How AI can help to bring more digital sovereignty into everyday consumer life

Who knows exactly what personal data a digital application uses and passes on to third parties? Data protection declarations and general terms and conditions are mostly simply incomprehensible to most people. But artificial intelligence can help to increase transparency for users.

The chal­lenge

As early as 1983, the Fed­er­al Con­sti­tu­tion­al Court held that in order to be able to act in a self-deter­mined man­ner with regard to infor­ma­tion, con­sumers* must know “who knows what, when and on what occa­sion about them”. We are fur­ther away than ever from this ideal in view of the data vol­umes we gen­er­ate in every­day dig­i­tal life. In prac­tice, there are numer­ous obsta­cles to the exer­cise of infor­ma­tion rights against app providers or plat­form operators.

Our approach

Check­ing, design­ing, test­ing: In coop­er­a­tion with the TU Berlin and the start-up Dile­cy, we will devel­op tech­ni­cal con­cepts and tools that effec­tive­ly relieve the bur­den on con­sumers. Instead of impos­ing the task of gath­er­ing infor­ma­tion on them, we want to make it increas­ing­ly auto­mat­ed and as inex­pen­sive as pos­si­ble. At the same time, we are ana­lyz­ing data pro­tec­tion con­cepts with regard to how this can be done in a legal­ly com­pli­ant man­ner and across services.

The result

At the end of a three-year devel­op­ment cycle there is a tech­ni­cal pro­to­type that con­tin­u­ous­ly obtains trans­paren­cy infor­ma­tion and plays it out in var­i­ous forms: as a plug-in for desk­top browsers, smart­phones or by means of smart home assis­tants. In order to think about the con­sumer pol­i­cy con­se­quences of the project, a con­tin­u­ous exchange with social actors dur­ing the devel­op­ment process is planned.

DaSKI­TA (Data Sov­er­eign­ty through AI-based Trans­paren­cy and Infor­ma­tion) is fund­ed by the Fed­er­al Min­istry of Jus­tice and for Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion based on a res­o­lu­tion of the Ger­man Bundestag.

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