At the Summer School 2019, renowned experts will give participants an insight into cutting edge topics of IT Law and Legal Informatics.

The summer school usually consits of four Topic Blocks, each of which will be covered over two days by a mix of lectures by a highly qualified lecturer and presentations by the participants who will put their own research up for discussion. The Summer School will be interdisciplinary in nature, aiming to provide insights both into computer science research and into the legal challenges that follow.

 

IT Security and Internet of Things

The use of IT systems in our digital society is unavoidable; the use of the internet forms is a core element of our personal lifestyles and, to an increasing extent, of essential infrastructures that all of us rely on.

The complexity of these systems, however, makes them (and us) vulnerable. Security loopholes through which attackers can impair their confidentiality, integrity or functionality must therefore be taken extremely seriously. In addition to personal and private data, the risk to financial assets and the identity of individuals is also great. Attacks on critical infrastructures, such as water or electricity supply, can have devastating consequences for the general population.

The key term "Internet of Things" or the in more commonly used term in Germany "Industry 4.0", describes the trend which deals with networking of communication partners to individual machines for the internet in a typical manner. Classically speaking the internet connected specific computers whereas in the future, individual machines and products will communicate automatically and directly with one another.

Accordingly, the efforts to master the associated technical and legal problems are extensive. The European NIS-Regulation and other, branch specific, legislative acts, (for example in the area of finance, the Payment Services Directive 2 of 2015) elevate the legal regulation of IT Security to a new level. Technical research tries to address both application-specific issues and the foundations of secure IT systems.

 

Data and the Law

Data protection belongs to the most intensively and controversially discussed legal topics of current times. With the GDPR, the EU has created a uniform legal framework, the content of which is however based on the Data Protection Regulation of 1995 which takes the traditional concepts of data protection forward. The US-American legal system, on the other hand, lacks a similar data protection system. Rather than having general regulation, the reliance in the US is on specific rules, for example for the protection of consumers - there is more emphasis on transparency than on private data protection (“data minimisation”). Japan has recently passed modern Data Protection legislation which is clearly based on the Data Protection Regulation but which sets its own priorities and seeks to achieve a compromise between the need for data protection and the use of the data. Privacy Enhancing Technologies complement legal data protection measures by providing (among others) anonymization, data aggregation and enforcement of data processing policies.

Data economy refers to the power of undertakings to manipulate large amounts of data as a corporate tool in making business decisions, increasing efficiency, and create new products among other aspects. From this it can be affirmed, that data economy is a vital tool for society.

 

Artificial Intelligence

One of the biggest challenges facing today’s society is without a doubt is Artificial Intelligence and the scope of its use is enormous. In the coming years autonomous process will increasingly be replaced by autonomous systems. Our society will be changed forever by autonomous systems. As predicted by studies and surveys, humans will be progressively replaced by machines.

At the same time, classical programming will increasingly be replaced by self-learning systems—“machine learning” which has potential that could not have been imagined a few years ago. Examples such as “AlphaGo” and “DeepBlue”, while limited in scope, show that machines can be better at learning than humans are/currently. Time and again, machine learning algorithms are applied to new and ever more challenging application domains.

These developments can be met with positive expectations: aspects such as the reduction of the physical burden on workers, the possibility to work more efficiently and a fall in the number of accidents through the use of autonomous vehicles, describe the hopes which can be pinned on the use of autonomous systems.

There are certain concerns which the replacement of humans by machines brings: from changes to daily work and the loss of jobs to the complete loss of self-determination are just some examples of the undesired or uncertainty- creating consequences of increasing automatisation in our world.

 

Legal Technology

The key word "Legal Tech" describes technology which is significant for legal processes. The most well- known example is the Blockchain technology, which is not only the technical basis for a novel electronic currency (Bitcoin) but is also instrumental in deliberations about new forms of co-operation. Contracts could be concluded as "smart contracts" with the use of Blockchain, companies will no longer be controlled by a board of directors but by the use of an algorithm.

Businesses and legal systems are likely to be impacted by the Artificial intelligence as described above.

Legal processes and applications are changing massively under the influence of technologies mentioned above and this is calling the existing legal regulation into question. At the same time, technology has to adapt to the requirements of the legal framework. The technologies’ risks and limitations have to be well understood to be able to benefit from their oppurtunities.