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Competition, Co-Operation and Co-Opetition: Exploring Global Data Strategies

The Research Center for Law and Digitization (FREDI) at the University of Passau brought together internationally renowned speakers to discuss and analyse the different layers of current data policy. Here are some video impressions and Twitter reactions to this first part of a three-tier conference.

Professor Moritz Hennemann, who heads the Research Center for Law and Digitization (FREDI) and holds the Chair of European and International Information and Data Law at the University of Passau, said: "With our three-part conference series on topics of 'Global Data Law', we want to create a platform to shed light on issues of data law, data governance, and data policy from a global perspective. We are pleased that we are able to welcome renowned experts from Africa, China, Europe and the USA for the inaugural conference, who will discuss and evaluate global, regional and national developments on a strategic level."

The first part of the conference took place in a hybrid online and in-person format at the University of Passau. Among those whom Professor Hennemann was able to greet in person, was Julia Gundlach, Project Manager for ‚Ethics of Algorithms’ at Bertelsmann Stiftung, Dr Winfried Veil, who is an expert on data protection at the German Federal Ministry of the Interior and Dr Sena Afua Dei-Tutu, the Coordinator for International Partnerships and Outreach at the University of Ghana School of Law. Watch their video-statements:

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The topics of the conference included the role and function of data and their governance in the 21st century, as well as the data strategies adopted by Germany, the European Union, the US, China, and on the African continent. Furthermore, the speakers explored parameters of data regulation and data economics as well as the prospects of a global data approach and challenges to its practical implementation.

Here is an overview of the talks including impressions from Twitter:

Professor Urs Gasser from Harvard Law School/TUM delivered the keynote speech.

„We don‘t have a strategy deficit, we have an implementation deficit“, ⁦@ugasser⁩ on the challenges of #GlobalDataLaw. ⁦@jcagundlach⁩ is about to give a talk on the practices. Come and join:

Dr Winfried Veil, of the German Federal Ministry of the Interior, and Franziska Weindauer, of the Federal Chancellery in Berlin, discussed aspiration and reality of data strategies in the European Union and in Germany. Veil and Weindauer presented an impressive list showing the historic legacy of data strategies:

Data strategies are never written without historic legacy. @winfriedveil shows all the different data related acts, initiatives, etc on 🇪🇺-level 👉🏻it’s a lot. @UniPassau #GlobalDataLaw #GlobalDataStrategies

In her talk, Julia Gundlach gave examples of gender equality issues deriving from data gaps that reflect everyday bias. Also, she put forward initiatives that try to solve the problem by collecting data on women.

We need more & better data for #watchdog organizations and #civictech. Looking forward to sharing some thoughts from a civil society perspective today at the Global Data Strategies conference @UniPassau with i.a. @ugasser @winfriedveil @f_raspe

The following talks discussed data strategies from the United States (Professor Nik Guggenberger, Executive Director of the Information Society Project at Yale Law School), from Africa (Dr Sena Afua Dei-Tutu, University of Ghana) and China (Zhenbin Zuo, University of Cambridge).

Dr Anna Zeiter, Chief Privacy Officer at eBay, showed how global corporations have to deal with various data protection rules on national levels:

Interesting world map presented by ⁦@anna_zeiter⁩ in today‘s #GlobalDataLaw conference ⁦@UniPassau⁩ showing countries that meet #GDPR-requirements. More information on today‘s programme:

Dr Daniel Schnurr, who heads the Junior Research Group Data Policies at the University of Passau, gave insights into his group’s findings concerning the economic consequences of regulating access to data:

„We need proper algorithms, human skills and more data quality to profit from data access“ - ⁦@daniel_schnurr⁩ bringing in an economic perspective on #opendata into the #GlobalDataLaw conference ⁦@UniPassau⁩. #DataPolicies #PassauDPE

Professor Boris Paal from the University of Leipzig added the legal perspective on regulatory strategies and competition.

Dr Anna Bernzen explained the concept of ‘data colonialism’, which connects the extraction of data to historical forms of dispossession. In this tweet, she shows why it is worthwhile to come to Passau in person – not only virtually:

Passauer Konferenzen haben die schönste Anreise 😍 Heute: „Global Data Law“ Ich freue mich nach vielen spannenden Präsentationen gestern auf meinen Vortrag über „Datenkolonialismus“ heute Mittag.

Professor Thomas Streinz, Executive Director of Guarini Global Law & Tech at New York University, looked at different international organisations such as the United Nations and the World Trade Organization as well as transatlantic trade deals to arrive at an answer as to whether there should be a global data strategy. His conclusion was that there is no simple answer to that question at a time when countries are still struggling to find an approach that works for them on a national level.

Answer by ⁦@t_streinz⁩ ⁦⁦@nyuiilj⁩ :
It is and will remain complicated.

P.S.: That is my extremely shortened interpretation of an indeed very dense and insightful talk at #GlobalDataLaw conference ⁦@UniPassau⁩ - 🙏 for that

Professor Thomas Riehm, Director of the Institute for Law of the Digital Society at the University of Passau, hosted the final talk and discussion.

The second conference of the series is scheduled to take place in Accra, Ghana, in fall 2022.

Just in case you were wondering: The tweets are displayed to you in full compliance with the GDPR. 

More information:

Prof. Dr. Moritz Hennemann lächelt freundlich in die Kamera.

Professor Moritz Hennemann

researches developments in data law

Which regulatory models for digital interaction should we be following in the 21st century?

Which regulatory models for digital interaction should we be following in the 21st century?

Professor Moritz Hennemann has held the Chair of European and International Information and Data Law and headed the Research Centre for Law and Digitalisation (FREDI) of the Faculty of Law at the University of Passau since 2020. His research revolves around the global development of data and data protection law as well as the legal and regulatory framework of the digital economy.

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