Data Protection Information

The Max-Planck-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Wissenschaften e.V. (The Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science) (MPG) takes the protection of personal data very seriously. MPG processes personal data gathered when you visit an MPG website in compliance with applicable data protection legislation. Your data are neither published nor transmitted to third parties on an unauthorized basis. In the following section, you can find explanations of which data are recorded when you visit one of the MPG websites, and exactly how they are utilized:

A. General information

1. Scope of data processing

As a matter of principle, MPG gathers and utilizes users' personal data only to the extent required to ensure the functioning of the MPG websites, contents and services. The gathering and utilization of users' personal data normally occurs after users have granted their consent. An exception occurs where data processing is legally permitted.

2. Legal basis of data processing

To the extent that permission of the affected individual is obtained for the processing of personal data, Article 6 (1) lit. a of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) serves as the legal basis.

In the processing of personal data to fulfil a contract where the contractual party is the individual affected, Article 6 (1) lit. b GDPR serves as the legal basis. This also applies to processing required to implement pre-contractual measures.

If processing is required to safeguard the justified interest of the MPG or a third party, and the interests, basic rights and basic freedoms of the affected individual do not outweigh the first-mentioned interest, Article 6 (1) lit. f GDPR serves as the basis for such processing.

3. Data deletion and storage duration

The affected individual's personal data are deleted or blocked as soon as the purpose of the storage ceases to apply. Storage can also occur if provided for by European or national legislators in EU regulations, acts or other legislation to which the MPG is subject. A blocking or deletion of data then occurs only if a storage period prescribed by one of the aforementioned norms expires, unless a necessity exists in relation to the further storage of the data for the arrangement of a contract or the fulfilment of a contract.

4. Contact details of the individuals responsible

The entity responsible in the meaning of the General Data Protection Regulation and other national data protection acts as well as other data protection legislation is the

Max-Planck-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Wissenschaften e.V. (MPG)
Hofgartenstrasse 8
D-80539 Munich
Telephone: +49 (89) 2108-0
Contact form:

5. Data Protection Officer's contact details

The responsible Data Protection Officer at the entity is

Heidi Schuster
Hofgartenstrasse 8
D-80539 Munich
Telephone: +49 (89) 2108-1554

B. Provision of the website and creation of log files

Each time you visit an MPG website, service and applications automatically record data and information from the computer system of the visiting computer.

The following data are gathered temporarily:

  • Your IP address
  • Date and time of your access to the website
  • Address of the page visited
  • Address of the previously visited website (referrerif transmitted)
  • Name and version of your browser/operating system (if transmitted).

These data are stored in the MPG systems' log files. These data are not stored together with the user's other personal data.

The legal basis for the temporary saving of data and log files is Article 6 (1) lit. f GDPR. Storage occurs in log files in order to ensure the website's functionality. The data also help MPG to optimize the websites, eliminate malfunctions and ensure the MPG’s IT system security. The MPG’s justified interest in data processing pursuant to Article 6 (1) lit. f GDPR also lies in such purposes.

The data are deleted as soon as they are no longer required to achieve the purpose for which they were gathered. If data are gathered for the provision of the website, this is the case if the respective visit is ended. In the instance that data are stored in log files, this is the case after seven days at the latest. Storage above and beyond this period is possible. In this case, the users' IP addresses are deleted or removed so they can no longer be allocated to the visiting client.

The recording of data for the provision of the website and the storage of data in log files is essential to operate the website. As a consequence, users do not have an option to revoke such data recording.

C. Web analysis

For the statistical data recording of utilization behaviour, MPG deploys the Matomo web analysis program (formerly: Piwik), which utilizes cookies and JavaScript to collect various information on your computer and transmit it to us automatically. Each time you visit the MPG websites, the system records the following data and information from the visiting computer's computer system:

  • IP address, anonymized by shortening
  • Two cookies to differentiate different visitors (pk_id and pk_sess)
  • Previously visited URL (referrer), if communicated by the browser
  • Name and version of the operating system
  • Name, version and language setting of the browser.

Additionally, if JavaScript is activated:

  • URLs visited on this website
  • Times at which pages are visited
  • Type of HTML queries
  • Screen resolution and colour depth
  • Formats and techniques supported by the browser (e.g. cookies, Java, Flash, PDF, WindowsMedia, QuickTime, RealPlayer, Director, SilverLight, Google Gears).

Data are stored and evaluated exclusively on a central server operated by MPG. Along with the central website, it is utilized by most Max Planck institutes and many of the project websites allocated to MPG.

The legal basis for the processing of users' personal data is Article 6 (1) lit. f GDPR. Processing of users' personal data enables MPG to analyze users' utilization behaviour. The evaluation of the data that MPGobtains enables MPG to aggregate information about the utilization of the MPG websites' individual components. This helps MPG constantly improve the websites and their user-friendliness. The MPG‘s justified interest in data processing pursuant to Article 6 (1) lit. f GDPR also lies in such purposes. The anonymization of the IP address sufficiently takes into consideration the users' interest in the protection of their personal data.

The data are deleted after the formation of the conclusive annual sums for access statistics.

You are able to revoke data gathering. You have the following independent possibilities to revoke data recording by the central server:

1.            In your browser, activate the do-not-track or do-not-follow settings. If these settings are active, the MPG central server will not store any data relating to you. Important: The do-not-track instruction generally applies only for the device and browser in which you activate the setting. If you utilize several devices/browsers, you will need to separately activate do-not-track in all relevant locations.

2.            Utilize the MPG‘s opt-out function. Click the following selection box  in order to stop data recording or to reactivate data recording. If the selection box is deactivated, the MPG central server will not store any data about you. Important: For the opt-out, MPG has to store a special recognition cookie in your browser. If you delete it or utilize another PC/browser, you will need to revoke data recording again on this page. Important: Should your browser prevent tracking, the separate opt-out function is unavailable, because no personal data are stored at all.

These data are not stored together with the user's other personal data.

D. Utilization of cookies

The MPG websites utilize cookies. Cookies are text files stored by the Internet browser on the user's computer system. If a user visits a website, a cookie can be stored on the user's operating system. This cookie contains a sequence of characters enabling the browser to be clearly identified when visiting the website again.

MPG deploys cookies to make the MPG websites more user-friendly. Some elements of the MPG websites also technically require the identification of the visiting browser after a change of page. The following data are saved and transmitted in the cookies:

  • Language settings (localization) of the browser: session cookie i18next
  • Session data (click path, pages visited, current language, and, where relevant, error messages for forms: session cookie MPG_session_r.

Both cookies are deleted when the session is closed.

The legal basis for personal data processing while utilizing cookies is Article 6 (1) lit. f GDPR and § 25 para. 2 lit. 2 Telecommunications and Telemedia Data Protection Act (TTDSG). The purpose of utilizing technically necessary cookies is to simplify the utilization of websites for users. Some of the MPG websites' functions cannot be offered without the utilization of cookies. For these, it is absolutely necessary that the browser can also be re-identified following a change of page. MPG requires cookies for the following application:

  • Transferring the browser's language setting: automatic selection of the homepage and spelling,
  • Noting of form data entered: terms and entries in the contact form utilized in searches
    within the website (section E)

User data gathered by technically necessary cookies are not utilized to prepare user profiles.

Cookies are stored on the user's computer, which transmits them to the MPG site. For this reason, you, as the user, also have full control over the utilization of cookies. You can deactivate or restrict the transmission of cookies through changing your Internet browser settings. Cookies that have already been saved can be deleted at any time. This can also occur automatically. If cookies for the MPG website are deactivated, you may find not all of the website's functions can continue to be utilized in full.

In addition, MPG also utilizes cookies on the MPG’s websites to enable users' utilization behaviour to be analyzed. For more information on this topic, please refer to the information provided under section C.

E. Contact Form

A contact form is available on the MPG website for the purposes of making contact electronically. If a user opts for this, the data entered in the data entry form are transmitted to the MPG, and the data are saved. These are generally your email address, family name and first name. The MPG informs you about the specific processing of the data and obtains your consent as part of the utilization procedure. Reference is also made to this data protection statement. The data are utilized exclusively to process the conversation.

The Google reCaptcha function is utilized in order to avoid improper use of the form. reCaptcha serves to prevent mass machine use of the contact form by inserting image-based questions, which only a human being can answer. reCaptcha is an embedded JavaScript, which establishes a connection to the provider's servers when the contact form is accessed. The provider thereby at least receives information that you have visited the contact form as well as, potentially, other information that your web browser and the device you are utilizing discloses. You can obtain information about the data processing at the provider through a reference on the contact form.

The legal basis for the processing of data when utilizing the contact form is the user's consent pursuant to Article 6 (1) lit. a GDPR. MPG employs the processing of personal data from the data entry form solely to process the initiation of the contact. The data are deleted as soon as they are no longer required for the purpose for which they were gathered. This occurs if the respective conversation with the user ends or if the user's issue has been processed conclusively. The conversation has ended if the circumstances suggest that the respective matter has been clarified conclusively. At any time, users can notify the listed contact partners that they are revoking their consent to the processing of personal data.

The legal basis for the processing of users' personal data by reCaptcha is Article 6 (1) lit. f GDPR. reCaptcha is utilized exclusively to ensure the functionality of the contact form and to prevent improper use. MPG's justified interest in data processing pursuant to Article 6 (1) lit. f GDPR lies in such purposes. Utilization is essential to operate the contact form. As a consequence, users do not have an option to revoke such data recording.

F. Rights of individuals affected

As an individual whose personal data are gathered as part of the aforementioned services, you have, in principle, the following rights, to the extent that no legal exceptions are applicable in individual cases:

  • Information (Article 15 GDPR)
  • Correction (Article 16 GDPR)
  • Deletion (Article 17 (1) GDPR)
  • Restriction of processing (Article 18 GDPR)
  • Data transmission (Article 20 GDPR)
  • Revocation of processing (Article 21 GDPR)
  • Revocation of consent (Article 7 (3) GDPR)
  • Right to complain to the regulator (Article 77 GDPR). For the MPG, this is the Bavarian Data Protection Authority (BayLDA), Postbox 1349, 91504 Ansbach.


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