Privacy Policy

The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der angewandten Forschung e.V. (Fraunhofer Society) takes its responsibility to protect your personal data very seriously. When we process the personal data that is captured during your visits to our website, we always comply with the provisions of the applicable data privacy laws. Your data will not be published by us nor divulged to any third parties without your consent.

In the following sections, we explain the types of data that we capture when you visit our website and exactly how they are used:

1. Capture and Processing of Data When the Website Is Accessed Via the Internet

Each time that you visit our website, our Web server creates a temporary record of this access and stores it in a log file. The following data are captured and stored until they are automatically deleted after a specified period of time:

  • IP address of the requesting processor
  • Date and time of access
  • Name and URL of the downloaded file
  • Volume of data transmitted
  • Indication whether download was successful
  • Data identifying the browser software and operating system
  • Website from which our site was accessed
  • Name of your Internet service provider

The purpose of recording these data is to allow use of the website for ensuring the system’s security, for technically administering the network infrastructure, and for optimizing our Internet service. The IP address is only evaluated in the event that the network infrastructure of the Fraunhofer Society is fraudulently accessed.

Apart from the special cases cited above, we do not process any personal data without obtaining your prior explicit consent to do so. Pseudonymous user profiles may be created as described under Web Analysis below.

2. Orders

If you order informational materials or other goods via our website, we will use the address data you provide exclusively for the purpose of processing your order.

3. Use and Disclosure of Personal Data

Your personal data will only be used for the purposes described above and only to the required extent. Your data will not be disclosed to any third parties. Personal data will not be divulged to government bodies or public authorities unless we are required by law to do or it is necessary for us to take legal action in the event that our network infrastructure is fraudulently accessed. Your personal data will not be disclosed for any other purpose.

4. Consent to Use of Data for Other Purposes

The use of certain services on our website, such as newsletters or discussion forums, may require prior registration and involve more substantial processing of personal data such as longer-term storage of email addresses, user IDs, and passwords. However, we use such data only if it has been provided to us by you personally and if you have given us your explicit prior consent to do so. For example, we will separately request your consent in the following cases:

4.1 Newsletters and Press Distribution Lists

In order for you to subscribe to a newsletter service provided by the Fraunhofer Society, we at least need your email address so that we know where to send the newsletter. If you provide us with any other information, you do so voluntarily. In those cases as well, we will only use it if you give us permission to do so beforehand, for example for contacting you directly to resolve questions concerning your email address. If you request delivery by mail, we require your postal address. If you ask to be included in a press distribution list, we need to know which publication you work for so that we can verify that it is actually receiving our press materials.

We use the so-called double opt-in method for services. In other words, after you have notified us that you wish to take advantage of a service and given us your email address, we reply with an email containing a link that you must use to confirm your subscription. Both your initial subscription request and the confirmation are recorded. The newsletter is not sent until this procedure has been completed. This ensures that only you yourself can subscribe to the newsletter service under the specified email address. You must confirm your subscription as soon as possible after receiving our email, otherwise your request and email address will be deleted from our database. Until we receive your confirmation, our newsletter service will reject any other subscription requests for the same email address.

You can cancel subscriptions to our newsletters at any time. To do so, either send us an email or follow the link at the end of the newsletter.

4.2 Guest Books and Forums

If you wish to sign up for an Internet forum operated by the Fraunhofer Society, you must provide us at least with a user ID, a password, and your email address. For your own protection, the signup procedure for this type of service, like for the newsletters, requires you to confirm your request using the link contained in the email we send you and provide your consent to the use of any additional personal data if they are necessary for you to use the forum.

You may cancel your registration for this type of service at any time by sending us an email via the website page offering the service.

Postings to visitors’ books and forums are not generally monitored by the Fraunhofer Society. However, we reserve the right to delete posted contributions and prohibit users from continuing to use these service at our discretion, especially in cases in which posted content violates the law or is considered incompatible with the aims of the Fraunhofer Society.

5. Cookies

Our website does not normally use any cookies. Only in exceptional cases do we use cookies, which store data in your browser’s memory for tracking sessions. These data are automatically deleted at the latest when you close your browser. If we should ever wish to store personal data in a cookie, for instance a user ID, this will be pointed out to you.

It is of course also possible for you to view our website without the use of cookies. Please note, however, that most browsers are configured by default to accept cookies. You can prevent this by changing the appropriate option in your browser’s settings. If you reject all cookies, however, this may restrict your use of certain functions on our website.

6. Web Analysis

No personal user profiles are created. However, Section 15 (3) of the German Teleservices Law (TMG) permits the use of user profiles under a pseudonym for advertising, market research, and matching offers to a user’s needs, provided that the user does not object to this.

We also use third-party web analysis services on our website, for example WiredMinds (, which we have contracted to perform web analyses on our behalf. These services have been checked by the supervisory authorities and/or experts and found to meet all requirements of German and European data privacy laws.

This provider’s technologies are used to capture and store data on our website. These data are used to generate utilization profiles under a pseudonym for marketing and optimization purposes. Cookies may be used for this. Cookies are small text files that are stored locally in the cache of the site visitor’s web browser. The cookies allow the web browser to be recognized. In addition, your use of the website can be measured by JavaScript code and the captured data sent directly to the provider’s servers in Germany or the EU via an HTML connection.

Unless you provide your explicit consent, the data captured using tracking technologies will not be used to personally identify you and will not be combined with personal data associated with the pseudonym. Nor will any analyses be performed across multiple websites.

If you wish to prevent this tracking by technical means, you can deactivate JavaScript and cookies in your web browser. You may also retract your consent to the capture and storage of data at any time with indefinite effect. Please follow this link to reject use of the WiredMinds service:

7. Social Plugins

We may also use social plugins in some cases on our website, e.g. from the Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Google+ social networks. Many of these are operated in the USA or in other countries outside Germany and the EU, while some are provided by national companies in the EU (for information on providers, visit,,, or The plugins are identified by the company’s logo, comment fields, or “Like” or “+1” buttons.

If you open a page of our website that contains such a plugin in your web browser, your browser will create a direct connection to the servers of the respective provider in the country concerned.

The plugins ensure that the provider at least receives the information that you have visited a certain page on our website, and perhaps also other information that your web browser or the device you use additionally discloses. The content of the plugin is loaded by your web browser straight from the provider and incorporated into our website on the fly. If you are registered and have logged in with the provider concerned, your visit can also be assigned to your user account.

If you interact with a plugin, e.g. if you click on the “Like” button or enter a comment in a form field, your browser will also transmit this information directly to the provider, where it will be saved and, if applicable, continue to be used and published.

Data are captured and used as described primarily for marketing activities by the provider and the Fraunhofer Society. Please consult the provider’s data privacy policy for details on this, your rights, and ways for you to prevent the capture and use of your data to protect your privacy.

If you do not wish a provider to collect data on you via our website, you must deactivate the plugins in your web browser. If you wish to avoid being linked to any existing user account, you must log out of it before visiting our website.

By visiting our website, you implicitly declare your consent to the above provisions.

8. Security

The Fraunhofer Society implements technical and organizational security measures to safeguard stored personal data against inadvertent or deliberate manipulation, loss, or destruction and against access by unauthorized persons. Our security measures are continually improved to take advantage of new technological developments.

9. Links to Websites Operated by Other Providers

Our website may contain links to other providers’ websites. Please note that this data privacy policy applies exclusively to the website of the Fraunhofer Society. We have no way of influencing the data privacy practices of other providers, nor do we carry out any checks to ensure that they conform to the applicable laws and regulations.

10. Right to Information and Contact Data

You have a legal right to inspect any stored data on you, and also the right to demand their correction or deletion, and to revoke your consent for their further use.

If you are a registered user of services provided by the Fraunhofer Society, in some cases we may let you view the corresponding data online and possibly even delete or modify them yourself via a user account.

If you wish information on your personal data, want us to correct or delete such data, or have any questions concerning the use of personal data stored by us, please contact:


11. Inclusion, Validity, and Currentness of Data Privacy Policies

By using our website, you implicitly consent to the use of your personal data as described above. This data privacy policy has been in effect since October 1, 2013.

As our website evolves and new technologies are implemented, it may become necessary to amend this data privacy policy. The Fraunhofer Society therefore reserves the right to modify this data privacy policy at any time with effect for the future. We recommend that you check it for any changes from time to time.