| Research Projects | Promoted | Awareness, motivation and implementation of data portability – Enabling radical and disruptive innovation through enhanced data portability
bidt background

Awareness, motivation and implementation of data portability – Enabling radical and disruptive innovation through enhanced data portability

The term data portability refers to the possibility of transferring personal data between different providers, which could improve data protection and the available choices. Data portability is defined as a right in the General Data Protection Regulation. The project investigates how the concept can best be implemented in order to improve competition between online services and data-driven innovations.

Project description

The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which became law in 2018, includes, among other rights, the Right to Data Portability (Article 20). This right grants users of online services the right to take their personal data with them if they migrate from one platform to another or if they simply want to exchange information between services.

This should provide users with more control over their data and allow for easier switching between services. At the same time, online service providers and the digital economy as a whole should benefit from more competition: Data are a crucial resource for digital business models, but are currently often concentrated in proprietary data silos, that is, in the hands of a few large providers – and data portability could help breaking up these silos.

However, in practice, there are hardly any user-friendly solutions for making use of the Right to Data Portability, and there is yet little knowledge of and demand for data portability amongst users.

What are the reasons for this, and what can be done to make data portability a success for users and the digital economy alike? The project “Awareness, Motivation and Implementation of Data Portability (amiDaPo)” addresses these questions by combining perspectives from informatics, information systems and psychology. Thus, the project bridges the heterogeneous requirements of the participating stakeholders with respect to the concrete implementation of the Right to Data Portability.

The goal of the project was to investigate how the Right to Data Portability can be implemented most effectively from a psychological, economic, and technical perspective in order to enable user-friendly solutions, enhanced competition, and data-driven innovation.

The psychological subproject is led by Prof. Dr. Susanne Mayr and Dr. Robert Luzsa (University of Passau, Chair of Psychology with a focus on Human-Machine Interaction) and uses survey and experimental studies to investigate the user perspective on data portability. The aim is to identify user requirements, success factors and obstacles on a psychologically sound basis and to derive approaches for the successful design of data portability.

Prof. Dr. Johann Kranz and Sophie Kübler-Wachendorff (Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Professorship of Digital Services and Sustainability) are investigating the right to data portability from the perspective of information systems. This subproject investigates the individual acceptance of the right at the user level, its economic impact on social welfare, and motivational as well as functional design principles.

From the perspective of informatics, Prof. Jens Grossklags, Ph.D., and Emmanuel Syrmoudis (Technical University of Munich, Professorship of Cyber Trust) investigate the technical implementation of data portability by service providers. Based on these insights, this subproject contributes to the identification of opportunities and risks of data portability and the development of ways to increase compatibility and interoperability.

The project was completed by 30 June, 2023.


Dr. Christoph Egle

Managing Director, bidt

Project team

Prof. Dr. Susanne Mayr

Professor, Chair of Psychology and Human-Machine Interaction | University of Passau

Dr. Robert Luzsa

Research Assistant, Chair of Psychology and Human-Machine Interaction | University of Passau

Prof. Dr. Johann Kranz

Director of the Professorship of Digital Services and Sustainability, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich

Sophie Kübler-Wachendorff

Research Assistant and Doctoral Candidate, Digital Services and Sustainability | Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich

Prof. Dr. Jens Großklags

Chair of Cyber Trust at the Department of Informatics, Technical University of Munich

Emmanuel Syrmoudis

Research Assistant, Chair of Cyber Trust | Technical University of Munich