Is There a Right to Offline Alternatives in a Digital World?

  • Murat Karaboga
  • Tobias Matzner
  • Hannah Obersteller
  • Carsten Ochs
Part of the Law, Governance and Technology Series book series (LGTS, volume 36)


More and more offline devices are weaved into the Internet of Things. Besides beneficial effects, the ubiquitous digitization also poses substantial risks for users’ privacy and self-determination. In this paper, we discuss whether a right to offline alternatives, hence to lead a non-digital life, might be a reasonable demand to counter such worries. In the search for answers, we investigate the – possible – societal utility and reasonability of such an ambition, as well as potential damages individuals or even the society might suffer, if such a right would be established. Furthermore, relevant aspects of the current legal framework are presented, followed by an analysis of former and ongoing Internet of Things regulation initiatives, asking whether the right to offline alternatives may have already been recognized and part of regulatory balancing processes.


Offline alternatives Internet of things Policy Data protection 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Murat Karaboga
    • 1
  • Tobias Matzner
    • 2
  • Hannah Obersteller
    • 3
  • Carsten Ochs
    • 4
  1. 1.Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation ResearchKarlsruheGermany
  2. 2.Internationales Zentrum für Ethik in den WissenschaftenUniversität TübingenTübingenGermany
  3. 3.Unabhängiges Landeszentrum für Datenschutz Schleswig-HolsteinKielGermany
  4. 4.Universität Kassel Fachbereich 05 Soziologische TheorieKasselGermany

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