Video talk with German CEO of Zoom

In a web discussion with Professor Dr. Thomas Hoeren, Peer Stemmler, who is responsible for Germany at Zoom, reported on the numerous critical data protection inquiries made to the company. In the one-hour conversation, he explained how the company had to make a name for itself in the area of data protection, especially in Germany, and how it had made many efforts towards end-to-end encryption. The discussion also addressed the transparency of the US company. Mr. Hoeren emphasized the need for a clear information policy with regard to data security. It was also discussed whether and when Zoom would cooperate with US authorities. Finally, Mr. Hoeren reported on the legal information center for NRW universities that has been established in Münster for several months. Short excerpts from the interview were made available by Zoom for general viewing on YouTube.

Webinar on “Effective design protection in companies”

On 06.10.2020 at 12 o’clock a webinar (zoom) will again be organized by the Institute for Information, Telecommunication and Media Law (ITM) – civil law department, Prof. Dr. Thomas Hoeren. All interested parties can take part in the ca. one-hour seminar free of charge.

Lecture @ Digital Justice Conference 2020 by

“Digital Justice” were the keywords of a new format of the Münster student initiative The initiative hosted a virtual online conference on September 3rd and 4th – the “Digital Justice Conference 2020”. The ITM also been involved.

Over the course of two days, renowned representatives from the fields of justice, politics and science discussed in lectures and discussion panels the opportunities and hurdles of digital justice, private online dispute resolution and the use of AI in the field of justice.

Professor Thomas Hoeren from the ITM focused in a lecture on the “courtroom of the future”. The basis was the findings from the legal-architectural-interdisciplinary project which he led in the winter semester 2019/20. He also addressed recent developments in the debate, such as the thesis paper of the working group on the modernization of the ZPO of the presidents of the High Courts (OLG). In addition to Professor Hoeren, the conference was also attended for example by Professor Gisela Rühl (University of Jena), Professor Reinhard Gaier, former Justice at the Supreme Court, and Dr. Thomas Dickert, editor-in-chief of the aforementioned thesis paper.

The lecture of Prof. Hoeren can now also be viewed here.

If you want to learn more about the conference as a whole, it is a great idea to listen to this podcast (German).

Lecture Legal Aspects of AI at Denkfabrik Digitales Münsterland




Yannik Borutta, Matthias Haag und Johannes Kevekordes from the research project GOAL (Governance of and by Algorithms) will give a lecture on 23.09 at the Denkfabrik Digitales Münsterland on legal issues related to artificial intelligence. The lecture will cover the particularities of intellectual property law as well as data protection and liability law. Within the GOAL project, Yannik, Matthias and Johannes deal with possibilities of regulating AI in different legal areas such as discrimination, patent and liability law.

The Denkfabrik is part of the overall project Enabling Networks Münsterland, which is a regional networking initiative that aims to establish networks between different regional actors and to organize their cooperation on a regional level. Representatives from companies, science and associations sit in the Denkfabrik and think together about the innovative use of AI technology in business and society. Special emphasis is placed on the potential that is offered to the Münsterland region through the use of AI.

Sign up for the lecture at

More detailed information on the lecture at Denkfabrik Digitales Münsterland is available in German at:

More detailed information on the GOAL project is available at:

More detailed information on Enabling Networks Münsterland is available in German at:

Five-year participation in the Network of Centers

Today the ITM celebrated its five-year membership in the NoC (Network of Centers) with a small group in Münster. On behalf of the ITM we would like to thank all participants for their video presentations. We hope that in the future an exchange with the NoC members in person can take place again.

The NoC is an international association of academic institutions and is coordinated by the Berkman Klein Center (Harvard University). The participating institutions have outstanding expertise in their academic fields. Regular joint research and academic exchange through fellowships and events creates synergy effects between the respective centers of expertise. The ITM is an active member and contributes its extensive expertise, especially in German and European law.

German legal education/Webinar with Vienna

At the invitation of Professor Nikolaus Forgó of the University of Vienna, Professor Dr. Thomas Hoeren held a lecture event on German legal education. The seminar was part of an extensive seminar and lecture series at the University of Vienna under the motto “Ars boni”. The basic structure of the German legal education with first state exams and second practice-oriented state exams was presented. The main topics of discussion were the amount of study and the compulsion to have everything at hand in one examination date. The main focus of the training, such as the ITM in Münster, was rated very positively. Hoeren warned against the German habilitations and against too much euphoria for the German career path to professor. The seminar was attended by more than 300 participants from all over Europe. Here the video

German State Media Authorities consult GOAL

The Working Group of the State Media Authorities (ALM) is currently working on concretizing the new State Media Treaty by means of statutes. Within the framework of the modernization of the State Media Treaty, social networks and search engines are required to be more transparent and non-discriminatory. To ensure that the conference of the directors of the State Media Authorities is able to concretise the State Media Treaty in a practical manner and to identify possible implementation difficulties, it has consulted Prof. Hoeren (GOAL project spokesperson, ITM, WWU Münster) and asked for his opinion on the matter. The statement of the GOAL-ITM-team focused in particular with the legal characteristics regarding „information“ intermediaries (e.g. social media) and their use of AI applications.

Essay “Data protection issues in the selection of video conferencing tools”

In a recently published article (John/Wellmann, DuD 2020, 506-510), the research assistants Nicolas John and Maximilian Wellmann have taken the rapidly changing communication behaviour during the corona crisis as an opportunity to investigate data protection issues in the field of video conferencing software. The decisive factor for this was not least the numerous inquiries that reached and still reach ITM on this topic during the hot phase of the corona crisis. The article gets to the bottom of a multitude of data protection problems that place special demands on the person responsible.

In addition to the question of whether on-premises solutions are preferable to cloud-based Software as Service solutions, the article also addresses the question of the transfer of personal data to countries outside the scope of the DSGVO. In the course of the investigation, the difficulty of reconciling the multitude of technically available solutions with the limits of data protection regulation became particularly apparent. That this is not impossible, however, is one of the core messages of the essay.

The article is the first part of a two-part publication, the second part of which will examine data protection in the setting up and use of videoconferencing tools. This article will be published in the September issue of DuD.

Link to the article:


Consultation of the Goal Group around AI researcher Prof. Dr. Hoeren by TILT/The Netherlands

The Goal Group around Prof. Dr. Thomas Hoeren (on GOAL) took part in an expert consultation of a Dutch research project. The consultation was conducted by the Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology, and Society (TILT), which is conducting research on the regulation of AI in a joint project involving several universities on behalf of the Dutch government. Prof. Dr. Hoeren and the Goal research group at ITM assessed in particular the legal status de lege lata and evaluated possible changes to the existing standards in AI guidelines.

Lecture “E-Tests – A consideration of data protection law”

In the context of a meeting of the “Chancellor’s Working Group on Digital Transformation” at the Technical University of Braunschweig, research assistants Malin Fischer (RiDH) and Owen Mc Grath (DFN) gave a presentation on Wednesday, July 15 on the data protection assessment of digital examinations. The lecture included to a large extent results of the cooperation of the Legal Information Center Digital University NRW and the Research Center for Law at DFN. The compatibility of digital surveillance measures (so-called proctoring) with European data protection law was a central topic. Special attention was paid to the appropriate legal basis of the DSGVO and the compliance with the principles of lawful processing of personal data in the implementation of common surveillance measures. Subsequently, details were briefly discussed.

Finally, the legal aspects of e-examinations were supplemented by a practice report from the University of Osnabrück by Dr. Andreas Knaden.

We would like to thank the Chancellor Working Group Digital Transformation for the invitation!