Conference Content


Panel Discussion: "The future of Data Protection"


1. Julia Manske, Stiftung Neue Verantwortung

2. Frederick Richter, Stiftung Datenschutz


Moderator: Hertie School of Governance Professor



Round one and two: (all four run simultaneously for both rounds)


Workshop 1

Security and Data Retention / Marilia Monteiro, HSoG

Format: rounds of discussions among participants followed by an open floor discussion

Discussion topics:

1. The need for access to communication data for investigation purposes

  • Available data on requests and investigations concluded due to communication data
  • Reports and privacy impact evaluations

2. The levels of surveillance - state surveillance and private surveillance

  • The different nuances of national security
  • What is the role of private companies in enabling investigation - liabilities and cooperation?

3. Necessary and proportionate balance

  • What data is required? For how long data should be kept?
  • How about logical ports and encryption?


Workshop 2

Data protection in an interconnected world - Case: Healthcare / Chris Abels, Polis 180

The Internet of Things (IoT) has become an increasingly important aspect of our lives. The future will be a more connected one, where sensors and transmitters constantly communicate with each other to collect information and use them to make our lives easier. However, this comes at a price: the more information are gathered and shared, the more our behaviour, attitudes and personality becomes transparent.

An important area of application is healthcare. The European Union already defined its second eHealth Action Plan 2012 - 2020 which, among other things, deals with aspects of data protection and privacy. The impact of ICT in the healthcare sector is expected to improve people’s health, reduce costs and empower patients to increase the control of the care they get.

Government agencies, health insurance funds, doctors and patients are stakeholders in this new kind of healthcare system. All of them have to be aware of the challenges that come with this technological change. Policymakers need to tackle issues of privacy and data protection on several different levels.

We will, among others, discuss the following questions:

  • Does more data really increase the health of citizens?
  • Is it worth the loss of privacy? Government agencies are slow when it comes to adapting to new circumstances. How will they deal with these new data protection issues?
  • How can policymakers make sure that data are handled properly?
  • Germany’s public is very sensitive when it comes to privacy and data protection. How can policymakers cope with a lack of trust in the public?

Our workshop will discuss data protection and privacy in the context of healthcare. We will shed light on the IoT’s impact on the healthcare sector and with your help provide policymakers with options of what policy instruments can be means to ensure data protection and strike the right balance privacy, security, transparency and usefulness.


Workshop 3

Whistleblowing / Angela Palmer, Polis 180

Workshop Objectives

  • To discuss the issues of speaking up where the interests of others are at risk (i.e. whistleblowing)
  • To explore reasons why people might choose not to speak up
  • To encourage debate on attitudes towards whistleblowing and whistleblowers
  • To stimulate thinking about the impact of personal decisions on the individual and the community, and our responsibilities towards one another in all areas of life.


Workshop 4

Going dark? Where to take the encryption debate? / Mirko Hohmann, GPPi

The debate over the use of encryption technology epitomizes the relationship between security, freedom and trust in the digital age like few other issues. Encryption technologies have become a crucial tool to guarantee individual privacy and data security, but also a tool for criminals to hide their communications from law enforcement efforts. Therefore, considerations about the use of encryption technologies cannot be separated from questions about adequate capabilities of state actors in the digital realm.

The discussion on those broader capabilities will gain importance.  With encryption soft- and hardware being openly available and employed in a variety of products (often by default), encryption is here to stay. As the same time, built-in ‘back- or frontdoors’ run the risk of introducing unwanted vulnerabilities into networks and systems that our digital infrastructure relies on.  As a result, government agencies will need to resort to other means, such as more targeted surveillance of suspects or ‘breaking’ encryption to trace and prosecute potential perpetrators.

Against this background, this workshop will:

  • Provide a short overview on how different encryption technologies challenge the work of government agencies,
  • Look at different options that are being proposed to address these challenges, and
  • Discuss and evaluate these options, providing ideas on how to take this issue forward.

After a short input on challenges posed by different encryption technologies as well as different policy options, the workshop will rely on student participation to develop potential recommendations for policy-makers in Germany.


Round three: tbc*

Workshop 3: Tips on how to protect your data