Aims of the Research Training Group

Aims of the Research Training Group

In the extension period the Research Training Group (RTG) addresses privacy specific aspects of digitalization and touches upon an area of high actuality and political relevance, social topicality and an outstanding scientific significance. The aim of the RTG is to adjust the status of privacy conditions of digitalization and increasing informational self-determination and to put to test the existing concepts of privacy. This happens within the research areas of „digitalization“, „surveillance and control“ as well as „self-determination and responsibility“. The complexity of the unsolved issues at the intersection of technic, law, ethics, culture and social behavior requires an interdisciplinary research which has its ideal ground at the University of Passau.

Privacy and Digitalization

The condition of an integrative theory of privacy was examined thoroughly in the first funding period and the impossibility of a central perspective from which such a theory would have to be formulated has been confirmed. These works should be extended in the second funding period mainly to media scientific, media and information law and media ethical aspects. Hence it is wanted to combine legal perspective with approaches from cultural science. The new research program directly results from the outcomes of the first funding period. The specialization is seen by the RTG as a necessity to satisfy the current urgent needs of privacy research, to examine socio-cultural areas of problems and defuse them from the legal perspective. The following demands should be pursued:

  1. Current theoretical and methodological approaches to analyze digitalism from a legal and cultural studies perspective should be combined with the respective attempts from privacy analysis and critically inspected. Due to the interdisciplinary interrelatedness models and problem-solving approaches can be anticipated which have more dimension than mere legal, cultural, social or media approaches would have. At the same time the outcomes of the research to be expected will integrative and not reductionist and contribute to all involved disciplines. This entails sociological, philosophical, psychological and economical fields as well as areas of communication, media and political science.
  2. Our research shall reveal where privacy concepts and effects of digitalization have specialist features that deny a generalization and therefor build the limits of a productive interdisciplinary nature.
  3. The research work of the RTG takes place due to the very well connectivity of the institution always with the knowledge and in accordance with other, also international institutions. This means the most recent approaches of privacy research will not just be taken into account by the RTG but also formed by it.