Institut für Kognitionswissenschaft

Institute of Cognitive Science

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SIMPORT ‒ Project on ethics of location-data funded by German Federal Ministry of Education and Research

Rainer Mühlhoff is head of the philosophy sub-project “Ethics of Interaction Design” within the interdisciplinary project SIMPORT ‒ Souveränes und Intuitives Management personenbezogener Ortsinformationen (sovereign and intuitive management of personal location information). The project collects research in data ethics and in issues of data protection and personal autonomy in the context of mobile GPS data collection.

For further information, please visit the project website at

© Simone Reukauf

Our goal is an empowering human-machine interaction when accessing GPS data on mobile devices. Our learning tool will aim at raising awareness of users for inferential analyses that can be created based on such data.

Together with our partners from the field of computer science and the industries, our sub-project will develop an ethics-by-design approach for participatory models of implementing responsible technological design.

The project is funded by the German federal ministry of education and reseach as part of its funding line human-machine interaction for digital sovereignty.

SIMPORT is a collaboration between the Institute of Geoinformatics (ifgi) at the University of Münster, the Institute for Societal Aspects of the Digital (GUD) at the FH Münster, the University of Osnabrück, Reedu GmbH & Co. KG, and HERE. SIMPORT is part of the Digital Autonomy Hub.

Data Ethics Outreach Lab 2022

The Data Ethics Outreach Lab is a study project and interdisciplinary course for CogSci M.Sc and Lehramt students.

For further information, please visit the the project page at

Find out more about our DEOL 2023 course!

Why does the data collected by Instagram or YouTube lead to social inequality? How do Snapchat, TikTok and Co. (re)structure social relationships and restrict the identity performances available to young people online? What does PayPal do with all the data they collect from payment transactions? Why do chat bots perpetuate stereotypical gender norms? And how does riding a bus without a ticket relate to being denied a loan?

These questions represent only a handful of possible vantage points from which to explore and critically reflect on key issues in the field of digital consumer culture. Many of these issues relate to big data and AI services we use every day. In most cases, users are not aware that these services have harmful effects on our societies, democracies and well-being.

Within this study project we will discuss the risks and societal implications of networked digital services to develop strategies and formats for public awareness raising. Participants will form small teams to choose their own topics – along the technologies and issues they perceive most pressing. There is also a wide range of possible outreach formats that teams can choose from: Developing and testing Open Educational Resources for school lessons with high school students; organising workshop (Lehrer:innen-Fortbildung) for school teachers in autumn; recording explainer videos to circulate on the web; creating public websites, social media channels and other public interventions.