Law firm CMS advises Berlin tech company in their development of the Xayn search engine

European privacy tech with GDPR-compatible AI

  • Xayn combines privacy, control over algorithms and convenience
  • CMS evaluates decentralised Xayn technology from a legal perspective
  • The international law firm has already been advising the tech company on data protection issues since 2018  

Munich/Berlin, 3 February 2021 – Berlin-based tech company Xayn has worked with international law firm CMS for the development of its privacy-protecting search engine, which was released in December. Xayn is a European search alternative that protects users' digital privacy, provides them with personalised search results, and gives them control over the search algorithms.  

A CMS team consisting of Dr Markus Häuser and Dr Markus Kaulartz provided comprehensive legal advice to the Berlin-based company on their search engine’s development. The mandate’s focus was on assessing the AI and its data protection compliance from a legal perspective. Their comments were directly incorporated into the search engine’s development. The two CMS lawyers have been supporting the company, which emerged from a research project, with their legal expertise in developing decentralised technology since 2018.  

"As an IT lawyer and former software developer, working with Xayn was particularly appealing to me. The team is highly qualified, very motivated and shows that there are viable technical solutions to the conflict between AI and privacy," emphasises Dr Markus Kaulartz, Counsel at CMS.  

Xayn is based on so-called federated learning, which is new territory both technically and legally. Instead of bringing the data to the algorithms, as in conventional methods, the algorithms are brought to the data. The algorithms train directly on users’ devices and are then aggregated in encrypted form.  

"We want to make sure that our decentralised technology complies with European data protection standards at all levels. That's why we are already working closely with CMS in the development phase. Our contacts at CMS can not only support us from a legal perspective but also have technological expertise, which helps enormously in the collaboration," explains Leif-Nissen Lundbæk, Ph.D., co-founder and CEO of Xayn.  

Xayn was founded in 2017 from a research project at the University of Oxford and Imperial College London by Dr Leif-Nissen Lundbæk, Professor Michael Huth and Felix Hahmann. The AI company developed the open-source platform XayNet for federated learning and analytics, on which the search engine is also based. Xayn aims to become a competitive alternative to established search engines by combining privacy, transparency and convenience with decentralised AI.  

The search engine is available as an app free of charge in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. A desktop version is already in the making and will be released in the coming months.


About Xayn

Xayn is a privacy-protecting search alternative that enables users to gain back control over the algorithms and provides them with a smooth user-experience. Using the latest AI technology made in Europe, the company ushers in a new generation of user-friendly privacy tech – making privacy available for everyone.

The AI company started as a research project at The University of Oxford and Imperial College London by Leif-Nissen Lundbæk (Ph.D.) and Professor Michael Huth. Together with Felix Hahmann, they founded the tech company in 2017. To this day, that academic vision remains with a workforce comprised of 30% PhDs. The company’s open-source framework for federated analytics and learning, XayNet, is the basis of the privacy-protecting personalised search engine Xayn. The Berlin-based company has received investment funding of 9.5 million EURO by Earlybird VC as well as Dominik Schiener. Xayn has worked with corporations such as Porsche, Daimler, Deutsche Bahn, and Siemens.


CMS in Germany

CMS is one of the leading commercial law firms in Germany. More than 600 lawyers, tax advisers and notaries advise SMEs and major corporations on all aspects of national and international commercial law. CMS Germany has offices in eight major German business locations, as well as in Beijing, Brussels, Hong Kong, Moscow and Shanghai.  

For more information, visit

Contact information

Dr. Clara Herdeanu
You’re writing a story about data privacy, you’re looking for an expert on AI or want to be put on our media list?
For all media inquiries, please contact:
Dr. Clara Herdeanu
Head of Communications

More news for you

We are using cookies to optimise your experience on By clicking “Allow all,” you agree to the storing of cookies on your device for our website to work reliably and customise content or ads for you. For more details, please refer to our cookie policy.