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Frameworks for Data Markets

The Research Group (Previously named: Data as a Means of Payment) examined data usage in the digital economy from legal, psychological and economic perspectives. Our research focused on the functioning of digital markets as well as the chances and risks of data trade. It included questions of private autonomy in the areas of tension between data markets, data protection, contract law, data rights, and cognitive and emotional-motivational dynamic processes that drive individuals to permit use of their personal data.

This research group conducted research at the Weizenbaum Institute from 2017 to 2022. In the newly launched research program, research will henceforth be organised in 16 research groups. These will be flanked and supported by the new Weizenbaum Digital Science Center.

Data usage in the digital economy

We analysed data usage in the digital economy from legal, psychological and economic perspectives. Our main focus was on fundamental questions of private autonomy in connection with data protection law and contract law, the ways digital markets function and their implications in the area of competition law. We were interested in the legal classification of actions involving collection of and trade in data. In this context, we explored specific questions such as strategies of digital pricing, general and sector-specific rights to access data, as well as visualizations of privacy-related provisions and practises.

We were interested in multifaceted and cross-sectional topics such as existing and potential rights of access to data, which we investigated in a differentiated manner according to the interacting parties, the kind of data in question, and the scope of application of access rights.

Types of digital pricing

Further, we looked into the impact of digitalization on companies’ pricing policies. We critically scrutinized from an economic analysis of law perspective different types of digital pricing that already exist or are currently being developed. The objective was to evaluate options for regulation, especially in regard to consumer protection.

Subject of our psychological research

Our psychological research focused in particular on the cognitive and emotional-motivational dynamic processes underlying the often-comprehensive disclosure of personal data by users of digital services and the resulting individual and societal consequences of this behaviour. Concretely, we investigated to what extent the risks associated with the disclosure of personal data can be taken into account in the visualization of data processing aspects in order to increase the motivation, attention and awareness of users and counteract cognitive biases.


Prof. Dr. Axel Metzger, LL.M. (Harvard), Associated Principal Investigator, Founding Director

  • Malika Akim
  • Julian Bolz
  • Rita Gsenger
  • Prisca von Hagen
  • Niklas v. Kalckreuth
  • Tobias Kleinschmitt
  • Isabel Kostadinov
  • Malte Mackensen
  • Jakob Metzger
  • Lena Mischau
  • Filmona Mulugeta
  • Jana Pinheiro Goncalves
  • Isabella Rick
  • Mariam Sattorov
  • Marie Schirmbeck
  • Lukas Seiling
  • Lisa Völzmann
  • Nieke Wagner


Data as a Means of Payment

Privacy Icons

Legal Frameworks of the Data Economy

Digital Trust

  • Fotouhi Tehrani, P.; v. Kalckreuth, N.; Lamprecht, S. (2020): Toward an integrative model of trust for digital emergency communication, in: Hughes, Amanda (Ed.): ISCRAM 2020, 17th International Conference on Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management. Conference Proceedings: Blacksburg, Virginia (USA), May 24th-27th, 2020 (Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Va.), pp. 1012-1021.


  • Gsenger, R., Strle, T. (2021): Trust, automation bias and aversion: algorithmic decision-making in the context of credit scoring. Interdisciplinary Description of Complex Systems, INDECS 19 (4), S. 540-558.
  • Metzger, A. (2021): Ausschluss und Beschränkung von Outsourcing in Softwarelizenzverträgen - eine Grauzone, Computer und Recht, S. 573-579.
  • Adensamer, A., Gsenger, R., Klausner, L.D. (2021): “Computer Says No”: Algorithmic Decision Support and Organisational Responsibility, Journal of Responsible Technology.
  • Metzger, A. (2019): Comments on Article 8 Rome II Regulation, in: Magnus/Mankowski (Ed.), European Commentaries on Private International Law: Rome II Regulation (Otto Schmidt Verlag, Köln), pp. 298-327.
  • Metzger, A. (2018): Das Einspruchsverfahren als politische Arena: Zur Rolle von NGOs im Patentrecht, in: Metzger (Ed.), Methodenfragen des Patentrechts, Theo Bodewig zum 70. Geburtstag (Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen), pp. 111-135.
  • Metzger, A. (2018): Regulierung im Urheberrecht – Herausforderungen und Perspektiven, Zeitschrift für Urheber- und Medienrecht, 62(4), pp. 233-242.
  • Nirk, R.; Ullman, E.; Metzger, A. (2018), Patentrecht: Mit Gebrauchsmuster- und Sortenschutzrecht (Start ins Rechtsgebiet), C.F. Müller, Heidelberg.
  • Metzger, A. (2016): Dienst gegen Daten: Ein synallagmatischer Vertrag, Archiv für civilistische Praxis (AcP), 216(6), pp. 817-865.
  • Metzger, A., Fitzner, U.: Kommentierung von § 3 PatG, Art. 54 EPÜ, in: Bodewig/Fitzner/Lutz, BeckOK Patentrecht (from 9th edition).


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