Ben Wagner (Lab Director)

Autonomy, Algorithms & Technology Policy
Dr. Ben Wagner is an Assistant Professor and Director of the Privacy & Sustainable Computing Lab at Vienna University of Economics and Business. In 2014 he founded the Centre for the Internet and Human Rights (CIHR) at European University Viadrina and served as CIHR Director from 2014 to 2016. His research focuses on communications technology at the intersection between rights, ethics and governance. Ben holds a PhD in Political and Social Sciences from European University Institute in Florence. He was previously worked at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs, the University of Pennsylvania, Human Rights Watch and the European Council on Foreign Relations. His research has been published in Telecommunications Policy, JITP and the International Journal of Communications.

Sabrina Kirrane (Management Board)

Semantic Technology, Data Analytics & Privacy

Dr. Sabrina Kirrane joined the WU as a postdoctoral researcher in September 2015 and was the Founding Director of the Privacy & Sustainable Computing Lab. Prior to taking up the position at WU she was a researcher at the Insight Centre for Data Analytics, Ireland. Her PhD focused on the problem of access control for the Web of Data. Before that she spent several years working in Industry on topics around data integration and security, such as system security requirements their and implementation in an application service provider environment. Sabrina’s research focuses on the privacy issues that can result from interlinked machine-readable data. Dr. Kirrane is a guest editor for the Journal of Web Semantics special issue on Security, Privacy and Policy for the Semantic Web and Linked Data and besides others organiser of the PrivOn workshop series on Society, Privacy and the Semantic Web - Policy and Technology.

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Sarah Spiekermann (Management Board)

Ethical System Design, Privacy, Behavior & Philosophy

Univ.Prof. Dr. Sarah Spiekermann is a professor for Business Informatics since 2009 and chairs the IMIS. Her main areas of expertise are electronic privacy, RFID, personalization/CRM, attention and interruption management (notification platforms) and context-adaptivity. She has been advising the EU Commission in the area of privacy for RFID since 2005, served as a reviewer of RFID FP7 projects SMART and BRIDGE, co-authored and negotiated the PIA-Framework for RFID (signed in April 2011 by the EU Commission) and developed the PIA guidelines for privacy-friendly RFID systems for the German Federal Institute of Information Security (BSI) (published in November 2011).

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Axel Polleres (Management Board)

Univ.-Prof. Dr. Axel Polleres joined the WU in September 2013. Before he worked at TU Vienna, Univ. Innsbruck, Univ. Rey Juan Carlos (Madrid, Spain), the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) at NUI Galway (Ireland), and for Siemens AG. His research focuses on ontologies, query and rules languages, Semantic Web technologies (particularly scalable semantic data management), Web services, knowledge management, Linked Open Data, configuration technologies and their applications. Axel has published more than 100 scientific articles and actively contributed to international standardisation efforts within the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) where he co-chaired the W3C SPARQL working group.

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Sushant Agarwal

Privacy Risk & Compliance

Sushant Agarwal joined the WU as a project staff in Apr 2014. He finished his Bachelors and Masters Degree in Aerospace from IITB, India. During his studies, he worked on projects related to data quality management and failure diagnosis for Boeing and Hitachi at DIAL LAB-University of Cambridge, UK. Working on projects involving big datasets and machine learning led to his interest in privacy and ethics. Currently, his research focusses on privacy risk and compliance. He is also working on the SERAMIS project where he is involved in exploring the questions related to privacy in pervasive computing.

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Kathrin Bednar

Software Engineers & Ethics

Kathrin Bednar joined the team at the Institute of Management Information Systems in February 2016 and is currently looking into software engineers’ motivations to incorporate privacy mechanisms. She has a background in Psychology, Philosophy and Cognitive Science and is interested in psychological wellbeing and its philosophical considerations, a challenging topic considering an environment dominated by technology and new media.

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Olha Drozd

Privacy by Design: Privacy Patterns

Olha Drozd is a teaching and research associate currently working on the Online Interactive Privacy Pattern Catalog. Before joining the institute for Management Information Systems at the WU she worked as a research assistant at the Institute of Information Systems at the Humboldt University of Berlin. Olha also worked as an IT project manager at DDM Studio- a digital production studio located in Kyiv, Ukraine. She managed digital production teams for such brands as Fox TV (US), Sesame Street, Chevrolet, Swisscom, AirFrance-KLM, Saatchi & Saatchi, Sanofi-Aventis, and others.  Olha's research interests focus on privacy by design and privacy patterns.

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Javier Fernández

Management, Compression and Encryption of Semantic Data

Dr. Javier D. Fernández is a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute for Information Business at the Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU Wien). He holds a joint Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Valladolid (Spain) and the University of Chile (Chile), performing this double diploma thanks to an Erasmus Mundus grant. Before he joined the WU, he worked at the Ontology Engineering Group (OEG) at Universidad Politecnica de Madrid (Spain), and the Dipartimento di Ingegneria Informatica Automatica e Gestionale at Sapienza Universit a di Roma (Italy). His current research focuses on responsible data science, Big Semantic Data architectures for privacy and compliance, and efficient Linked Data access.

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Christian Göbel

Digital Technology, Demonstrations, Social Credit System

Prof. Dr. Christian Göbel joined the Lab in December 2017. He is a University Professor of Modern China Studies at the University of Vienna, Department of East Asian Studies. A political scientist and sinologist by training, his research is concerned with the adaptability of the Chinese Party-State to social, economic and political challenges. He is especially interested in effects of digital technology on local governance in China. Data derived from expert interviews, expert surveys and web harvesting is processed by means of qualitative content analysis, text statistical methods and inferential statistics.

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Esther Görnemann

Transparency & Psychological Data Ownership

Esther Görnemann joined the team at the Institute for Management Information Systems in August 2016 as a project related research associate for the EU project “Privacy and Usability”.  In her research, she focusses on transparency and psychological data ownership and related fields such as the perception of risk and data governance. She has a Master in Business Management and a Master in International Marketing. Data markets, user's data sharing behavior and risk awareness were main focuses during her studies. Prior to working at the Institute, Esther worked as Management Consultant for KPMG in Finance and IT Advisory and several years in Marketing, PR and Customer Relationship Management in the Solar Industry.

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Soheil Human

Artificial Intelligence, Cognitive Science and Science-Technology-Society (STS)

Soheil Human has  an interdisciplinary background in Artificial Intelligence, Cognitive Science, History and Philosophy of Science and Science-Technology-Society (STS). Currently, he is a research associate at the Department of Information Systems and Operations of the Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU Wien) and a lecturer at the Department of Philosophy of the University of Vienna. His current research focus is on human needs. Soheil applies a wide range of theories and methods from Philosophy, Cognitive & Information Economics, Conceptual & Computational Cognitive Modelling, Artificial Intelligence, and Semantic Web in his research. His other research interests involve human values, pluralism & epistemic disagreements, predictive processing and ethical & responsible robotics. 

Bernadette Kamleitner

Privacy and Data Ownership, Psychological Implications of Smart Technologies

Univ.Prof. Dr.Dr. Bernadette Kamleitner joined WU as a professor for Marketing with a special focus on Consumer Behavior in 2012. She is head of the Institute for Marketing and Consumer Research and has a background in both business and psychology. Her research focuses on the psychological underpinnings of consumer behaviors, including the way consumers perceive and deal with personal data and an increasing digitization of everyday phenomena. In particular, she is an internationally recognized expert on perceptions of ownership on which she has published and spoken in numerous internationally renowned fora.

Jana Korunovska

Privacy Notices & User Issues

Jana Korunovska is a research and teaching associate currently working on the impact of privacy notices on user’s privacy concerns and online behavior. As a psychologist, her research often focuses on user-related issues, most prominently privacy and ownership issues of personal data on the internet, especially in the social networking context. For this work, together with Prof. Dr. Sarah Spiekermann and Dr. Christine Bauer she won the CPDP 2013 Multidisciplinary Privacy Research Award. Her other research interests involve the impact of new media and technology on the affective, cognitive, and conative aspects of the end-users.

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Alexander Novotny

Cyber-Security, Risk & Technology in Society

Dr. Alexander Novotny, MSc is an information privacy and security specialist. He is an information security manager addressing cyber risks in the utilities industry. Moreover, Alexander is a lecturer at the Vienna University of Economics and Business. He has been teaching lectures on information privacy and security, IoT security, ethical computing, and information and communication technology.

Alexander is a certified CIS information security manager according to ISO 27001 and a certified risk manager for information security according to ISO 27005. Also, he is a certified and BSI-registered auditor for the IT-security of critical infrastructures according to § 8a (3) BSIG of the German IT-security law ("IT-Sicherheitsgesetz"). Alexander is a member of the IEEE P7000 engineering methodologies for ethical life-cycle concerns working group. Moreover, he has been serving as a standardization expert for digital marketing and privacy at the Austrian Standards Institute.

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Eliška Pírková (Visting Member 2018)

Online hate speech, surveillance and security, freedom of expression 

Eliška Pírková is a doctoral researcher at the University of Helsinki, faculty of law. Currently, she works for the Laws of Surveillance and Security (LOSS) Project that is funded by the Academy of Finland. Her doctoral thesis concerns the phenomenon of online hate speech and the protection of freedom expression in digital age. Her main area of research interest is the protection of human rights in online space, European constitutionalism and Internet governance. Eliška has experience with working for both, international organisations and NGO sector. She regularly lectures on various human right topics and has served as the main editor of human rights section in the Finnish Yearbook of International Law.


Marie-Theres Sekwenz

Law, Artificial Intelligence, Governance

Marie-Theres Sekwenz is a researcher working on law, regulation and governance of artificial intelligence at the privacy and sustainable computing Lab. Before joining the Lab she studied law and economics at WU Vienna and the Graduate School of Management at St Petersburg. She has a range of professional experience from public affairs, to publishing and tax law and compliance as well as a strong artistic background, having worked at the Konzerthaus, a leading cultural institution in Vienna.

Simon Steyskal

Semantic Technology, Web Standards & Licenses

Simon Steyskal holds master’s degrees in Software Engineering & Internet Computing as well as Information & Knowledge Management, both from the Vienna University of Technology (TU) and joined WU in January 2014 as a PhD candidate under the supervision of Prof. Axel Polleres. He is also working as a research scientist for Siemens AG where he is involved in a joint research project between Siemens AG and WU. He is also an active member of the W3C RDF Data Shapes working group and involved in the standardization process of a W3C permissions and obligations expression language carried out by the W3C Permissions & Obligations Expression working group.

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Till Winkler

Ethical System Design

Till Winkler joined the team at Institute for Management Information Systems as a teaching and research associate in June 2016. He completed his bachelor’s and master’s degree in Psychology at the Leopold-Franzens-University Innsbruck. During his studies, he worked as an intern at the Leopold-Franzens-University Innsbruck and the Medical University Innsbruck. His last assignment was at Bartenbach an engineering office for lighting design, were he did research on the usability and psychological impact of daylight installations. His research focuses on the methods of ethical system design. 

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