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Data protection policy

Principles Governing the Processing of Personal Data

The principles governing the processing of personal data are defined by the EU General Data Protection Regulation (hereafter: GDPR). Personal data are any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person. This includes information such as your name, age, mailing or IP address, telephone number, date of birth, email address, and user behavior. Information that does not allow us to identify you (or would only enable us to do so with disproportionate effort) because the information is anonymized, for example, is not considered personal data. When we collect and use personal data, we strictly limit ourselves to what is technically necessary and comply with the legal provisions. We only collect and use personal data if you have given your consent or if we are legally permitted to do so. It is important to us that you understand why we collect which data and what we use it for. We explain this in the following information on data protection.

Usage data is stored as part of the use of websites in the domain mentioned below. This data is used to identify and track unauthorized attempts to access our website. They also serve to create anonymous access statistics and thus to improve the structure of the website.

These personal data are not disclosed to third parties nor used outside of Freie Universität Berlin, unless you have granted us your consent to do so or we are required or authorized by law to do so (for example, in relation to law enforcement or suspected plagiarism and other copyright infringements).

Data Controller and Scope

The data controller as defined under the GDPR – as well as other national data protection laws of individual member states and data protection regulations – is:

Freie Universität Berlin
vertreten durch den Präsidenten
Kaiserswerther Straße 16-18
14195 Berlin
Tel.: +49 (30) 838-1

We will be happy to answer any questions you may have about our data protection policy. If you have any questions, please contact the Online Editorial Department:

E-Mail: webmaster@berlin-universities-publishing.de

This pivacy statement applies to the web presence of www.berlin-universities-publishing.de hosted by FU Berlin.

Specific Data Processing Activities

1. Website provision and usage

a. Type and scope of data processing

Whenever you access an official web page of Freie Universität Berlin, a log file containing data is automatically created and stored on the server. These data include:

  • the website you visited
  • the web page from which you accessed our web page (plus the terms entered if this was a search engine)
  • date
  • time
  • the operating system used
  • features of the display (resolution in pixels and the pixel ratio for the detection of high-resolution displays) and the browser used (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera, etc.)

The log file also stores the volume of the transmitted data, an HTTP status code (for example, to identify a successfully transmitted web page), and the IP address of the device used to access the page (e.g., PC or smartphone) – whereby the IP address is immediately anonymized by the erasure of the last octet of the address.

The data stored in the log file is collected and used solely for anonymous evaluation for statistical purposes (for example, an analysis of user behavior, which pages of the website or subdomain are accessed, which browsers are used, etc.) and thereby serves to improve our services. As IP addresses are anonymized in the way described above, they cannot be mapped to a specific user and cannot be traced to a specific IP address.

b. Legal basis

The legal basis for our data processing is Article 6.1.1.e GDPR in conjunction with Section 3 of the Berlin Data Protection Act (BlnDSG) Section 4 of the Berlin Higher Education Act (BerlHG), and Article 6.1.1.c GDPR in conjunction with Section 13.7 of the German Teleservices Act (TMG). The processing of said data is required in order to provide and maintain the website and thus serves Freie Universität Berlin in performing a task carried out in the public interest.

c. Storage period

The log files for the ongoing and previous calendar year are stored for evaluation purposes. In this case, the IP addresses are anonymized. The data are then erased.

2. Data processing and contact requests

a. Type and scope of data processing

On some pages of our website we offer you the opportunity to get in touch with us via a pre-configured contact form. You will be notified of this data protection policy when you are about to submit your data via the contact form. Your email address will be processed if you choose to make use of such a contact form. Submitting your email address to us allows us to properly keep track of your query and to respond to it. The data you have submitted on the contact form will not be disclosed to third parties.

In the event that contact is made via email, the other personal data stated in the message (name, query subject, attachments, date, and time) will be processed along with the sender’s email address.

b. Legal basis

Data processing for the purposes of making contact via the contact form as described above is performed on the basis of your voluntarily given consent pursuant to Article 6.1.a GDPR. The legal basis for the processing of personal data in relation to email queries is based on Article 6.1.e GDPR in conjunction with Section 4 BerlHG.

Disclosure of Data

We will only disclose your personal data to third parties when:

  • You have given your explicit consent pursuant to Article 6.1.1.a GDPR.
  • This is legally permissible and required for the performance of a contract to which you are party pursuant to Article 6.1.1.b GDPR.
  • Disclosure of personal data is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation pursuant to Article 6.1.1.c GDPR.
  • Disclosure of personal data is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in the Freie Universität Berlin pursuant to Article 6.1.1.e GDPR.

We will notify you if your personal data are to be disclosed due to specific circumstances in an individual case.


1. Use of cookies on our website

a. Type and scope of data processing

We use cookies on our website. Cookies are small files that are sent to the browser of your end device and stored there during your visit to our website. We are unable to offer some functions of our website without the use of certain cookies required for technical reasons. Other cookies allow us to carry out different analyses. For example, if you revisit our website, cookies are able to recognize the browser you use and transmit different kinds of information to us. Using cookies allows us to make our website more user-friendly and effective for you by tracing your use of our website and determining your preferred settings (for example, country and language settings). If third parties process information via cookies, they collect this information directly via your browser. Cookies do not inflict any damage on your end device. They cannot run programs on your end device and do not contain viruses.

b. Legal basis

Article 6.1.1.e GDPR in conjunction with Section 3 of the BlnDSG, Section 4 BerlGH, and Article 6.1.1.c GDPR in conjunction with Section 13.7 TMG, serve as the legal basis for data processing of technically necessary cookies. We must obtain your consent for cookies that are not technically necessary and third-party cookies. If you have given your consent to the use of cookies on the basis of one of the notifications on our website (“cookie banner”), the lawfulness of said use also complies with Article 6.1.1.a GDPR. You can revoke your consent at any time with future effect by deactivating cookies in your browser settings.

c. Storage period

As soon as the data transferred via cookies are no longer required to fulfill the purposes described above, this information will be erased, especially if you deactivate cookies. This is usually the case when you close your browser window. The data will only be stored in exceptional cases, for example, if this has been stipulated by law.

Use of the External Search Engine Google CSE

1. Use of the search function

The Google Custom Search Engine (Google CSE) is used as the primary search service on the website of Freie Universität Berlin. The integrated search service provides a full-text search for content of the official website of Freie Universität Berlin. This search function can be accessed via the search box integrated in the header of each web page.

Users are informed of this service via the search box at the top of the website of Freie Universität labeled “Search with Google™.” If a user selects and enters a keyword in the input field of the search box, an additional link will appear just below (“Information about Using Google Search™”), which refers to the data protection policy that applies to Google CSE.

Users can activate the search function by entering a search term in the search box and pressing “Enter” or the search icon (magnifying glass icon). Via a plugin provided by Google, the search results page automatically reloads with the appropriate search results. Data are transferred to the search engine during this process.

Users can choose between a search within the currently displayed domain or the entire website of Freie Universität Berlin.

2. Data processing and using the search function

The plugin that is developed and made available by Google (Google Custom Search Engine Google, CSE) is integrated on an “as-is” (unchanged) basis by the operator of the official website of Freie Universität Berlin as a software module in the search results page. The plugin allows for automated communication (data exchange) between the retrieved search results page and the Google service, if the search results page is called up. The use of the Google-powered search function comprises a dynamic transfer of data by the service provider (Google) to the search results page.

Data are only transferred to Google when a user activates the search box, starts a full-text search, and thus retrieves the search results page. Data are simultaneously transmitted to Google when the search function is used within the search results page. No data are transmitted to the search engine (Google) when official websites of Freie Universität Berlin that incorporate the Google Search Engine are visited. An exception occurs when users directly reference a search results page.

By using the full-text search and the resulting request to view the search results page, you are agreeing to the transmission of data to Google. This includes, for example, the search terms you enter and the IP address of the device you are using.

If you are logged into Google at the same time, the Google service will be able to assign information directly to your user profile. You should therefore log out if you wish to prevent the collection of your personal profile information.

Please note that the principles relating to the processing of personal data outlined in this data protection policy only apply to the website of Freie Universität Berlin and do not refer to Google. We expressly bring to your attention that the operator of the website of Freie Universität Berlin has no influence over the type and volume of data transmitted to Google and that the processing of data, in particular, the storage, erasure, and use of personal data that may be transmitted to the provider of the search engine are entirely the responsibility of the external service provider, in this case, Google.

For more information on Google’s privacy policy and how Google handles user data, please visit: http://www.google.com/intl/de/policies/privacy.

Social Media Channels

Social media channels used by Berlin Universities Publishing are integrated on our website in the form of external links to the respective providers. Therefore, no data is transmitted to these providers when you visit our website. If you use the links to these providers, you leave the website of Berlin Universities Publishing and different data protection standards apply than for our website. Please note that the processing, in particular the storage, deletion and use of personal data is the responsibility of the respective service provider and we have no influence on this. Numerous providers are not based in Germany, so they are subject to other legal provisions that may not take German data protection law into account to the required extent.

Information on the scope of the processing of your personal data by providers of social networks and options for protecting your privacy can be found in the data protection guidelines of the respective providers.

Mastodon: https://openbiblio.social/privacy-policy

Rights of Data Subjects

As a data subject, you have the following rights concerning the processing of your personal data in line with the GDPR:

  • You have the right to request information as to whether or not personal data concerning you are being processed by us pursuant to Article 15 GDPR. In particular, you are entitled to information on: the purposes of the processing, the categories of personal data concerned, the categories of recipient to whom your personal data have been or will be disclosed, the envisaged period for which the personal data will be stored, the existence of the right to request rectification or erasure of personal data or restriction of processing of personal data or to object to such processing, the right to lodge a complaint with a supervisory authority, any available information as to the data’s source if we did not collect it, any transfer of data to a third country or to an international organization, the existence of automated decision-making, including profiling, and, where applicable, meaningful information about the logic involved.
  • You shall have the right to obtain from us without undue delay the rectification of inaccurate or incomplete personal data concerning you pursuant to Article 16 GDPR.
  • You have the right to request from us the erasure of your personal data pursuant to Article 17 GDPR, provided that processing is not required for exercising the right of freedom of expression and information, for compliance with a legal obligation, for reasons of public interest, or for the establishment, exercise or defense of legal claims.
  • Pursuant to Article 18 GDPR, you have the right to the restriction of processing where the accuracy of the personal data is contested by you, the processing is unlawful, or we no longer need the personal data but you reject their erasure because they are required by you for the establishment, exercise, or defense of legal claims. You are also entitled to this right to restriction of processing pursuant to Article 18 GDPR if you have submitted an objection to processing pursuant to Article 21 GDPR.
  • Pursuant to Article 20 GDPR you shall have the right to receive the personal data concerning you which you have provided to us, in a structured, commonly used, and machine-readable format and you have the right to transmit those data to another controller.
  • You have the right to withdraw your consent at any time pursuant to Article 7.3 GDPR. Subsequently we shall no longer have the right to continue the data processing based on your consent, with future effect.
  • You have the right to lodge a complaint with a supervisory authority pursuant to Article 77 GDPR. Generally, you should be able to contact the supervisory authority of your regular place of residence, your place of work, or our offices to do so.

Right to Object

Pursuant to Article 21 GDPR, you have the right, at any time, to object to the processing of your personal data based on Article 6.1.1.e or Article 6.1.1.f GDPR for reasons arising from your particular situation. Freie Universität Berlin will cease to process the personal data, unless we are able to demonstrate compelling legitimate grounds for the processing that override the interests, rights, and freedoms of the data subject or where processing is necessary for the establishment, exercise, or defense of legal claims.

Data Security and Security Measures

We are committed to protecting your privacy and handling your personal data confidentially. To prevent the manipulation, loss, or misuse of your personal data we have stored, we implement comprehensive technical and organizational security precautions that are regularly reviewed and adapted to the latest state of technological progress. This includes using recognized encryption processes such as SSL and TLS.
However, due to the structure of the internet, it is possible that data protection regulations and the aforementioned security measures are not observed by other individuals or institutions who do not fall within the sphere of our responsibility. Data disclosed by unencrypted means, for example via email, is especially vulnerable to third-party access. We are unable to influence this by technical means. It is the responsibility of the user to protect the data they have made available against misuse by using encryption or other similar methods.

Chief Data Protection Officer

The external Data Protection Officer of the controller is:

Herr Rechtsanwalt Dr. Karsten Kinast, LL.M.
KINAST Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH
Hohenzollernring 54
D-50672 Köln
Tel.: +49 (0)221 – 222 183 – 0

E-Mail: DSB-FUBerlin@kinast.eu

The Deputy Data Protection Officer of FU Berlin is:

Herr Andreas Hübinger
E-Mail: datenschutz@fu-berlin.de