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Center for Information Technology, Society, and Law (ITSL)

Commissioned research


The ITSL offers consultancy services for companies and public authorities. The ITSL provides, in particular, expertise on the implementation of complex IT projects or regulatory requirements, support in connection with the drafting of legislative proposals and revisions.

Examples of ITSL's commissioned research

Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property (IPI): Zuordnung von Sachdaten

On behalf of the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property (IPI), the ITSL has conducted a jurisprudential study on the topic of "Ownership, possession and use of non-personal data" in spring and summer 2020. The aim of this contribution is to analyse the current legal situation in Switzerland and the EU and to comment on possible future legal developments, in particular the creation of a property right in data or databases.

Against this background, the study examines in a comprehensive manner the question of how data can be allocated to the various legal entities (companies and private individuals, but also the state) de lege lata and should be allocated de lege ferenda. This broad perspective also covers the legal protection of a de facto allocation of data, especially through secrecy, and the allocation through contracts.

Together with other contributions, the present paper forms the basis for the preparation of a report by the IPI to the Federal Council. The report is dated 18 August 2020.

Zuordnung von Sachdaten - Eigentum, Besitz und Nutzung bei nicht-personenbezogenen Daten, wissenschaftliche Studie im Auftrag des IGE (PDF, 983 KB)


DigiLex: Electronic commerce in the Canton of Zurich

The ITSL supports the State Chancellery of the Canton of Zurich in connection with the creation of legal basis for electronic commerce.

DigiLex is a project of the impulse program (IP2.1 Creating legal bases for electronic commerce) for the implementation of the Digital Administration Strategy 2018-2023 (RRB No. 390/2018) adopted by the Government Council. The project is being implemented under the leadership of the State Chancellery and with the involvement of the Directorate of Justice and Home Affairs. The ultimate goal is to create a general legal basis to promote electronic commerce and accelerate its widespread dissemination.

The ITSL was involved in the preparation of a fundamental report and previously evaluated possible fields of action with principles and regulation topics in workshops with representatives of the cantonal administration and validated them in interviews with external stakeholders (including courts, data protection officer, egovpartner). In addition, several members of the ITSL accompany the project in a sounding board.


In June 2018, the ITSL was commissioned by the AEGLE consortium to analyze the legal framework in Switzerland for the use of big data analytics in the healthcare sector. The AEGLE consortium is a research project co-funded by the Horizon 2020 funding programme, which aims to establish a European big data analytics platform for the analysis of health data for treatment and research purposes. Health data already enjoy special legal protection in Europe under the Council of Europe's Convention for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data (SR.0.235.1). In Switzerland, research with health data is regulated by the Human Research Act, the Data Protection Act and other special decrees. Accordingly, the correct handling of health data in connection with big data analytics is demanding. The ITSL wrote a country report that gives users of the AEGLE platform a concise overview of the legal requirements to be met when analyzing Swiss health data.


The Federal and Cantonal Agency for Education ( is investigating the impact of digitization on education in order to provide basic documents to decision-makers in the education sector.

In 2019, has initiated extensive work to develop perspectives for a future data use policy in education. Within the framework of this work, the ITSL has written a technical paper for a publication on data use policy for the Swiss education area.