Current Projects

EARLY - Evaluating, identifying and reducing determinants of mental health conditions in youth

The EARLY project - Evaluating, identifying and reducing determinants of mental health conditions in youth - aims to provide healthcare professionals and authorities with access to evidence-based, innovative and cost-effective interventions as well as to develop corresponding education and implementation strategies. The Chair of Prof. Dr. Buchner is examining data security and privacy aspects of collecting patient-related data in connection with mental health issues in young people.

EARLY / Horizont Europa 2

CAIDAN - Recognition and Matching of Cyber-Attacks in industrial Networks using Artificial Intelligence

The CAIDAN project aims to develop an adaptive as well as low-cost ai-based system to recognise threats and signatures (so-called intrusion detection system) as a watchdog for company technology. It is being funded by the Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF).

Programmierer vor PCs sitzend und über Computercode diskutierend

NFDI4Health - National Research Data Infrastructure for Personal Health Data

A multidisciplinary team of scientists is building a research data infrastructure for personal health data in Germany: NFDI4Health.
The federal and state governments are funding the project, which is coordinated by the German Research Foundation (DFG), for an initial period of 5 years.

Stethoskop liegt neben einem Smartphone auf dem Tisch.

SKINET - Proactive Security through Artificial Intelligence in Automotive and Industrial IT Networks

Since October 2020, Benedikt Buchner has been responsible for the sub-project "Legal compliance of AI-supported security measures in automotive and industrial IT networks" within the joint project SKINET. The project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

Künstliche Intelligenz

Fairness in the exchange of "data for performance" in the GDPR

Taking U.S. research as a starting point, the effects of commercialization on the GDPR will be investigated and the question will be addressed as to whether they run counter to the respective guiding principles of data protection and whether they compromise data protection standards as a result of the market dynamics of the information economy.
Direction: Prof. Dr. Benedikt Buchner and Prof. Dr. Jürgen Kühling (University of Regensburg)
Funding: DFG

Schriftzug DSGVO vor blauem Hintergrund.

Strengthening protection of personal data in the health sector: a comparative analysis of the Tanzanian and German eHealth System

The international project, carried out jointly with the Open University of Tanzania, focuses on data protection regulation in the eHealth sector. The project is funded by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation within the framework of the Program for the Promotion of Institute Partnerships.

Forschungsgruppe in Tanzania

EAsyAnon - Recommendation and audit system for anonymization

The interdisciplinary project consortium of EAsyAnon has set itself the goal of providing an innovative and forward-looking recommendation and audit system for the use of personal data for research purposes as Open Data. The project is funded for three years by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and thus offers the opportunity to incorporate current scientific findings into the development of the system.

Das EASYAnon-Projektteam beim Kick-Off-Meeting

Current Projects: Details

EARLY - Evaluating, indentifying and reducing determinants of mental health conditions in youth


The EARLY project - Evaluating, identifying and reducing determinants of mental health conditions in youth - aims to provide healthcare professionals and authorities with access to evidence-based, innovative and cost-effective interventions as well as to develop corresponding education and implementation strategies. Its long-term goal is to promote sound mental health of primarily vulnerable population groups (children and adolescents, older adults, people with pre-existing medical conditions, socioeconomically disadvantaged groups) and prevent mental illness. In addition, tools and services will be provided to citizens enabling them to self-assess their own mental well-being and provide for their mental health needs. The project aims to meet these goals while simultaneously attempting to destigmatise the mentally ill in the eyes of society. 
 
As one of the partnership initiatives within the cluster "Digital Technologies", the Chair of Prof. Dr. Buchner is examining data security and privacy aspects of collecting patient-related data in connection with mental health issues in young people. Funding is provided by the ninth EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation or 'Horizon Europe' which represents the largest pooled funding program for research and innovation globally. Its objective is to build 'a knowledge- and innovation-based society and a competitive economy' on a sustainable basis. This contributes to implementing the policy guidelines of the European Commission and advancing both digital and green transformations. 

The project's founding idea is based on the growing influence of the rapidly transforming society on mental health. For example, there are evident connections between increasingly extreme climate and environmental changes and types of mental illness also called "eco-anxiety". However, the increasing integration of digital technologies, especially through robotics and AI, has already influenced the way society works and communicates. This creates additional positive and negative influential factors, of which the specific impacts are not fully foreseeable. Digital platforms and technologies can provide mental support and increase social inclusion but also carry risks such as constant connectivity, cyberbullying and exposure to inappropriate or fake content. 

Seizing the opportunities provided by digital technologies and relying on the collection and processing of patient-related data from mentally ill young individuals, the project analyses data processing of the consortium partners and provides recommendations and tools to ensure legal compliance. 
 
 

CAIDAN - Recognition and Matching of Cyber-Attacks in industrial Networks using Artificial Intelligence

 

The CAIDAN project aims to develop an adaptive as well as low-cost ai-based system to recognise threats and signatures (so-called intrusion detection system) as a watchdog for company technology. It is being funded by the Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF). 

 

This development of a low-cost intrusion detection system comes as a reaction to the rising demand for effective IT-monitoring systems especially by smaller businesses who - in contrast to larger companies - are financially less flexible concerning the acquisition of such monitoring software. The system is based on artificial intelligence which conducts an anomaly search in multiple data sources. These anomalies trigger alarms which are in turn collected at realtime in a light-weight cluster network. This process enables the research team to detect complicated cyber-attacks and system failures at an early stage. Alarms which are combined with further data act as digital traces that are used for fast and effective reactions to such events. To make a quick and effective forensic analysis of systems possible, a universal interfact will be created. This should provide solutions for low-cost but innovative and effective supervision and monitoring systems that are realistically affordable for small to medium-sized enterprises. 

 

 

Go to project website

 

NFDI4Health - National research data infrastructure for personal health data

 

A multidisciplinary team of scientists is building a research data infrastructure for personal health data in Germany: NFDI4Health. The federal and state governments are funding the project, which is coordinated by the German Research Foundation (DFG), for an initial period of 5 years.
NFDI4Health is one of the central pillars for a modern healthcare system. The collection and analysis of personal data on health and disease status and important factors influencing it are an essential component for the development of new therapies, comprehensive care approaches and preventive measures of a modern healthcare system. High-quality data should be systematically made accessible, secured and made available (inter)nationally.
However, personal health data is also data that requires special protection and its use is subject to strict data protection requirements. Benedikt Buchner therefore accompanies and advises the project in all questions of data protection and data security. Among other things, the legal framework for the legally compliant transfer of research data will be worked out, a concept for the differentiation between anonymized, pseudonymized and personal data will be developed and, depending on the further use of the data, criteria for the consent to use personal data for research purposes will be developed.
NFDI4Health will increase the visibility and accessibility of research data, contribute to reputational gains for scientists sharing their data, and foster new collaborations. NFDI4Health is composed of an interdisciplinary team of 18 partners. A total of 46 renowned institutions from the health sector have pledged their participation, including major professional societies or important epidemiological cohorts, for example; letters of support have been received from 37 international institutions.

 

 

Go to project website

SKINET – Proactive Security through Artificial Intelligence in Automotive and Industrial IT Networks

 

Since October 2020, Benedikt Buchner has been responsible for the sub-project "Legal compliance of AI-supported security measures in automotive and industrial IT networks" within the joint project SKINET. The project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.
With the ever-increasing complexity of IT systems and their growing degree of interconnectedness, new attack possibilities are continuously emerging. As a result, it is almost impossible to guarantee complete information and operational security for these IT systems. Continuous monitoring of IT components, early detection and handling of security-relevant incidents, and comprehensive ongoing assessments of the security level of the overall system are important building blocks for solving this problem. However, these measures can only be partially implemented in today's systems - often for reasons of complexity and expense.
The core idea of the SKINET project is the application of artificial intelligence (AI) methods and functions to efficiently detect and handle safety-critical incidents and their causes. In addition to simply notifying responsible persons in the event of an attack, it should also be possible to automatically suggest or independently initiate suitable responses in order to achieve the best possible security and availability. In SKINET, a distributed system for the detection and handling of security-critical incidents is being developed for this purpose. Based on AI-supported sensors, which are used in vehicles or industrial networks as lightweight extensions of existing technologies (e.g. firewalls, data logger systems or anti-virus software), an AI engine is being developed that can complementarily detect or predict attacks or malfunctions.
To ensure legal certainty, data protection-critical interfaces and questions about the liability of the AI solution will be considered throughout the project. Many questions in legal AI and IT security research have not yet been clarified beyond doubt or are controversial. The main focus here is on IT security and data protection law, product licensing, and product and producer liability law. Based on previous proposals for solutions and coupled with the interdisciplinary project cooperation in SKINET, legal concepts that have already been discussed are to be reviewed and validated and, if necessary, further developed and tested in the concrete application scenarios addressed in the project.

 

 

Go to project website

Strengthening protection of personal data in the health sector: a comparative analysis of the Tanzanian and German eHealth System

The international project, carried out jointly with the Open University of Tanzania, is concerned with data protection regulation in the eHealth sector. At the same time, the project also aims to create the basis for the establishment of an LL.M. program in health law at the Open University of Tanzania, which will include courses taught by Tanzanian and German faculty. The overarching goal is to create a framework for long-term cooperation in research and teaching in the field of data protection in health care, including joint supervision of doctoral studies.
With e-health applications such as the electronic health card, digital technologies are increasingly finding their way into the healthcare system worldwide. E-health can be a support for an effectively functioning and cost-saving healthcare system, especially in rural areas with less medical care. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), for example, there are 20,000 patients per doctor in Tanzania, compared with 218 patients in Germany. At the same time, e-health is forcing the collection of data, which is processed and made available in various places. The particular challenge is to protect sensitive personal health data through appropriate legal regulation without unduly compromising the functioning of the healthcare system. This challenge for data protection regulation exists equally in Germany and Tanzania, and both sides can benefit from each other's different experiences and perspectives in this regard.
The project is led by Prof. Dr. Benedikt Buchner and Prof. Dr. Alex Makulilo. Alex Boniface Makulilo completed his PhD with Benedikt Buchner in 2012 as a DAAD scholarship holder and conducted research at the University of Bremen from 2014 to 2016 and in 2017 as a scholarship holder of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, particularly on data protection law in Africa. The project is funded by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation within the framework of the program for the promotion of institute partnerships.

 

Fairness in the exchange of "data for performance" in the EU's General Data Protection Regulation

 

The effects of commercialization on the GDPR will be examined in the light of U.S. research, and the question will be addressed as to whether they run counter to the respective guiding principles of data protection and whether they impair data protection standards as a result of the market dynamics of the information economy. At the core of this is the question of the extent to which the exchange relationship with the consumer is fair, i.e., whether data is processed only to an extent that is appropriate for the service, given the large number of Internet-based services that appear to be offered free of charge but actually require data as a fee. It is also questionable to what extent the commercial conditions can be reconciled with the fundamental-rights-based model of self-determined decision-making sovereignty of the data subjects. A concept of fairness must be developed that is not only theoretically but also normatively secured in terms of fundamental rights. Above all, it should focus on the practical functioning of the services actually offered by companies.
In order to develop a comprehensive conceptual as well as normative analysis of the fairness of commercialization under data protection law in the European legal system, US-American research approaches - with the involvement of scientists and representatives of information science - will also have to be evaluated. In order to guarantee an optimal research, research stays in the USA will take place.
The project will be conducted under the direction of Prof. Dr. Benedikt Buchner and Prof. Dr. Jürgen Kühling (University of Regensburg) and funded by the DFG.

EAsyAnon – Recommendation and audit system for anonymization

 

The interdisciplinary project consortium of EAsyAnon has set itself the goal of providing an innovative and forward-looking recommendation and audit system for the use of personal data for research purposes as Open Data. Through the collaboration of scientists from the fields of technology, computer science and law, state-of-the-art and legally secure encryption methods are to be developed in order to protect the privacy of the data subjects in the best possible way. The project is funded for three years by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and thus offers the opportunity to incorporate current scientific findings into the development of the system.
The concept of EAsyAnon envisages an overall system consisting of three components for the process of anonymizing Open Data: an intelligent recommendation system that suggests a suitable anonymization concept to the user, an audit system that monitors compliance with legal and ethical requirements through automated audit procedures, and a trust service that facilitates the handling of pseudonymized datasets for researchers and enables DSGVO-compliant publications.
The EAsyAnon project consortium consists of five partners from the fields of computer science, law and healthcare. The combination of the different areas of expertise and competencies makes it possible to develop a comprehensive solution to the challenges of handling personal data. The project leaders from the University of Augsburg (Elena März, Johann Guggumos and Benedikt Buchner) will pay particular attention to the legal issues of data protection and data security.

Contact information

Chairholder
Prof. Dr. Benedikt Buchner - Chair for Civil Law, Liability Law and Law of Digitization

Secretary's Office:

Phone.: +49 (0) 821 598-4715

E-Mail: sekretariat.buchner@jura.uni-augsburg.de

 

Office hours: by appointment at the following times

Monday:        12:00-16:00

Tuesday:       07:30-11:30
Wednesday:  12:00-16:00
Thursday:      07:30-11:30

 

Building H - Room 1302

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