Institut für Kommunikationswissenschaft und Medienforschung (IFKW)




New interdisciplinary project with Dr. Haßler: Data donations and digital nudges for sustainable behavior change

The Bavarian Research institute for Digital Transformation (bidt) Is funding a new interdisciplinary consortium project on how digital nudges can be used to positively affect awareness and willingness to donate data to achieve sustainable behavior change in the areas of health and environment. In this project Dr. Jörg Haßler will jointly work together with Prof. Daniel Schnurr (Machine Learning and Uncertainty Quantification) and Prof. Verena Tiefenbeck (Digital Transformation).


The research project DataDonations4SustainableChange investigates how individuals’ awareness and willingness to donate data can be used to promote sustainable behavior changes in the areas of health and environment.

Recently, new regulatory and legal frameworks strengthened EU citizens’ right to access their data. This has been accompanied by more accessible solutions for individuals to donate their data, hence, creating an important groundwork for data donations for the general population. The pervasion of digital technologies into a wide variety of areas of life creates a multitude of promising application contexts for data donation to enhance the common good especially in complex areas such as health and the environment. Yet, there are significant challenges in the mobilization, motivation, and creation of value to establish data donations as an effective tool of active citizen participation.

This consortium project therefore examines the role which digital nudges can play to address these challenges from a communication science, business informatics, and behavioral economics point of view. It will investigate the impact and interdependencies of digital nudges across all individual stages of the data donation process. Nudges are changes in decision-making processes that can influence people's behavior without resorting to prohibitions or altered economic incentives. Since digitalization can be a catalyst for nudges as it offers new opportunities for personalized and dynamic design thereof, the focus will be particularly on digital nudges.

The goal of the DataDonations4SustainableChange project is thus to provide insights and recommendations for action on data donations as a possibility for active participation in order to solve socially pressing challenges such as climate change, resource scarcity, or the early detection, prevention, and mitigation of serious diseases.

Dr. Jörg Haßler will be joined in the DataDonations4SustainableChange project by Prof. Dr. Daniel Schnurr, Professor of Machine Learning and Uncertainty Quantification at Universität Regensburg, and Prof. Dr. Verena Tiefenbeck, Assistant Professor for Digital Transformation at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg.

The project will start in the first half of 2023 and is supported by the bidt for two plus one years.

More information on the project can be found in the official press release by the bidt.