Research cluster "Data governance"

In the research cluster "Data Governance" we explore how different actors in a specific business sector should coordinate their efforts to enhance their data-driven innovation capacities. In early 2019, for example, together with my ECDF colleagues Helena Mihaljevic and Jochen Rabe, we organised, among others, the interdisciplinary Hackathon “Urban Data – Mind the Gap”. During this three-day event, our students, with a background in urban planning, informatics, and data protection, worked together to explore innovative ideas for better data-driven urban planning. On this basis, we initiated the related project “Stadtmanufaktur – Last Mile” at the City Lab Berlin, which was funded by the City of Berlin. In this project, our research group developed a dashboard (the Kiez Kartograph) for citizens to inform them about urban planning initiatives, to instigate their own initiatives and to coordinate their voting on these initiatives. A key element of the dashboard is also the possibility for citizens to donate personal data to improve the informational basis for the planning. According to this concept study, the dashboard and, even more so the infrastructure behind it, applies the data protection by design approach. Similarly, in the accompanying research project “WenDE”, we are examining the data governance structures in relation to smart buildings together with ECDF colleagues from various disciplines. Furthermore, together with our ECDF colleague Rebecca Frank, we are entering into a research exchange with our ECDF sponsors InfraLab Berlin, a consortium of Berlin public infrastructure providers.

"Energiewendebauen" is a research initiative funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi), in which research is being conducted in hundreds of individual projects on energy optimization within the building sector. As part of the accompanying research (Module 4: Digitization) our goal is to obtain a cross-section of all research projects that process personal data and by categorising different processing purposes, contexts and objects of protection, to formulate standardized requirements on how energy systems must be structured in order to contribute to the energy transition in a way that meets data protection requirements.

The outputs in this cluster are also coordinated with further institutions. There is, for example, one connection to the HIIG research project “Data Governance”, which builds on a preceding project called “Data Protection by Design in Smart Cities” (initially funded by Cisco). On the local level, for example, we exchange ideas with several research groups on a bottom-up initiative regarding Berlin’s Digitalisierungsstrategie. On the national level, we seek to inform the legislator, in particular about legislative proposals such as the Daten-Für-Alle-Gesetz.


Selected publications:

  • von Grafenstein, M. (2020). How to build data-driven innovation projects at large with data protection by design. HIIG Discussion Paper Series, 2020 - 03, 93.
  • Grafenstein, M. v., Wernick, A., & Olk, C. (2019). Data Governance: Enhancing Innovation and Protecting Against Its Risks. Intereconomics, 54 (4), 228-232.
  • Grafenstein , M. v., Jakobi T., Gegner, C., Labadie, C., Mertens, P., Öksüz, A. & Stevens, G. (2020). The Role of IS in the Conflicting Interests Regarding GDPR. Business & Information Systems Engineering.


Selected conferences:

  • Data Governance for Smarter City Mobility, Internet Governance Forum 2019. From 28.11.2019 to 28.11.2019. Estrel Berlin, Berlin, Germany. Co-Organised by: Alina Wernick, Maximilian von Grafenstein, Li-hsien Chang, Natalie Kreindlina, Christopher Olk (International)
  • Smart City Governance: Citizens, Privacy and Services, CPDP 2018 Computer, Privacy and Data Protection Conference (Session: Smart City Governance: Citizens, Privacy and Services). Centre for Research into Information, Surveillance and Privacy. Area 42 Petit, Brussels, Belgium: 30.01.2019