Statement on Data Protection

The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) takes the protection of your personal data very seriously which is why personal data is only processed by us as necessary. What data is needed and processed for what purpose and on what basis depends on the type of service that you require or on what task we need it for.

The term ‘personal data’ is used here to refer to any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person. An identifiable natural person is one who can be identified, directly or indirectly, in particular by reference to an identifier such as a name, an identification number, location data or an online identifier.

This statement on data protection provides you with detailed information on what data is collected for what purpose and on what basis, how you can contact the ‘data controller’ (the responsible entity) and the data protection officer and what rights you have concerning the processing of personal data.

1    Data Controller and Data Protection Officer

The entity which has responsibility for the processing of personal data (the ‘controller’) is the
Federal Ministry of Education and Research
53170 Bonn, Germany
Phone: +49 (0)228 9957-0
Fax: +49 (0)228 99578-3601
E-mail: bmbf@bmbf.bund.de
DE-Mail: poststelle@bmbf-bund.de-mail.de

If you have specific questions concerning the protection of your data, please contact the BMBF’s official Data Protection Officer:
Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)
Datenschutzbeauftragte/r
53170 Bonn, Germany
Phone: +49 (0)228/9957-2539
Fax: +49 (0)228/9957-8-2539
E-mail: datenschutz@bmbf.bund.de

This statement on data protection provides you with an overview of how the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) ensures the protection of your data and what types of data are collected and for what purpose and on what basis.

2    Processing of data  resulting from your visit to this website

Whenever a website is visited, certain data is collected and exchanged which is needed to provide the necessary service. The data concerned is:

  • user browser types and versions;
  • operating system of the requesting system;
  • webpage from which a requesting system accesses our webpage (referrer);
  • subordinate webpages on our website that are accessed by a requesting system;
  • date and time the webpage is requested;
  • internet service provider of the requesting system;
  • other similar data and information that are used in the event of an attack on our information technology systems.

The use of these general data and information does not enable VDI/VDE Innovation + Technik GmbH to trace the data back to the data subject. Rather, this information is needed to:

  • ensure the contents of our website work properly;
  • optimise the contents of our website and its promotion;
  • ensure the continued functioning of our information technology systems and the technology of our website as well as to
  • provide law enforcement agencies with the necessary information for prosecution in the event of a cyberattack.

In accordance with Article 6 (1) (e) of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in conjunction with Section 5 of the Act on the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI-Gesetz), we are also required to store data past the time of your visit in order to protect the internet infrastructure of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and federal communications technology against attacks. This data is analysed and, in case of attacks on the communications technology, needed to initiate legal and criminal proceedings.

Data logged during access to the BMBF’s website is only disclosed to third parties in so far as we are legally obliged to do so or if disclosure is required for criminal or other prosecution in the case of attacks on federal communications technology. Data will not be disclosed to others in any other cases. The BMBF does not merge this data with other data sources.

2.1    Web analytics

The BMBF, together with its service providers contracted for support and development, “VDI/VDE Innovation + Technik GmbH” analyse user information for statistical purposes on the basis of Article 6 (1) (e) of the GDPR in conjunction with Section 3 of the Federal Data Protection Act (Bundesdatenschutzgesetz, BDSG) as part of its public relations work and for the purpose of providing information on tasks within the BMBF’s remit as needed.

It does so using the Matomo web analytics service.

The software uses permanent cookies to recognize visitors returning even after longer periods of time. This type of information is stored as a text file on the hard drive of the user’s computer. The cookie is valid for 13 months after which it deletes itself.
The following data is stored when individual pages of our website are accessed:

  • two bytes of the IP address of the user’s retrieving system (anonymous)
  • the web page accessed
  • the website from which the user reached the accessed web page (referrer)
  • the sub-pages loaded via the accessed web page
  • the length of time spent on the web page
  • how often the page has been accessed

The software is configured so that IP addresses are stored incomplete with 2 bytes concealed (e.g. 192.168.xxx.xxx). This makes it impossible for the shortened IP address to be linked to the retrieving computer, meaning that you remain anonymous as the user.
The relevant software runs only on the web servers of our service providers “VDI/VDE Innovation + Technik GmbH” on behalf of the BMBF. These are the only servers where user information is stored. No data is disclosed to third parties.

If you do not wish to have your session data stored and analysed, you can click on the box below to withdraw your consent at any time.

In this case, a so-called “opt-out cookie” will be placed on your browser which will prevent Matomo from collecting any session data.

You can choose whether or not to have a unique web analytics cookie set in your browser that enables the website operator to collect and analyse different types of statistical data. To reject the use of such a cookie, please click below to receive an opt-out cookie for Matomo.

You may choose not to have a unique web analytics cookie identification number assigned to your computer to avoid the aggregation and analysis of data collected on this website.

To make that choice, please click below to receive an opt-out cookie.

Note: If you delete the cookies on your computer, you will also delete your opt-out cookie. In that case you will have to set a new one.

2.2    Session Cookies

The BMBF uses so-called session cookies so that you can order brochures and your order can be added to a virtual shopping basket. Such cookies are used on the basis of Article 6 (1) (e) GDPR in conjunction with Section 3 BDSG as part of the BMBF’s public relations work for the purpose of providing information on its assigned tasks as needed.

Session cookies are small information units that are stored by the provider of a website in the active memory of the visiting user’s computer. A randomly generated, unique ID number, a so-called session ID, is stored in a session cookie. A cookie also contains information on its origin and the maximum period of time it is to be stored on a computer. These cookies cannot store any further types of data. The session ID is used to compile your orders in the shopping basket.

The session cookies used by the BMBF are deleted as soon as you end a session. Your shopping basket is automatically emptied if you close the browser window or load a different page. You will have to select the contents of your shopping basket again if you end a session before completing your order.

Handling Cookies

You can control the use of cookies with all internet browsers. Most browsers are set up to accept all cookies without asking the user for permission. However, by changing the settings in your browser you can deactivate or restrict the use of cookies. Cookies that have already been stored can be deleted at any time. This can also be done automatically.
Please set your browser to accept session cookies if you would like to make full use of the BMBF’s shopping basket feature.

If you refuse all cookies:

  • you cannot add various different publications to your shopping basket and
  • you can only order one brochure at a time.

Reviewing you data

Any internet browser can be set up to notify you if cookies are set and to display their contents. Detailed information is available on the websites of the Federal Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information and the Federal Office for Information Security.

3    Gathering of personal data when you contact us

Various personal data is collected and processed depending on the method used to contact us.
Contact can be made by e-mail, contact form, letter or telephone (hotline).

3.1    Contact via e-mail

You can contact the BMBF via the e-mail address of individual staff members or via the following central e-mail addresses:

If you use one of the e-mail addresses given above, the data communicated by you (e.g. surname, first name, address) or at least your e-mail address and the information contained in the e-mail (any personal data communicated by you) will be stored for the purpose of contacting you and responding to your enquiry in accordance with the statutory periods for retaining records set out in the Registry Directive (Registraturrichtlinie, RegR) which supplements the Joint Rules of Procedure of the Federal Ministries (Gemeinsame Geschäftsordnung der Bundesministerien, GGO).

Please note that the data will be processed in compliance with Article 6 (1) (e) of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in conjunction with Section 3 of the Federal Data Protection Act (Bundesdatenschutzgesetz, BDSG) for the purpose of fulfilling the BMBF’s tasks. In order to respond to your message, it is necessary to process the personal data you provide.
Note on contacting the BMBF via the address information@bmbf.bund.de

Enquiries sent to the e-mail address information@bmbf.bund.de are dealt with by the staff of the BMBF’s service provider contracted for this purpose, “Telemark Rostock - Kommunikations- und Marketinggesellschaft mbH”. “Telemark Rostock - Kommunikations- und Marketinggesellschaft mbH” stores your data solely for the purpose of responding to your message and in accordance with the statutory and contractual requirements. If the staff of “Telemark Rostock Kommunikations- und Marketinggesellschaft mbH” are unable to respond to your message it will be forwarded to the BMBF.

BMBF staff will only process the data communicated to the extent necessary to respond to your message. When a message is forwarded to the BMBF, it is stored in accordance with the statutory periods for retaining records set out in the Registry Directive, which supplements the Joint Rules of Procedure of the Federal Ministries.

Where the message involves a matter which concerns a service provider of the BMBF or which can only be answered by a service provider of the BMBF, the message will be forwarded to the relevant service provider. The staff of the service provider will only process the data communicated to the extent necessary to respond to your message. The service provider stores your data solely for the purpose of responding to your message and in accordance with the statutory and contractual requirements.

3.2    E-mail addresses for specialist topics

The BMBF website also provides e-mail addresses of service providers contracted by the BMBF for specialist topics. These addresses do not have bmbf after the @.

Enquiries sent to these e-mail addresses are dealt with by the staff of the relevant service provider on behalf of the BMBF. These process the data transmitted by you (e.g. surname, first name, postal address) or at least your e-mail address and the information contained in the e-mail (any personal data communicated by you) for the purpose of contacting you and responding to your enquiry. The service provider stores your data solely for the purpose of responding to your message and in accordance with the statutory and contractual requirements.

If the staff of the service provider are unable to respond to your message it will be forwarded to the BMBF.

BMBF staff will only process the data communicated to the extent necessary to respond to your message. The maximum periods for storing data in this case are based on the statutory periods for retaining records set out in the Registry Directive, which supplements the Joint Rules of Procedure of the Federal Ministries.

Please note that the data will be processed in compliance with Article 6 (1) (e) GDPR in conjunction with Section 3 BDSG for the purpose of fulfilling the BMBF’s tasks. In order to respond to your message, it is necessary to process the personal data you provide.

3.3    Letters

If you write a letter to the BMBF, the data communicated by you (e.g. surname, first name, postal address) and the information contained in the letter (any personal data communicated by you) will be stored for the purpose of contacting you and responding to your enquiry in accordance with the statutory periods for retaining records set out in the Registry Directive, which supplements the Joint Rules of Procedure of the Federal Ministries.

Please note that the data will be processed in compliance with Article 6 (1) (e) GDPR in conjunction with Section 3 BDSG for the purpose of fulfilling the BMBF’s tasks. In order to respond to your message, it is necessary to process the personal data you provide.

Where the message involves a matter which concerns a service provider of the BMBF or which can only be answered by a service provider of the BMBF, the message will be forwarded to the relevant service provider. The staff of the service provider process the data communicated by you (e.g. surname, first name, postal address) and the information contained in the letter (any personal data communicated by you) for the purpose of contacting you and responding to your enquiry. The service provider stores your data solely for the purpose of responding to your message and in accordance with the statutory and contractual requirements.

3.4    Telephone (hotline)

If you contact a member of the staff of the BMBF by telephone, your personal data will be used to respond to your enquiry as needed.

The BMBF offers a range of service telephone numbers. These hotlines are:

  • the general service numbers: (Bonn) +49 (0)228 9957-0 (Berlin) + 49 (0)30 1857-0
  • the hotline for the Federal Training Assistance Act (BAföG) (0800-2236341 for calls from within Germany)
  • the hotline for the Upgrading Training Assistance Act (AFBG) (0800 6223634 for calls from within Germany)
  • the hotline for the continuing education grant (Bildungsprämie) (0800 2623000 for calls from within Germany), and
  • the continuing education counselling hotline (InfotelefonWeiterbildungsberatur) (0800 2017 909 for calls from within Germany).

Telephone enquiries to any of these helplines are dealt with by the staff of the BMBF’s service provider “Telemark Rostock - Kommunikations- und Marketinggesellschaft mbH”. If you use one of these service numbers, your data (e.g. surname, first name, e-mail address, telephone number) will be stored where necessary for the purpose of responding to your enquiry, in accordance with the statutory and contractual requirements. If the staff of “Telemark Rostock Kommunikations- und Marketinggesellschaft mbH” are unable to respond fully to your enquiry it will be forwarded to the BMBF.

If your enquiry is forwarded to the BMBF or your personal data is processed by BMBF staff for the purpose of responding to your enquiry and fulfilling the BMBF’s relevant task, the information is stored in accordance with the statutory periods for retaining records set out in the Registry Directive, which supplements the Joint Rules of Procedure of the Federal Ministries.

Where the message involves a matter which concerns a service provider of the BMBF or which can only be answered by a service provider of the BMBF, the message will be forwarded to the relevant service provider. The staff of the service provider will only process the data communicated to the extent necessary to respond to your message. The service provider stores your data solely for the purpose of responding to your message and in accordance with the statutory and contractual requirements.

Please note that the data will be processed in compliance with Article 6 (1) (e) GDPR in conjunction with Section 3 BDSG for the purpose of fulfilling the BMBF’s tasks.

Federal Funding Advisory Service on Research

You can reach the Federal Funding Advisory Service on Research and Innovation at the telephone number 0800 26 23 008 (within Germany) or on +49 30 20199 – 518 (from abroad).

If you contact the Federal Funding Advisory Service on Research and Innovation your enquiry will be handled by staff of the BMBF’s service provider contracted for this purpose, “Project Management Jülich”. If you use this service number your data (e.g. surname, first name, e-mail address, telephone number) will be stored where necessary for the purpose of responding to your enquiry, in accordance with the statutory and contractual requirements. If the staff of “Project Management Jülich” are unable to respond fully to your enquiry it will be forwarded to the BMBF.

If your enquiry is forwarded to the BMBF your personal data will be processed by BMBF staff for the purpose of responding to your enquiry and fulfilling the BMBF’s relevant task. The maximum periods for storing data in this case are based on the statutory periods set out in the Registry Directive, which supplements the Joint Rules of Procedure of the Federal Ministries.
Please note that the data will be processed in compliance with Article 6 (1) (e) GDPR in conjunction with Section 3 BDSG for the purpose of fulfilling the BMBF’s tasks.

The single government service telephone number (115) is subject to the data protection provisions of the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community. You can consult these at www.115.de or at www.bmi.bund.de.

4    Your rights

You have the following rights vis-à-vis the data controller concerning your personal data:

  • right of access (Article 15 GDPR)
  • right to rectification (Article 16 GDPR)
  • right to erasure (Article 17 GDPR)
  • right to restriction of processing (Article 18 GDPR)
  • right to object to collection, processing and/or use (Article 21 GDPR)
  • right to data portability (Article 20 GDPR)

If the personal data is processed on the basis of your consent (in accordance with Article 6 [1][a] GDPR), you can withdraw your consent at any time for the purpose in question. The lawfulness of processing your personal data on the basis of the consent provided by you remains valid until your withdrawal of consent has been received.

You may exercise the aforementioned rights by sending an e-mail to bmbf@bmbf.bund.de or poststelle@bmbf-bund.de-mail.de.
You also have the right to submit a complaint to the supervisory authority under data protection law (Federal Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information).

You many also address any questions or complaints to the BMBF’s Data Protection Officer at datenschutz@bmbf.bund.de.