Abstract

The overarching topic of this cumulative dissertation in computer science is the complex connectedness, and hence interdependence, of IT systems on the one hand and societal expectations and requirements on the other. On an abstract level this relation has been widely scientifically inquired by technology philosophers, sociologists and political scientists.

However, reflecting on this relation from a computer science perspective and shaping it as an intra- as well as inter-disciplinary project happens much less often. Hence, this dissertation does not primarily take place in the realm of the technology determinist question, how digital technology influences, changes and regulates society, but how societal expectations, negotiations and constellations (should) shape and regulate digital technology. With this rather constructivist and agency-oriented view, concrete questions of systems design and systems control as well as societal assumptions and goals of digital technology come into focus.

The dissertation aims to contribute to the fields of critical computer science, data protection theory, IT security theory and theory of sustainability in the digital age. It mainly works theoretically and conceptually, yet always directly or indirectly referencing real-world socio-technical systems in practical use in order to stay grounded and closely technology-bound.