Data Collection and Processing

January 14, 2022

The Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science e.V. (MPG) takes the protection of your personal data very seriously. We process personal data collected during visits to our websites in compliance with the applicable data protection regulations. Your data will neither be published by us nor passed on to third parties without authorization.

In the following, we explain what data we collect during your visit to our websites and how exactly it is used:

A.    General information

1.    Scope of data processing

As a matter of principle, we collect and use personal user data only to the extent necessary to provide a functional website and our content and services. The collection and use of personal data of our users is regularly carried out with the consent of the users. An exception applies in those cases in which the processing of the data is permitted by legal regulations.

2.    Legal basis of data processing

Insofar as we obtain the consent of the data subject for processing operations involving personal data, Art. 6 (1) (a) of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) serves as the legal basis.

When processing personal data that is necessary for the performance of a contract to which the data subject is a party, Art. 6 (1) lit. b DSGVO serves as the legal basis. This also applies to processing operations that are necessary for the performance of pre-contractual measures.

If the processing is necessary to protect a legitimate interest of MPG or a third party and if the interests, fundamental rights and freedoms of the data subject do not override the first-mentioned interest, Art. 6 (1) f DSGVO serves as the legal basis for the processing.

3.    Data deletion and storage duration

The personal data of the data subject will be deleted or blocked as soon as the purpose of storage no longer applies. Storage may also take place if this has been provided for by the European or national legislator in Union regulations, laws or other provisions to which MPG is subject. Data will also be blocked or deleted if a storage period prescribed by the aforementioned standards expires, unless there is a need for further storage of the data for the conclusion or fulfillment of a contract.

4.    Contact details of the individuals responsible

Responsible in the sense of the General Data Protection Regulation and other national data protection laws as well as other data protection regulations is:

Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science e.V. (MPG)
Hofgartenstrasse 8
D-80539 Munich
Phone: +49 (89) 2108-0
Contact form: www.mpg.de/kontakt/anfragen
Internet: www.mpg.de

5.    Data Protection Manager's contact details

The Data Protection Manager at the entity responsible is

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

B.    Provision of the website and creation of log files

Each time our website is called up, our servers and applications automatically collect data and information from the computer system of the calling computer.

The following data is temporarily collected:

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

The data is stored in the log files of our systems. This data is not stored together with other personal data of the users.

The legal basis for the temporary storage of the data and the log files is Art. 6 para. 1 lit. f DSGVO. The storage in log files is done to ensure the functionality of the website. In addition, we use the data to optimize the websites, for troubleshooting and to ensure the security of our information technology systems. These purposes are also our legitimate interest in data processing according to Art. 6 Para. 1 lit. f DSGVO.

The data will be deleted as soon as they are no longer required to achieve the purpose for which they were collected. In the case of the collection of data for the provision of the website, this is the case when the respective session has ended. In the case of storage of data in log files, this is the case after seven days at the latest. Storage beyond this period is possible. In this case, the IP addresses of the users are deleted or alienated, so that an assignment of the calling client is no longer possible.1

The collection of data for the provision of the website and the storage of the data in log files is absolutely necessary for the operation of the website. Consequently, there is no possibility for users to object.

C.    Web analysis

We use the web analytics program Matomo (formerly Piwik) for statistical data collection of user behavior, which uses cookies and JavaScript to collect various information on your computer and automatically transmits it to us. Each time our web pages are called up, our system collects the following data and information from the computer system of the calling computer:

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

Additionally, if JavaScript is enabled:

  •     Visited URLs on this website
  •     Time of page views
  •     Type of HTML requests
  •     Screen resolution and color depth
  •     Techniques and formats supported by the browser (e.g. Cookies, Java, Flash, PDF,
  •     WindowsMedia, QuickTime, Realplayer, Director, SilverLight, Google Gears)  

The data is stored and analyzed exclusively on a central server operated by MPG. In addition to the central website www.mpg.de, it is also used by most Max Planck Institutes and many project websites assigned to the MPG.

The legal basis for the processing of the users' personal data is Art. 6 para. 1 lit. f DSGVO. The processing of the users' personal data enables us to analyze the usage behavior of our users. By evaluating the data obtained, we are able to compile information about the use of the individual components of our websites. This helps us to continuously improve our websites and their user-friendliness. In these purposes also lies our legitimate interest in processing the data according to Art. 6 para. 1 lit. f DSGVO. By anonymizing the IP address, the interest of users in their personal data protection is sufficiently taken into account.

The data is deleted after the formation of the final annual totals for the access statistics.

Of course, you have the possibility to object to the data collection. You have the following independent options to object to data collection by the central server:

  1. Activate the Do-Not-Track or Do Not Follow setting in your browser. As long as this setting is active, our central server will not store any data from you. Important: The Do-Not-Track instruction usually only applies to the one device and browser in which you activate the setting. If you use multiple devices / browsers, then you must activate Do-Not-Track separately everywhere.
  2. Use our opt-out function. Click on the checkbox in the following selection box at www.mpg.de/datenschutzhinweis/datenerhebung-deaktivieren to stop or re-enable data collection. As long as the selection box is deactivated, our central server will not store any data from you. Important: For the opt-out, we need to store a special detection cookie in your browser. If you delete this or use a different PC/browser, then you must again object to the data collection on this page.

This data is not stored together with other personal data of the users.

D.   Utilization of cookies

Our website uses cookies. Cookies are text files that are stored in the Internet browser or by the Internet browser on the user's computer system. When a user calls up a website, a cookie may be stored on the user's operating system. This cookie contains a characteristic string of characters that enables the browser to be uniquely identified when the website is called up again.

We use cookies to make our website more user-friendly. Some elements of our website technically require that the calling browser can be identified even after a page change. The following data is stored and transmitted in the cookies:

  •     Language settings (localization) of the browser: session cookie i18next.
  •     Session data (click distance, pages called up, current language, as well as, if applicable
  •     Error messages for forms: Sessioncookie mpg_session_r

Both cookies are deleted after the session is closed.

The legal basis for the processing of personal data using cookies is Art. 6 para. 1 lit. f DSGVO as well as § 25 para. 2 No. 2 TTDSG. Some functions of our website cannot be offered without the use of cookies. For these, it is absolutely necessary that the browser is recognized even after a page change. We require cookies for the following applications:

  •     Adoption of the browser's language setting: automatic selection of the start page and spell check.
  •     Remembering form data entered: terms used in the site's internal search, entries in the contact form (section F).

The user data collected through technically necessary cookies are not used to create user profiles.

Cookies are stored on the user's computer and transmitted from it to our site. Therefore, you as the user have full control over the use of cookies. By changing the settings in your Internet browser, you can disable or restrict the transmission of cookies. Cookies that have already been stored can be deleted at any time. This can also be done automatically. If cookies are deactivated for our website, it may no longer be possible to use all functions of the website in full.

We also use cookies on our website that allow us to analyze the usage behavior of users. Please read our information on this under C.

E.    Newsletter

On our website there is the possibility to subscribe to a free newsletter. When registering for the newsletter, the data from the input mask is transmitted to us. These are usually your e-mail address, name and first name. We inform you about the specific processing of the data during the registration process and obtain your consent. In addition, reference is made to this data protection declaration. The data will be used exclusively for sending the newsletter.

The legal basis for the processing of the data after registration for the newsletter by the user is the consent of the user Art. 6 para. 1 lit. a DSGVO. The collection of data serves to deliver the newsletter. The data will be deleted as soon as they are no longer necessary to achieve the purpose of their collection. Accordingly, the e-mail address of the user is stored as long as the subscription to the newsletter is active. The subscription to the newsletter can be cancelled by the user concerned at any time.

F.    Contact form

Our website contains a contact form that can be used for electronic contact. If a user takes advantage of this option, the data entered in the input mask will be transmitted to us and stored. These are usually your e-mail address, surname and first name. We will inform you about the specific processing of the data during the usage process and obtain your consent. In addition, reference is made to this data protection declaration. The data is used exclusively for processing the conversation.

To prevent misuse of the form, the Google reCaptcha function is used. reCaptcha serves to exclude mass machine use of the contact form by displaying image questions that can only be answered by a person. reCaptcha is an embedded JavaScript that establishes a connection to the provider's servers when the contact form is called up. As a result, the provider receives at least the information that you have visited the contact form, and possibly also other information that your web browser or the device you are using disclose. You can inform yourself about the data processing by the provider via a link provided with the contact form.6

The legal basis for the processing of data when using the contact form is, if the user has given his or her consent, Art. 6 (1) lit. a DSGVO. The processing of the personal data from the input mask serves us solely to process the contact. The data will be deleted as soon as they are no longer required to achieve the purpose for which they were collected. This is the case when the respective conversation with the user has ended or the request of the user has been conclusively processed. The conversation is terminated when the circumstances indicate that the matter in question has been conclusively clarified. The user has the possibility at any time to revoke the consent to the processing of personal data vis-à-vis the listed contact persons.

The legal basis for the processing of data by reCaptcha is Art. 6 (1) lit. f DSGVO. The use of reCaptcha takes place in order to ensure the functionality of the contact form and to exclude improper use. These purposes are our legitimate interest in data processing according to Art. 6 para. 1 lit. f DSGVO. The use is absolutely necessary for the operation of the contact form. Consequently, there is no possibility for the user to object.

G.   Registration

On our websites, we offer users the opportunity to register by providing personal data via an input mask. As a rule, we collect your e-mail address, surname and first name. We inform you about the specific processing of the data during the registration process and obtain your consent. In addition, reference is made to this data protection declaration.

The legal basis for the processing of the data is Art. 6 para. 1 lit. a DSGVO if the user has given his consent. If the registration serves the fulfillment of a contract to which the user is a party or the implementation of pre-contractual measures, the additional legal basis for the processing of the data is Art. 6 (1) lit. b DSGVO. Registration of the user is necessary for the provision of certain content and services on our website or for the fulfillment of a contract with the user or for the implementation of pre-contractual measures. The data is deleted as soon as it is no longer required to achieve the purpose for which it was collected. This is the case for the data collected during the registration process when the registration on our websites is cancelled or modified. For the registration process for the fulfillment of a contract or for the implementation of pre-contractual measures, this is the case when the data is no longer necessary for the implementation of the contract. Even after the conclusion of the contract, there may be a need to store personal data of the contractual partner in order to fulfill contractual or legal obligations.

As a user, you have the option to cancel your registration at any time. You can have the data stored about you changed at any time; the procedure is described in more detail in the specific registration process. If the data is required for the fulfillment of a contract or for the implementation of pre-contractual measures, early deletion of the data is only possible insofar as contractual or legal obligations do not prevent deletion.

H.   Data transmission

The management and storage of your personal data is carried out for selected services

  •     Newsletter (section E)
  •     Contact form (section F)
  •     Registration for subscription management "abo.mpg.de" (section G) as part of commissioned data processing on systems of Infopark AG, Berlin.

Your personal data will only be transmitted to state institutions and authorities in cases required by law or for criminal prosecution due to attacks on our network infrastructure. Data will not be passed on to third parties for any other purpose.

I.     Rights of individuals affected

As a data subject whose personal data is collected in the context of the above-mentioned services, you generally have the following rights, unless legal exceptions apply in individual cases:

  •     Information (Art. 15 DS-GVO)
  •     Correction (Art. 16 DS-GVO)
  •     Deletion (Art. 17 (1) DS-GVO)
  •     Restriction of processing (Art. 18 DS-GVO)
  •     Data portability (Art. 20 DS-GVO)
  •     Objection to processing (Art. 21 DS-GVO)
  •     Withdrawal of consent (Art. 7 (3) DS-GVO)
  •     Right of appeal to the supervisory authority (Art. 77 DS-GVO). For MPG, this is the Bavarian State Office for Data Protection Supervision, Postfach 606, 91511 Ansbach.