DataSkop will be a platform for data donations used to examine and scrutinize algorithmic decision-making systems and to strengthen the users’ digital autonomy. The aim of the project is to empower individuals to handle their data in an informed way, to act safely in digital environments, and to understand and algorithmic systems in use.


15 September 2020

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Data donations have become a valid method to investigate the way algorithmic systems work – even without having direct access to them. Users can donate their data individually, for example when using social media platforms, credit scoring services or when shopping online. In this way it is possible to shed light on the black-box algorithms of these systems and to understand how they render recommendations, evaluations and decisions. The project DataSkop will provide an infrastructure for this purpose.

Newsrooms, research institutions and NGOs can use DataSkop to analyze algorithmic decision-making systems on the basis of data donations. To minimize the technical hurdles for such investigations, we are establishing DataSkop as a platform that offers a large part of the required functionality from the ground up. Institutions and organizations can use DataSkop to carry out their own data donation projects and to encourage data donors to participate. The donated data itself is collected in compliance with data protection regulations and can then be accessed by the initiators of the particular project.

DataSkop is a joint project, lead and coordinated by AlgorithmWatch. In cooperation with the European New School of Digital Studies (European University Viadrina), we implement our first own data donation projects and determine the functionality of the platform more precisely. The Department of Design of the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam will develop the visualization concepts. The University of Paderborn and the organization Mediale Pfade will develop media pedagogical concepts and workshops in which DataSkop will be used as a learning tool. The three-year project is funded by Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) as part of the program “Mensch-Technik-Interaktion” (human-technology interaction).

Looking for ideas for data donation projects

In spring 2021, we will launch the first data donation project on the platform. And we are already looking for further users of DataSkop. If you are interested in carrying out a data donation project with your organization, newsroom or research institution, please contact us! We are happy to support you in the development and implementation.

Let us keep you posted and subscribe to updates about project, such as the launch of the first DataSkop data donation, events and publications.

Project Manager

Sanah Shah


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Funded by

based on a resolution of the German Bundestag