Panel Discussion: “Algorithms. Data. Surveillance – is there a way out?”

Marc Rotenberg, Christiane Wendehorst, and Hannes Werthner discuss democracy, digitalization, and ways to take action. Moderation by Josef Broukal.


With every message, every purchase, and every click, we generate data. Often quite unconsciously and even without immediate action on our behalf – the boundaries between online and offline are becoming increasingly blurred. Data, its processing, and interconnectedness through artificial intelligence thus influence fundamental developments in our society. Whether digital technologies make our worst nightmares or boldest utopias come true depends on how we develop and regulate them based on democratic values.

How do we, as a society, deal with data security, surveillance, and privacy? What role do politics and jurisdiction play in technology development? And how can we in Europe take advantage of the opportunities offered by digitalization?

A joint event of the TU Wien Informatics Doctoral School and the Center for Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (CAIML) in the context of Digital Humanism.

Marc Rotenberg

Marc Rotenberg is the founder of the Center on AI and Digital Policy and an adjunct professor at Georgetown Law. He is a guest professor at TU Wien Informatics in May 2022. His expertise includes data protection, internet policy, open government, and AI policy. He has served on expert panels for the OECD, UNESCO, and the UN, among others. Rotenberg has testified before the US Congress on more than 60 occasions. He has also spoken before the European Parliament several times, at judicial conferences, and given invited lectures in more than 40 countries. He has published in the Economist, the European Data Protection Law Review, the European Law Journal, the Financial Times, the Harvard International Review, Japan Economic Forum, the New York Times, Scientific American, and the Stanford Technology Law Review, among others. Rotenberg is a graduate of Harvard College, Stanford Law School, and Georgetown Law.

Christiane Wendehorst

Christiane Wendehorst is a professor of Civil Law at the University of Vienna and deputy head of the Department of Innovation and Digitalization in Law. She is a founding member, immediate past president (2017-2021), and scientific director of the European Law Institute (ELI), and chair of the Academy Council of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW). She is a member of the Bioethics Commission at the Austrian Federal Chancellery, a member of the Managing Board of the Austrian Jurists’ Association (ÖJT), a member of the Academia Europea (AE), the International Academy for Comparative Law (IACL), and the American Law Institute (ALI). Currently, her research focuses on legal aspects of digitalization. She has been working as an expert on digital content, the Internet of Things, AI, and data economy for the European Commission, the European Parliament, the German Federal Government, the ELI, and the ALI.

Hannes Werthner

Hannes Werthner is a retired Professor for E-Commerce at the Faculty of Informatics, TU Wien. Prior to joining TU Wien, he had several professorships at Austrian and international Universities. His research is in several fields such as Decision Support Systems, E-Commerce, E-Tourism, Recommender Systems, and lately in Network Analysis and Text Mining. Besides research and teaching he is active in starting new initiatives, such as the Vienna PhD School of Informatics and the i2c (Informatics Innovation Center). In the area of E-Tourism, the International Federation for IT and Tourism (IFITT) grants the “Hannes Werthner Tourism and Technology Lifetime Achievement Award” to outstanding academics and/or professionals in the field.

Josef Broukal

Josef Broukal (Moderation) is an award-winning Austrian journalist, author, and former politician. He is known as one of the most popular news anchors of the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation (ORF), three times winner of the Austrian TV Award Romy and winner of the Austrian state Prize for Journalistic Achievements. Broukal is an expert in new media and programming languages, working as an IT journalist since the 1990s.


If you watch this video, data may be transmitted to third parties.

“Algorithms. Data. Surveillance – Is There a Way Out?”
Watch on YouTube: https://youtu.be/SOK8nPOI6Ho