01.12.2020 | DSC Seed Grant

Award of the first DSC Seed Grant

Funding was awarded for a book project analyzing selected data privacy problems in crowdsourcing businesses.

The first DSC Seed Grant funded the publication project "Data Privacy and Crowdsourcing: A Comparison of Selected Problems between China, Germany and the USA", which is to be published as a monograph later this year.

The aim of the interdisciplinary project, which was carried out by Prof. Dr. Lars Hornuf and Dr. Ass. jur. Sonja Mangold (see photo), was to identify risks to data privacy arising from the innovative digital business model of crowdsourcing platforms from an economic and legal perspective. Through a statistical evaluation of privacy statements of the platform companies, research was conducted for the first time to determine the extent to which personal and highly sensitive data is collected from crowdworkers, business customers and website visitors, how this data is used and to what extent it is passed on to third parties (e.g. authorities, other companies).

The study showed that crowdsourcing portals collect and process a wide range of personal and sensitive data in all three countries studied (China, Germany, USA). In some cases, the platforms take proactive measures (e.g., appointment of company data protection officers, data protection certifications) to ensure data protection and data security. Measured against legal transparency requirements, however, the information practices of platform companies on the handling of personal data are often inadequate. Civil society engagement and industry-wide best practice standards could help here. In addition, governmental actors at national and international level must create flanking measures and incentives to establish appropriate, transparent data protection practices in the global crowdsourcing market.

The study supported by the DSC Seed Grant is the basis for further pioneering research and interdisciplinary research collaboration in the field of Data Science at the University of Bremen.

Funding recipients:
Prof. Dr. Lars Hornuf (FB07 - Business Studies and Economics)
Dr. Sonja Mangold (FB07 - Business Studies and Economics)

Funding period:
1st December 2020 to 31th January 2021

If you have any questions regarding the DSC Seed Grant, feel free to contact me.

Dr. Lena Steinmann
DSC Coordinator
+49 (421) 218 - 63941

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