ITM Running dinner

On Oct. 15, 2021, the fourth edition of the “ITM Running Dinner” took place at ITM after a one-year break due to corona. A Running Dinner consists of three courses (starter, main and dessert) served at different locations by different hosts. Each course is made up of colorful host teams and guest teams. From pumpkin soup to quiches, game goulash, Pad Thai to crème brûlée, the most diverse delicacies were served during this year’s Running Dinner. Afterwards, with the beverage support of Prof. Hoeren, all teams gathered for a small drink.

We would like to sincerely thank all participating teams and are already looking forward to the planned new edition in spring 2022.

Art law clinic in South Africa

The Art Law Clinic in Münster enjoys great popularity, and not only in Münster. Nationwide, requests for an extended cooperation between law students and art students are coming in. Now the concept of the Münster Art Law Clinic has also been successfully established in South Africa. Professor Dr. Thomas Hoeren has agreed with his colleague in Stellenbosch, Sadulla Karjiker, and the Faculty of Fine Arts that law students from South Africa will provide legal advice to visual artists, under the supervision of the law professors and a lawyer from Cape Town. The project will start in 2022 and is already meeting with a good response in Stellenbosch. Furthermore, it  is planned to support the Stellenbosch University Library with book donations in the area of intellctual property rights.

Simon Henseler on Scoring

Simon Henseler from the University of Zurich gave a presentation at the end of his research stay on 29.09.2021 on the permissibility of automated credit scoring under data protection law, comparing Swiss and European data protection law.

By way of introduction, Mr. Henseler classified the current practical relevance of credit scoring, which has gained in importance in particular due to the installment payments and similar payment methods frequently offered in online stores. If a customer inquires about such credit, the merchant must be able to make an informed decision about creditworthiness. This is where the credit bureaus come in, and their system works in three phases: First, the credit agency obtains, stores and systematizes the relevant data and uses it to develop a model that can be used to obtain meaningful results about a person’s creditworthiness. If the credit agency then receives an inquiry from a potential lender, this model calculates a credit score, which is made known to the lender in the third phase as the basis for its decision on whether to grant credit.

This was followed by an explanation of the outline of the dissertation by Mr. Henseler. After an overview of the worldwide practice of credit scoring and a more in-depth explanation of the Swiss system, a data protection law examination of the scoring systems then follows as a synoptic comparison between the legal situation under the Swiss DSG and the European DSGVO. In addition to a discussion of the substantive and formal requirements, particularly those relating to the procedure, the focus here is on the permissibility of the current practice under data protection law in accordance with the respective legal systems. In this context, the different approach of the DSG and the DSGVO must be taken into account: While the former provides for permission with a reservation of prohibition, the latter follows the principle of prohibition with reservation of permission. Ultimately, however, the two systems converge again through a justification test that must also be carried out in Swiss law in the event of violations of personal rights through data processing.

After the conclusion of the lecture, there followed a lively discussion between the audience and, in particular, Professor Thomas Hoeren and the lecturer. Here, an intensive exchange took place about the role of the prohibition of automated individual decisions according to Art. 22 DSGVO (if this should be such a prohibition at all) and the new rules of the European Commission for the legally secure use of AI.

We sincerely thank Mr. Henseler for his highly interesting lecture, which was only made all the more insightful by the many thoughtful contributions to the discussion by the audience, and hope that he will have fond memories of his research stay at ITM.

J!Cast: The new Swiss DPA and the GDPR: Differences and similarities

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 In this episode of the J!Cast, the Swiss guest researcher Simon Henseler (University of Zurich) and the research assistant Nicolas John (ITM Münster) talk about the upcoming new data protection law in Switzerland and examine the differences and similarities of the law with the European GDPR. Simon Henseler also explains the current discussions about the VDSG, which has yet to be passed, and ventures an outlook on which problem points could possibly occupy the Swiss courts after the DSG becames effective.

(Deutsch) J!Cast: Das digitale Hausrecht

In this podcast, research assistants Owen Mc Grath and Nico Gielen talk about Facebook’s and universities’ ‘virtual house right’.

You can also find an article on Facebook’s ‘virtual house right’ in the September issue of DFN-Infobrief Recht. In October, we will also publish an Infobrief on the ‘virtual house right’ of universities.

J!Cast abonnieren


New Publication on Fairness-Measures





The GOAL-Project researchers Johannes Kevekordes, Marc P. Hauer and Maryam Amir Haeri have published a paper on the legal assessment of possible fairness measures.

With the increasing use of AI in algorithmic decision making (e.g. based on neural networks), the question arises how bias can be excluded or mitigated. There are some promising approaches, but many of them are based on a ”fair” ground truth, others are based on a subjective goal to be reached, which leads to the usual problem of how to define and compute ”fairness”. The different functioning of algorithmic decision making in contrast to human decision making leads to a shift from a process-oriented to a result-oriented discrimination assessment. We argue that with such a shift society needs to determine which kind of fairness is the right one to choose for which certain scenario. To understand the implications of such a determination we explain the different kinds of fairness concepts that might be applicable for the specific application of hiring decisions, analyze their pros and cons with regard to the respective fairness interpretation and evaluate them from a legal perspective (based on EU law).

The publication is available here.