Completed Third Party Funded Projects

EU-Project SODA

As a Horizon2020 project, the main objective of the SODA project is to develop a privacy-preserving Big Data analytics tool, which is able to deal with the large-scale processing of personal data. We believe this will contribute to a more effective research in the healthcare domain.
Our primary objective is to help develop a GDPR-compliant, secure system. Our job at the Department is to provide an in-depth legal analysis of international and European data protection and privacy laws, especially but not limited to the GDPR. We monitor and evaluate the latest legal developments relating privacy-preserving technologies, such as decisions of the ECJ, opinions of the European Data Protection Board, decisions and statements of various data protection authorities, etc. We mainly focus on different de-identification methods from a legal angle, lawful and secure processing of sensitive data, consent policy. For the medical demonstrator, we perform specific analysis in this setting.

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Cultural Property - Property Rights over Cultural Property

The Cultural Property Project deals with the analysis of the international order of cultural property rights. By means of a positive-analytical institutional-economic approach, the interest and incentive situation of the involved and affected actors is examined. In terms of welfare economics, it is important to show how cultural property rights should be optimally designed. Thereby, a perspective for an optimal design of the right of disposition is to be developed out of positive as well as normative analysis.
The focus is on the creation of rights of disposal in the international negotiation process of WIPO. As cultural property right, the allocation of a specific right of disposal, e.g. to an indigenous group as a collective. In the first phase, in cooperation with the other subprojects, a common definition of cultural property will be developed, followed by requirements for a right of disposal of cultural property, in order to examine the rule building in WIPO, which deals with the protection of cultural property, From this political development, perspectives for the international order of disposal over cultural property are to be developed.
The project is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). It is designed interdisciplinary and is carried out in close cooperation with Prof. Dr. med. Kilian Bizer from the Economics Department. In further subprojects Prof. Dr. med. Regina Bendix, Cultural Anthropology / European Ethnology, Dr. med. Beate Engelbrecht, Institute for the Scientific Film, Prof. Dr. med. Brigitta Hauser-Schäublin, Institute of Ethnology, Prof. Dr. med. Thomas Hengartner, Institute of Folklore / Hamburg, and Prof. Dr. med. Peter Tobias Stoll, Institute for International Law are involved.

Responsibilities of IT Manufacturers, Users and Intermediaries on Behalf of the BSI

Based on the BSI study on IT security in critical infrastructures, the current legal situation was spotted, which splinters strongly depending on the industry (financial sector, environmental sector etc.), but also legal form (corporation - company - private). This current regulatory framework for IT security was analyzed in the framework of the project by means of a legal economic analysis, which gave reasons of this unequal regulation, but also indications of inefficiencies. It emerged that apart from the data protection regulations, which cover a large number of users and IT providers as specific IT-related standards, uniform rules or an overarching approach to ensuring basic IT security, in particular in the general regulations in the civil as well as in public law, and the structures prove to be inhomogeneous.
On this basis, a proposal was then made for a uniform IT security law that includes product, service and plant or organizational security obligations, thereby counteracting the regulatory deficits identified in the first step.

Liability of Internet Providers - Liability of Internet Providers - EU Commission DG Internal Market

The project addresses the accountability and liability of internet providers concerning the implementation of the E-commerce Directive within the EU Member States and the legal policy implications of this as part of a review of the E-Commerce Directive. The study has been commissioned by the Directorate-General for the Internal Market and provides an in-depth comparative legal overview of the relevant judgments and developments in all EU Member States.

Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) - Internet early-warning system for Germany

The Federal Office for Security in Information Technology (BSI) works with cooperation partners from various fields in order to develop an IT early-warning system. In this system, an interaction between authorities and partners from the IT industry should provide the broadest possible insight into a current threat situation of the Internet. This is done by exchanging information obtained in a variety of ways, e.g. through probes or a reporting portal. This exchange identifies security vulnerabilities and attacks as early as possible. The findings and their exploitation should then lead as far as possible to an improved protection of the computer systems of federal institutions, as well as the publication of possible concrete safety warnings.
The chair holder Spindler undertakes the legal assessment and protection, primarily in civil law. It covers, among other things, the contract, liability, copyright, company, competition and antitrust laws. Key areas include the handling of the information obtained and the legal issues of the warnings.


The aim of the project "MediaNet", which is executed with the Center for Internet Research and Media Integration (ZIM) of the Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich (LMU) on behalf of the T-Labs of the Deutsche Telekom AG, is the development of a business model withholding the idea of the distribution of user-generated and professional content and the subsequent functions of tracking (tracking) of content, as well as the profiling of the involved users. The implementation of this business model idea takes place in the framework of four work packages: market analysis and business models, legal aspects, technology analysis and test environment, as well as an evaluation. The chair holder is responsible for work package 2, the "legal aspects". From a legal perspective, he accompanies the technical developments and ensures a legally compliant technology design.

Virtual Life (Secure, Trusted and Legally Ruled Collaboration Environment in Virtual Life), DG InfSo, FP7-ICT-2007-1

The Virtual Life project aims to develop an end-to-end application system that enables a new kind of interactive communication in peer-to-peer form in a virtual world based on a 3D environment. For this a new form of experience for the individual users (Virtual Zones) and user communities (Virtual Nations) should be created.
A high-quality virtual 3D perception should be combined with the reliability of a secure communication infrastructure. Special emphasis is placed on creating secure and regulated places within the virtual world where important transactions can take place (for example, creating and exchanging content, media or data where the user is acting through an avatar).
For the most part, the chair holder Spindler takes over the creation of the legal system of the virtual nation, Internet and IT legal considerations and studies, as well as any other legal aspects of this virtual world.

ELDOC: Legal Study on Legal and Administrative Practices Regarding the Validity and Mutual Recognition of Electronic Documents - With a View to Identifying the Existing Legal Barriers for Enterprises, DG Enterprise and Industry

The study has the following purposes:
To provide an overview of the existing legal and administrative practices of Member States, EEA States and candidate countries regarding the handling of electronic documents in e-commerce transactions.
To investigate and assess these practices, which will uncover remaining legal limits regarding the use of electronic documents in e-commerce and identifying possible solutions to these problems, particularly in the intergovernmental area, where the validity and acceptance of electronic documents generally show the greatest difficulties.

Project Mediaconomy (Federal Ministry for Research and Education)

Mediaconomy is an interdisciplinary research project of the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen on problems within the internet economy. Mediaconomy has been funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) since July 2003 as part of the "Internet Economy" call.
From different research-theoretical perspectives, the effects of changing market structures and forms of offer by internet-based, in particular mobile applications using the example of the media industry will be investigated and multi-perspective explanatory and design models will be developed.

Legal-IST (DG Information and Society)

As an EC-funded project (FP6, IST programs), LEGAL-IST aims to support research on information society technology (IST), primarily from a legal perspective. For this purpose, the legal implications of current research initiatives are examined and suggestions for a corresponding implementation strategy are made.
Consensus-building among those involved in the scheme will also help to develop principles for strengthening the EU regulatory framework.
The project aims to record, analyze and design legal aspects of innovative technologies and methods emerging from the information society.

Judicial Mediation in Lower Saxony

Alternative forms of dispute resolution and in particular mediation have gained increasing attention and importance in the past years. Compared to the normal disputed legal proceedings, mediation is credited with numerous advantages, in particular cost and time savings, confidentiality, flexibility of the negotiations and the result, as well as acceptance of the result by all participants.
With the model project based on three years “Judicial mediation in Lower Saxony” it has been explored since March 2002, whether and under what conditions it is reasonable to include mediation as a (cost-effective) alternative to legal proceedings in the range of offered legal services. Among six model courts, even if judicial proceedings have already been initiated, the right of seekers should be possible to settle their conflict amicably with the help of a judge-mediator.

Risk Thesaurus (OECD)
This OECD project leads to the creation of a so-called thesaurus in the area of risk assessment for Major Chemical Accidents (incidents in the chemical industry). The purpose of this thesaurus is to facilitate comparisons between terms used by different jurisdictions in the area of risk assessment and to facilitate an understanding between countries and companies participating in the OECD. To achieve this goal, a database has been developed that is widely accessible on the Internet, but is still in the development stage. The legal requirements are processed at the level of law or regulation. The substandard standards, such as directives, administrative regulations, technical standards or procedures practiced by industry are also included.

Accident Law (Umweltbundesamt)

The accident law has been revolutionized by the EU's Seveso II Directive, introducing extensive safety management obligations. The adaptation to German law, which is essentially technology-oriented and refers to the plant as a concept, presents considerable difficulties.
For this reason, in 1996, Prof. Dr. Spindler was commissioned by the German Institute for Nuclear Safety and the Federal Ministry for the Environment to prepare a legal opinion for the implementation. Since this report contains a fundamental examination of the accident law beyond the concrete order, it has been published to the interested public.

Industrial parks and Accident Law (Umweltbundesamt)

Industrial parks and their legal problems also form another focus of research. Splitting former unit companies into one location, such as Hoechst AG, means that a large number of operating companies operating independently of one another operate on a factory site. This results in questions of interpretation with regard to the neighborhood concept in immission control law, for example with regard to safety distances to be maintained, technical protection systems, etc.
These questions were the subject of a research project funded by the Federal Environment Agency and in collaboration with Gerling Risiko-Consulting GmbH. The results were presented in a summary in 2002.