Human of #univie Johanna: “My degree programme has practical relevance”

“Which images am I allowed to use when I create something as a graphic designer? How can I protect my ideas and/or realisations in the creative industry or technology sector? Questions such as these already occupied my mind before I started my studies. I completed a vocational secondary school with a focus on communication and media design. Therefore, I dealt with the thematic interfaces between IT, digital media and law already early on. I wrote my pre-academic paper (vorwissenschaftliche Arbeit) as part of the secondary-school leaving examination on intellectual property law. This ultimately encouraged me in my decision to enrol in the degree programme in Law at the University of Vienna.

During my studies, I have always felt the need to give space to my curiosity about IT and digital media. Therefore, I carried out relevant projects besides my studies both on a voluntary basis as well as on contracts for work and services. After studying a year abroad and an internship at a law firm in Vienna, my interest in new areas was sparked, in particular in the field of data protection law.

People often ask me if the field is “rather dry” and “abstract”. I must admit that I am usually somewhat puzzled by this question because data protection is not exactly an ‘exotic’ legal matter. On the contrary, many issues of data protection affect everyday life in our society. These issues range from the use of cookies to the analysis of the purchasing behaviour of consumers and the analysis of citizens’ behaviour in elections. These everyday topics, in particular, and the related technical issues especially caught my interest.

When I was accepted as a teaching assistant at the Department of Innovation and Digitalisation in Law, a dream came true for me. The specialisation of the Department is fascinating not only because it reflects my personal interests but also because it of high practical relevance. This became ever more apparent during the COVID-19 crisis: Aspects of data protection law became a constant subject of controversial debates in the public discussion about the “STOPP Corona app” or the use of different video conferencing tools. In addition, copyright-related issues became increasingly relevant – for example, when courses were changed to take place in a digital format. And also in the foreseeable future, it is not very likely that these areas will become less relevant.” – Johanna Göschlberger

Johanna Göschlberger is studying Law at the University of Vienna.

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