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!

Lecture on developments in Chinese copyright law

On 14.07.2020, Zhang Kaiye* gave a lecture on the development of Chinese copyright law at the ITM. He introduced the audience* to the origins of the Copyright Act and gave them an overview of the main aspects of the three changes in the law that have taken place since then. In doing so, he always placed them in an international context, from the Berne Convention to the Beijing Treaty on Audiovisual Performances.

The main focus of the presentation was the discussion of the Punitive Damages introduced by the last amendment. According to Art. 53 of the Chinese Copyright Act, punitive damages can be imposed in the case of intentional and particularly serious copyright infringements. The amount of damages depends on the value of the damage and is payable to the right holder. Thus, the Copyright Act ties in with other areas, such as the Chinese Consumer Protection Law, Trademark Law and Unfair Competition Law, where punitive damages are already possible.

After the presentation, there was an opportunity for questions and discussion. The ITM would like to thank Zhang Kaiye for his interesting lecture and his excellent work as a guest researcher in the civil law department of the ITM.

* Zhang Kaiye is a doctoral student at the School of Law of Tsinghua University in China and a guest researcher in the civil law department of ITM.

Podcast: Discrimination by algorithmic systems

This new podcast in the ITM series J!Cast deals with discrimination by algorithmic systems. Johannes Kevekordes (research assistant) of the BMBF-funded project GOAL (Governance of/ by Algorithms) is interviewed by Matthias Haag. The podcast gives an overview of the problems of discrimination by algorithms.

Further information on GOAL can be found on the GOAL website and on Twitter under @Goal_Project.This new podcast in the ITM series J!Cast deals with discrimination by algorithmic systems. Johannes Kevekordes (research assistant) of the BMBF-funded project GOAL (Governance of/ by Algorithms) is interviewed by Matthias Haag. The podcast gives an overview of the problems of discrimination by algorithms.

Further information on GOAL can be found on the GOAL website and on Twitter under @Goal_Project.

Library opened again

Die Bibliothek des ITM ist ab dem 20.07.2020 wieder geöffnet. Es gelten die gewöhnlichen Öffnungszeiten.

The library of the ITM will be open again from 20.07.2020. The usual opening hours apply.

Report from the GOAL-Summer School, 23-24 June 2020




On 23 and 24 June the Summer School organised by the GOAL project took place. Due to the special circumstances caused by the Corona crisis, it was held digitally. Both project-internal and external speakers discussed interesting issues related to the governance of algorithms. There were lectures and workshops from the fields of (socio-)computer science, law, ethics, economics and technology assessment.

Review: “Fighting Corona – a question of money and patents?”

Today (23.06.2020) at the ITM, journalist Niklas Schenck discussed with Oliver Lampe (Managing Director of the Intellectual Property Research Centre) in the webinar “Fighting Corona – a question of money and patents?” the effects of patent law on the research and development of drugs and other medical devices. In particular, the current coronavirus pandemic was discussed. More than 100 experts in intellectual property and pharmaceutical law (including from GRUR) took part in the event via Zoom and Youtube.

Member of German Parliament in the ITM lecture on copyright law

On 8 June, the deputy chairperson of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group, Gitta Connemann, gave a lecture on cultural policy, which was appreciated by all students, in the context of the lecture on copyright law given by Professor Dr. Thomas Hoeren. The inspiring lecture took place via zoom; in addition to the 80 students, numerous documentary filmmakers from all over Germany took part. Born in East Frisia, Connemann has been committed to the interests of artists in Germany for many years, including as chair of the Bundestag’s Enquete Commission on the Situation of Artists. In her lecture, she focused on the Commission’s much-noticed final report from 2007 and its impact on art. Ms. Connemann reported on the beginnings of the commission, its references to the art scene and the important focus at the time on copyright law and copyright perception law. She gave an exciting account of the grievances at GEMA at that time and of the heated discussions on the fee policy of public broadcasting. She dealt in detail with the position of the documentary film with the major broadcasting corporations and with film funding policy. She then outlined the current discussion in the Bundestag about an efficient Corona Cultural Package and praised the establishment of a focal area of cultural law for law studies. The video of the lecture can be seen here

Donation for the ITM

The ITM is pleased to receive a generous donation of books from attorney and notary Fritz R. Greis. After more than 40 years as a lawyer and notary public in Hamm and Münster, Mr. Greis closed his library and donated a large part of the books he had accumulated over decades to the ITM’s in-house library. Mr. Greis has also been a member of the University Society of the EMU for many years, which is why it was a matter of course for him to donate books to Münster institutes. Prof. Dr. Thomas Hoeren is particularly pleased about this for the many students, whose research possibilities in the library of the ITM are now even more comprehensive.

At this point, Prof. Dr. Hoeren and the entire ITM team would like to thank Mr. Greis once again for his generous donation!