Data & Technology Politics

New digital technologies enable creativity, connect the world, and provide public goods and essential services. They also challenge conventional notions of privacy, facilitate crime, and enable surveillance and oppression. How and to which end these data-driven technologies are used is determined by political, corporate, societal, and individual choices. With two billion new – mostly non-Western – users expected to go online in the coming years, the political and economic stakes are rising. Contests over global rules for technologies and data transfer will only continue to heat up. We aim to contribute toward sound political, corporate, and societal choices through research, policy advice, and the fostering of strategic communities.


How European Internet Foreign Policy Can Compete in a Fragmented World

Europe should strengthen its narrative about the democratic rule of law online. That includes pointing to the costs of the authoritarian approach.


Front, Back, and Trap Doors: Refocusing the Encryption Debate

Demands that public authorities be legally granted access to encrypted data are neither expedient nor desirable.


Automation and the Future of Work in Sub-Saharan Africa

This paper presents the factors that are driving or inhibiting the automation revolution and applies them to sub-Saharan Africa. It concludes that tough times may be coming for some, but the overall impact of automation in the region will be limited. 


Thorsten Benner


Alexander Pirang

Non-Resident Fellow

Tim Maurer

Non-Resident Fellow

Wade Hoxtell

Head of Operations

Isabel Skierka

Non-Resident Fellow

Funding and Contact

Our Transatlantic Digital Debates dialogue program was generously supported by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, New America, Bertelsmann Foundation, Microsoft and IBM.

For more information, please contact Thorsten Benner.