Optimizing informational sustainability for citizens in data ecosystems

The Opt-In project brings data sovereignty to the world of the "smart home". The focus is on the requirements and needs of citizens to make free decisions about their data. Individuals are empowered to retain control over their data and at the same time encouraged to enable innovative services with their data.

The challenge

"Smart" devices offer a wide range of opportunities to create added value in various use cases, from lifestyle to health support. They are data-based and generate new data through their use. Particularly sensitive, personal data is generated in the smart home and smart city context. Trust in the operators of the systems and their technical infrastructure is therefore essential. Fear of data misuse is a major reason for non-use. But even if citizens consent to the use of their data, they are usually denied the right to decide for themselves how their data is actually used. Data providers are also often left in the dark about how their data will be used and do not receive an appropriate share of the value created by their data.


Our service

As part of Opt-In, we design the fundamental technological building blocks of a data ecosystem. To this end, existing solutions for ensuring privacy and data sovereignty are identified and further developed with a view to personal self-determination over one's own data. In order to ensure sustainable development and the continuous further development of the data infrastructure, particular emphasis is placed on the connectivity of the technologies and the project's ability to expand.


The result

The research consortium aims to develop a user-friendly privacy-by-design concept and a best-practice toolkit for citizen-oriented use cases in data ecosystems. These will be piloted in a smart home ecosystem with interfaces to the smart city. The right to privacy of citizens is ensured by a live data cockpit to provide transparent support for data providers in terms of consent, control and revocation of data use.


The partners

  • Vreeda GmbH
  • Logarithmo GmbH & Co. KG·
  • TU Dortmund University: Chair of Entrepreneurship and Digitalization
  • TU Dortmund University: Chair of Digital Transformation
  • TU Dortmund University: Chair of Industrial Information Management

Associated partners:

  • Centrum für Entrepreneurship und Transfer (Center for Entrepreneurship and Transfer)
  • Stadt Dortmund / Smart City DO (City of Dortmund)
  • IHK zu Dortmund (Dortmund chamber of industry and commerce)
  • DOData GmbH
  • CONNECTED.ESSEN – the Smart City initiative


The funding

  • Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF), the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research
  • Funding reference: 16KIS1938
  • Term: 01.10.2023-30.09.2026