Nudger is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), managed by the DLR VDI/VDE-IT Innovation + Technik GbmH.

Grant number of the Department of Information Systems, University of Kassel: 16KIS0890K

Publications of the Project


  • Schöbel, S.; Barev, T. J.; Janson, A.; Hupfeld, F. & Leimeister, J. M. (2020): Understanding User Preferences of Digital Privacy Nudges – A Best-Worst Scaling Approach. In: Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS) - Best Paper Award.
  • Schöbel, S.; Janson, A.; Jahn, K.; Kordyaka, B.; Turetken, O.; Djafarova, N.; Saqr, M.; Wu, D.; Söllner, M.; Adam, M.; Heiberg Gad, P.; Wesseloh, H. & Leimeister, J. M. (2020): A Research Agenda for the Why, What, and How of Gamification Designs Results on an ECIS 2019 Panel. In: Communications of the Association for Information Systems.
  • Barev, T. J.; Janson, A. & Leimeister, J. M. (2020): Designing Effective Privacy Nudges in Digital Environments: A Design Science Research Approach. In: 15th International Conference on Design Science Research in Information Systems and Technology (DESRIST).


  • Schomberg, S.; Barev, T. J.; Janson, A. & Hupfeld, F. (2019): Ansatz zur Umsetzung von Datenschutz nach der DSGVO im Arbeitsumfeld: Datenschutz durch Nudging. In: Informatik 2019 - 49. Jahrestagung der Gesellschaft für Informatik (GI). Kassel, Germany: Gesellschaft für Informatik (GI).
  • Barev, T. J. & Janson, A. (2019): Towards an Integrative Understanding of Privacy Nudging – Systematic Review and Research Agenda. In: 18th Annual Pre-ICIS Workshop on HCI Research in MIS (ICIS).
  • Schomberg, S.; Barev, T. J.; Janson, A. & Hupfeld, F. (2019): Ansatz zur Umsetzung von Datenschutz nach der DSGVO im Arbeitsumfeld: Datenschutz durch Nudging. In: Datenschutz und Datensicherheit - DuD, Ausgabe/Nummer: Issue 12, Vol. December 2019 Volume 43, Erscheinungsjahr/Year: 2019. pp. 774-780.


  • Janson, A. & Schöbel, S. (2018): Nudging Privacy in Digital Work Systems – Towards the Development of a Design Theory. In: International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS). San Francisco, CA, USA.