Diversity-oriented privacy protection in digital environments (DiversPrivat)

Many users of digital services frequently provide broad consent for the collection and processing of their data, often without a full understanding of the potential consequences. This problem is particularly acute for those groups of people who, for structural or individual reasons, have less background knowledge about the advantages or even necessity of digital privacy protection. They also often lack the feeling of being able to make self-determined decisions in technical areas. Recognizing the limitations of traditional methods to enhance privacy literacy in these groups, the project aims to research and test alternative approaches to guaranteeing the fundamental right to informational self-determination.

The basis for the development of new protection concepts is an ethically sound systematization of various vulnerable groups. The aim is to increase awareness of the disclosure of private data in order to avert potentially negative consequences. The results of the research will be used to develop appropriate attention-grabbing signals (e.g. visual overlays) and other suitable mechanisms to prevent people from consenting to the collection of data too quickly. In particular, it is being investigated whether the perception of intrusions into privacy can and must be made instinctively tangible. The aim is to strengthen intuitive behaviors for the protection of privacy.

Based on ethical and psychological approaches, the project will develop mechanisms that lead to greater data protection competence among users and strengthen the self-protection of their own privacy in consent processes. Building on this, the construct of informed consent will be reconceptualized in relation to vulnerable groups. Concrete recommendations for the development and design of appropriate user interfaces will be derived from the results.

The project "Diversity-oriented privacy protection in digital environments (Divers Privat)" is the subject of the funding guideline "Platform Privacy - Supporting citizens in exercising the fundamental right to informational self-determination" as part of the Federal Government's research framework program on IT security "Digital. Secure. Sovereign". The BMBF is funding the project for three years with 1.23 million euros.

Project partners:

Further information can be found on the BMBF website.

Project information

Federal Ministry of Education and Research

June 2023 - May 2026

Project leader:
Priv.-Doz. Dr. Christian Geminn

Luisa Schmied