Consumers’ Digital Self-Determination: Everything Under Control?

  • Britta KrahnEmail author
  • Christian Rietz


The analysis and use of steadily growing sets of data from business processes and consumer interactions and the intelligent linking of data provide tremendous development potential for the digital economy, but also involve risks that are widely discussed in association with data privacy. At the same time, of course, consumers also benefit from innovative and new products and services which are only made possible by intelligent data analysis. But when digital data becomes the raw material for value added on the one hand and appealing products for connected life and work on the other hand it appears that these principles alone do not suffice any longer. Not least because due to technical reasons alone the cross‐linking of economy and society generates large amounts of new data that are often not even acknowledged by consumers and the creation of which they cannot prevent. Up until now, there has only been insufficient systematic assessment of the consumers’ experience associated with their data sovereignty, digital self‐determination respectively. However, the exercise of digital self‐determination by the consumers themselves and a corresponding rise of awareness is a key prerequisite for acting confidently in the digital world of the Internet of Things and in digital business processes. The following study provides answers to the following questions related to consumers’ digital self‐determination: What is a coherent, plausible concept of ‘digital self‐determination’? How can we measure (dimensions of) ‘digital self‐determination’? What degree/amount of ‘digital self‐determination’ do customers/users of digital media want? Based on the empirical results the concept of “digital self‐determination” is described and accentuated. On the one hand, it can thus be a foundation for a consumer‐centered adaptation of manufacturing or business processes. On the other hand, it can also provide implications for policy‐steering considerations.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Bonn-Rhein-Sieg University of Applied SciencesRheinbachGermany
  2. 2.University of CologneCologneGermany

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