Due to increasing digitisation, our societal coexistence is faced with a variety of challenges on the one hand, but a plethora of opportunities on the other. With an interdisciplinary approach at its core, the research association “digilog@bw” aims to address these consequences of digitisation by analysing the effects it has on human society and behaviour. The topics autonomy, knowledge, and participation are therefore of particular interest to the group, with autonomy working as a starting point for a subproject executed at ZEW and the University of Mannheim.

A modern example of autonomy is a reduction in information asymmetries due to digital platforms and review sites. At the same time, this implies an empowerment of users regarding their decision making process. Because of the tremendous influence of daily decisions, however, we have to ask for legal obligations which already are – or should be – in place in order to avoid breaches of neutrality.

The research team empirically analyses the incentives of platforms to act in a non-neutral way, e.g. by favouring specific products or services. As there are currently many different business models for platforms, differences in their effects and involvements will be of utmost importance.

Furthermore, current legal obligations and the necessity of adaptions will be investigated from a juridical perspective.

More information about the project digilog@bw can be found at digilog-bw.de.