Dig­i­tal Codex: “Face­book, What­sApp, Google+: Who Makes the Rules?

© Sarah Porsack

Is the inter­net real­ly a pub­lic space, or only in appear­ance? Is it the oper­a­tors of the big inter­net plat­forms who get to decide what is allowed online and what isn’t? Who makes the rules in the dig­i­tal world? Ques­tions like these were addressed by the dis­cus­sion event held on 7 Novem­ber 2013 in Hamburg’s Bucerius Law School.

The event focussed on the role of plat­forms. With­out them, the move into the dig­i­tal world would have been prac­ti­cal­ly impos­si­ble. They play an ever-greater role in mak­ing deci­sions about what soci­ety does online.

Matthias Kam­mer, Direc­tor, Ger­man Insti­tute for Inter­net Con­fi­den­tial­i­ty and Secu­ri­ty (Deutsches Insti­tut für Ver­trauen und Sicher­heit im Inter­net, DIVSI); Dr. Ralf Kleindiek, Coun­cil­lor for the Ham­burg Jus­tice and Equal­i­ty Office; and Philipp Otto, Founder and Exec­u­tive Direc­tor of the iRights.Lab spoke along­side Prof. Dr. Wolf­gang Schulz, Direc­tor of the Hans Bre­dow Insti­tute for Media Research at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Ham­burg and Moritz Nick­el, Stu­dent at Bucerius Law School, in their keynote speech­es on the rules of social net­works.

The fol­low­ing panel dis­cus­sion was con­duct­ed by:

  • Jutta Croll, Man­ag­ing Direc­tor of the Dig­i­tale Chances Foun­da­tion
  • Sabine Frank, Head of Youth Pro­tec­tion and Media Lit­er­a­cy at Google
  • Dr. Ralf Kleindiek, Coun­cil­lor for the Jus­tice and Equal­i­ty Office of the Free and Hanseat­ic City of Ham­burg
  • Moritz Nick­el, Stu­dent at Bucerius Law School
  • Ole Reiß­mann, Net­zwelt Edi­tor, SPIEGEL ONLINE.

This event was part of the project “Does Ger­many Need a Dig­i­tal Codex?” which the iRights.Lab car­ried out on behalf of the Ger­man Insti­tute for Inter­net Con­fi­den­tial­i­ty and Secu­ri­ty (Deutsches Insti­tut für Ver­trauen und Sicher­heit im Inter­net, DIVSI). After the first part of the project raised the ques­tion of whether a dig­i­tal char­ter codex estab­lish the social norms which were lack­ing in the inter­net, the sec­ond sec­tion took a con­crete look at the topic of “Big Data”. The project leader was Philipp Otto, Founder and Exec­u­tive Direc­tor of the iRights.Lab.

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