Unfortunately, these subjects sound rather technical due to their nature, but we have put much effort into describing the most important things as simply and clearly as possible.
Automatic Data Retention
Every time you visit a website nowadays, certain information is automatically created and saved, just as it happens on this website.
Whenever you visit our website such as you are doing right now, our webserver (computer on which this website is saved/stored) automatically saves data such as
- the address (URL) of the accessed website
- browser and browser version
- the used operating system
- the address (URL) of the previously visited site (referrer URL)
- the host name and the IP-address of the device the website is accessed from
- date and time
in files (webserver-logfiles).
Generally, webserver-logfiles stay saved for two weeks and then get deleted automatically. We do not pass this information to others, but we cannot exclude the possibility that this data will be looked at in case of illegal conduct.
Our website uses HTTP-cookies to store user-specific data.
What exactly are cookies?
Every time you surf the internet, you use a browser. Common browsers are for example Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge. Most websites store small text-files in your browser. These files are called cookies.
Cookies save certain parts of your user data, such as e.g. language or personal page settings. When you re-open our website, your browser submits these “user specific” information back to our site. Thanks to cookies, our website knows who you are and offers you the settings you are familiar to. In some browsers every cookie has its own file, in others such as Firefox, all cookies are stored in one single file.
There are both first-party cookies and third-party coookies. First-party cookies are created directly by our site, while third-party cookies are created by partner-websites (e.g. Google Analytics). Every cookie is individual, since every cookie stores different data. The expiration time of a cookie also varies – it can be a few minutes, or up to a few years. Cookies are no software-programs and contain no computer viruses, trojans or any other malware. Cookies also cannot access your PC’s information.
This is an example of how cookie-files can look:
purpose: differentiation between website visitors
expiration date: after 2 years
A browser should support these minimum sizes:
- at least 4096 bytes per cookie
- at least 50 cookies per domain
- at least 3000 cookies in total
Which types of cookies are there?
There are 4 different types of cookies:
These cookies are necessary to ensure the basic function of a website. They are needed when a user for example puts a product into their shopping cart, then continues surfing on different websites and comes back later in order to proceed to the checkout. Even when the user closed their window priorly, these cookies ensure that the shopping cart does not get deleted.
These cookies collect info about the user behaviour and record if the user potentially receives any error messages. Furthermore, these cookies record the website’s loading time as well as its behaviour within different browsers.
These cookies care for an improved user-friendliness. Thus, information such as previously entered locations, fonts or data in forms stay saved.
These cookies are also known as targeting-Cookies. They serve the purpose of delivering individually adapted advertisements to the user. This can be very practical, but also rather annoying.
Upon your first visit to a website you are usually asked which of these cookie-types you want to accept. Furthermore, this decision will of course also be saved in a cookie.
How can I delete cookies?
If you want change or delete cookie-settings and would like to determine which cookies have been saved to your browser, you can find this info in your browser-settings:
If you generally do not want to allow any cookies at all, you can set up your browser in a way, to notify you whenever a potential cookie is about to be set. This gives you the opportunity to manually decide to either permit or deny the placement of every single cookie. The settings for this differ from browser to browser. Therefore, it might be best for you to search for the instructions in Google. If you are using Chrome, you could for example put the search phrase “delete cookies Chrome” or “deactivate cookies Chrome” into Google.
How is my data protected?
If you want to learn more about cookies and do not mind technical documentation, we recommend https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc6265, the Request for Comments of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) called “HTTP State Management Mechanism”.
Rights in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation
- right to rectification (article 16 GDPR)
- right to erasure (“right to be forgotten“) (article 17 GDPR)
- right to restrict processing (article 18 GDPR)
- righ to notification – notification obligation regarding rectification or erasure of personal data or restriction of processing (article 19 GDPR)
- right to data portability (article 20 GDPR)
- Right to object (article 21 GDPR)
- right not to be subject to a decision based solely on automated processing – including profiling – (article 22 GDPR)
If you think that the processing of your data violates the data protection law, or that your data protection rights have been infringed in any other way, you can lodge a complaint with your respective regulatory authority. For Austria this is the data protection authority, whose website you can access at https://www.data-protection-authority.gv.at/.
TLS encryption with https
We use https to transfer information on the internet in a tap-proof manner (data protection through technology design Article 25 Section 1 GDPR). With the use of TLS (Transport Layer Security), which is an encryption protocol for safe data transfer on the internet, we can ensure the protection of confidential information. You can recognise the use of this safeguarding tool by the little lock-symbol, which is situated in your browser’s top left corner, as well as by the use of the letters https (instead of http) as a part of our web address.
On our website we use Google Fonts, from the company Google Inc. (1600 Amphitheatre Parkway Mountain View, CA 94043, USA).
We integrated Google Fonts locally, so on our own webserver and not on Google’s servers. Hence, there is no connection to Google’s servers and consequently no data transfer or retention.
What are Google Fonts?
Google Fonts was previously called Google Web Fonts. It is an interactive list with over 800 fonts which Google LLC offer for free use. With the use of Google Fonts, it is possible to utilise fonts without uploading them to your own server. For that matter, in order to prevent any transfer of information to Google’s servers, we downloaded the fonts to our own server. This way we comply with the data privacy and do not transmit any data to Google Fonts.
Unlike other web fonts, Google offers us unrestricted access to all its fonts. Thus, we have a vast sea of font types at our disposal, which helps us to get the most out of our website. You can find out more answers and information on Google Fonts at https://developers.google.com/fonts/faq?tid=111629709.
We have integrated YouTube videos to our website. Therefore, we can show you interesting videos directly on our site. YouTube is a video portal, which has been a subsidiary company of Google LLC since 2006. The video portal is operated by YouTube, LLC, 901 Cherry Ave., San Bruno, CA 94066, USA. When you visit a page on our website that contains an embedded YouTube video, your browser automatically connects to the servers of YouTube or Google. Thereby, certain data are transferred (depending on the settings). Google is responsible for YouTube’s data processing and therefore Google’s data protection applies.
In the following we will explain in more detail which data is processed, why we have integrated YouTube videos and how you can manage or clear your data.
What is YouTube?
On YouTube, users can watch, rate, comment or upload videos for free. Over the past few years, YouTube has become one of the most important social media channels worldwide. For us to be able to display videos on our website, YouTube provides a code snippet that we have integrated to our website.
Why do we use YouTube videos on our website?
YouTube is the video platform with the most visitors and best content. We strive to offer you the best possible user experience on our website, which of course includes interesting videos. With the help of our embedded videos, we can provide you other helpful content in addition to our texts and images. Additionally, embedded videos make it easier for our website to be found on the Google search engine. Moreover, if we place ads via Google Ads, Google only shows these ads to people who are interested in our offers, thanks to the collected data.
What data is stored by YouTube?
As soon as you visit one of our pages with an integrated YouTube, YouTube places at least one cookie that stores your IP address and our URL. If you are logged into your YouTube account, by using cookies YouTube can usually associate your interactions on our website with your profile. This includes data such as session duration, bounce rate, approximate location, technical information such as browser type, screen resolution or your Internet provider. Additional data can include contact details, potential ratings, shared content via social media or YouTube videos you added to your favourites.
If you are not logged in to a Google or YouTube account, Google stores data with a unique identifier linked to your device, browser or app. Thereby, e.g. your preferred language setting is maintained. However, many interaction data cannot be saved since less cookies are set.
In the following list we show you cookies that were placed in the browser during a test. On the one hand, we show cookies that were set without being logged into a YouTube account. On the other hand, we show you what cookies were placed while being logged in. We do not claim for this list to be exhaustive, as user data always depend on how you interact with YouTube.
Purpose: This cookie registers a unique ID to store statistics of the video that was viewed.
Expiry date: after end of session
Purpose: This cookie also registers your unique ID. Google receives statistics via PREF on how you use YouTube videos on our website.
Expiry date: after 8 months
Purpose: This cookie registers your unique ID on mobile devices to track GPS locations.
Expiry date: after 30 minutes
Purpose: This cookie tries to estimate the user’s internet bandwith on our sites (that have built-in YouTube videos).
Expiry date: after 8 months
Further cookies that are placed when you are logged into your YouTube account:
Purpose: This cookie is used to create a profile on your interests. This data is then used for personalised advertisements.
Expiry date: after 2 years
Purpose: The cookie stores the status of a user’s consent to the use of various Google services. CONSENT also provides safety measures to protect users from unauthorised attacks.
Expiry date: after 19 years
Purpose: This cookie is used to create a profile on your interests. This data helps to display customised ads.
Expiry date: after 2 years
Purpose: This cookie stores information on your login data.
Expiry date: after 2 years
Purpose: This cookie identifies your browser and device. It is used to create a profile on your interests.
Expiry date: after 2 years
Purpose: This cookie stores your Google Account ID and your last login time, in a digitally signed and encrypted form.
Expiry date: after 2 years
Purpose: This cookie stores information on how you use the website and on what advertisements you may have seen before visiting our website.
Expiry date: after 3 months
How long and where is the data stored?
The data YouTube receive and process on you are stored on Google’s servers. Most of these servers are in America. At https://www.google.com/about/datacenters/inside/locations/?hl=en you can see where Google’s data centres are located. Your data is distributed across the servers. Therefore, the data can be retrieved quicker and is better protected against manipulation.
Google stores collected data for different periods of time. You can delete some data anytime, while other data are automatically deleted after a certain time, and still other data are stored by Google for a long time. Some data (such as elements on “My activity”, photos, documents or products) that are saved in your Google account are stored until you delete them. Moreover, you can delete some data associated with your device, browser, or app, even if you are not signed into a Google Account.
How can I delete my data or prevent data retention?
Generally, you can delete data manually in your Google account. Furthermore, in 2019 an automatic deletion of location and activity data was introduced. Depending on what you decide on, it deletes stored information either after 3 or 18 months.
Regardless of whether you have a Google account or not, you can set your browser to delete or deactivate cookies placed by Google. These settings vary depending on the browser you use. The following instructions will show how to manage cookies in your browser: