Third Party Funding Projects

Platform work and data protection in a national and international perspective: market players, problem areas, regulatory requirements

Funding Period: 1 October 2021 - 30 September 2023

The research project is located at the interface between business research, economics and law. The aim is to determine factual problems and requirements for data protection that arise from the innovative digital business model of crowd and gig working platforms. As part of the project, a current market overview of German, US and Chinese platform providers will be created. A systematic analysis of the data protection declarations of the platform companies as well as participatory observations at selected portals is used to research how personal data of crowd and gig workers is handled in Germany, the USA and China. In the next step, company practices are evaluated on the basis of internationally agreed data protection goals (e.g. transparency, data economy). On the basis of the findings, policy proposals for the further development of data protection in platform work processes are developed, which are aimed in particular at the European regulatory level.

Funded by the Hans Böckler Foundation

Artificial intelligence for healthy work in driving occupations: Workload and Safety in Traffic and Transport (KARAT)

Funded by: Bundesministerium für Arbeit und Soziales (BMAS) im Rahmen der Initiative Neue Qualität der Arbeit (INQA)

Duration: 01/2021 - 12/2023

Contact: Prof. Dr. Vera Hagemann (Profil)

Abstract: The project "Artificial Intelligence for Healthy Work in Driving Professions: Workload and Safety in Traffic and Transportation (KARAT)" implements an employee-oriented artificial intelligence application to support driving professions in Germany. By using not only individual data, physiological reactions and driving data, but also publicly available data (e.g. weather data, major events, traffic situations), an analysis on workload based on machine learning is being developed. This application enables the prediction of the individual optimal driving and shift scheduling from a health and work perspective and suggests measures for stress reduction as well as optimal work, assignment and route planning. For companies, this offers the possibility of reducing the specific workload and the high level of sickness and absenteeism in driving occupations by means of a standardized procedure with little effort. At the same time, in the group of driving professions with a total of about 1.5 million employees in Germany, a specific benefit is demonstrated through the use of AI applications, which provides an example and motivation for other fields of application of AI to support healthy work beyond the specific areas of application. The project consortium consists of the experienced research partners FOM Hochschule Essen (coordination), University of Bremen, University of Duisburg-Essen and University of Hohenheim as well as the practice partners Duisport Group (Duisburg), the SME transport company Sherwood (Cologne) and the freight forwarding association VSL NRW (Düsseldorf).
This means that larger and smaller organizations with significant numbers of employees in driving professions are represented (total number of employees through more than 500 VSL member companies about 100,000). In addition, eleven associated project partners support the research work in the direction of a far-reaching transfer effect, for example, in the area of driving activities of local public transport. Challenges posed by the digital transformation are positively addressed by the KARAT project, as the density of digital systems is increasing for driving professions: digital systems are increasingly being used for navigation, toll collection, order control or customer data collection. This results in a networking potential through individualized AI systems for stress analysis and reduction for employees in driving professions. More.



Development of a Privacy Management System for Personalized Support Systems in Production and Service

Funded by: BMBF und Europäischer Sozialfonds (ESF)

Duration: 09/2019 - 08/2022

Contact: Prof. Dr. Maik Eisenbeiß (Profil)

Abstract: The support of work processes with digital assistances is now penetrating deep into all areas of the value chain, from production to technical service. So-called wearables like smart watches or augmented reality glasses provide such an assistance at work. Technically, they also allow the collection and use of personal data, such as movement patterns or blood pressure, as well as video recordings of the employees' immediate working environment. In principle, the use of personal data offers valuable potential - for both companies and employees. For example, wearables could provide a form of personalized assistance. In practice, however, the success of such personalized assistances depends on the acceptance of the employees and the legal conformity of the system. The PersonA project aims to create a privacy management system for the use of personal data in the context of personalized assistance systems, which both increases acceptance by employees and ensures legal conformity.

Digitalized Idea and Work Management in Production, Logistics and Trade (Diamant)

Funded by: Bundesministerium für Arbeit und Soziales (BMAS) im Rahmen der Initiative Neue Qualität der Arbeit (INQA)

Duration: 11/2018 - 10/2021

Contact: Prof. Dr. Vera Hagemann (Profil)

Abstract:  In the DIAMANT project, we are researching how the emerging digital world of work can be innovatively organized and shaped - to the advantage of companies and employees. Our goal is to improve working conditions in everyday work, to make digitized work healthy and motivating, and to develop potential for employees and companies. To this end, modern and learning-friendly working environments with greater self-organisation and individual freedom are made possible at the workplace and in the work process. We involve our employees directly in this bottom-up digitization process. An innovative digitalized idea management system is being developed so that all employees can participate in the process to generate further starting points for improving the digitalized value-added processes and anchor them in the company on a sustainable basis. The workload and the quality of adaptation in digitized working environments are measured using a specially developed instrument for measuring mental stress and strain. An e-coaching system promotes the competence development of employees and managers for their activities in the changed working day.


Crowdsourcing as a new Form of Organizing Labor Relations: Regulatory Requirements and Welfare Effects

Titel: Crowdsourcing as a new Form of Organizing Labor Relations: Regulatory Requirements and Welfare Effects

Founded by: DFG

Duration: 01/2017 - 11/2020

Contact: Prof. Dr. Lars Hornuf (Profil)

Abstract: Crowdsourcing refers to the act of an institution taking a function traditionally performed by employees and subcontracting it to an undefined and large group of people in the form of an open call. Crowdsourcing comes in two different forms: "microwork" and "online freelancing". Microwork refers to low complexity tasks, for which no particular skills are necessary and which can be completed within seconds or minutes. Online Freelancing defines high complexity tasks, which require specialized knowledge and professional skills. Crowdsourcing bears the potential for companies to have tasks completed at short notice and thereby benefiting from the creativity of the crowd. This new form of organizing work relations brings benefits to crowdworkers as well, as they can organize their work day in a geographically and timely flexible manner. Because the work is divided into ever smaller parts, workers might, however, be structurally disadvantaged when contracting with crowdsourcers and portals. The goal of the research project is to analyze whether the German and European legal system knows suitable instruments and regulations in order to ensure the balancing of interests between the respective parties or whether regulatory action is required. In particular, we will investigate whether worker protection rights can be applied to crowdworkers and which options for the collective protection of interests exist or should exist. The investigation will resort to findings in the United States, as the largest experience with crowdsourcing activities exists there and the consequences of the new form of organizing labor relations became most visible. From the economic perspective we analyze whether crowdworkers perform these jobs to earn a living or whether they follow a different objective function. Moreover, we will analyze how welfare gains are distributed between crowdworkers, portals, and crowdsources. In some cases, crowdworkers might in fact feel treated unfairly and consequently take action against the other two parties. The research questions will be answered using a comparative legal approach as well as empirical and experimental methods. Should the legislator pass a German crowdsourcing law or implement a respective EU directive, the data collected in this project will be used to evaluate the new rules.

Policy-based Terminal Operations Planning

Funded by: BMBF

Duration: 08/2017 - 07/2020

Contact: Univ.-Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Hans-Dietrich Haasis (Profil)

Abstract:   In line with digitalization in maritime logistics container seaport operations play an important role. Automation is already a real up-to-date development, e.g. in Hamburg, Busan or Dubai. The next step will be the seaport 4.0 in line with blockchain technologies, new digital service innovations as well as smart business process models. Within this project, new concepts and algorithms for container yard operations, storage management and crane deployment policies are elaborated. Crane characteristics for rubber-tired gantry cranes and rail-mounted gantry cranes as well as demand patterns extracted from real data are taken into account. The developed algorithms and data analytic models will be seen in the context of smart control options for the seaport 4.0. The project is realized in cooperation with the Pusan National University, akquinet port consulting and Total Soft Bank.

Analysis of privacy statement by German FinTech companies after the introduction of the GDPR

Funded by: BMBF

Duration: 07/2018 - 11/2018

Contact: Prof. Dr. Lars Hornuf (Profil)

Abstract: The aim of this report is to update the analysis of the privacy statements from the report "New digital actors and their role in the financial sector" and to investigate changes after the GDPR came into force. In particular, we examined whether and which improvements have occurred from a customer perspective. For this purpose, all privacy statements of German FinTech companies are collected again and compared with the privacy statements analyzed in the first report. In a second step, the contents of the privacy statements will be checked and coded. In a third step, the contents of the privacy statements for each company will be evaluated and 365 variables will be updated. Finally, the contents of the privacy statements before and after the introduction of the GDPR are compared.

Supported by the ABIDA (Assessing Big Data) project led by the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität

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