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.
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:
name: _ga value: GA1.2.1326744211.152121335039-9 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:
**Essential 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.
**Purposive Cookies **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.
**Target-orientated Cookies **These cookies care for an improved user-friendliness. Thus, information such as previously entered locations, fonts or data in forms stay saved.
**Advertising Cookies **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/.
Evaluation of Visitor Behaviour
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).
To use Google Fonts, you must log in and set up a password. Furthermore, no cookies will be saved in your browser. The data (CSS, Fonts) will be requested via the Google domains fonts.googleapis.com and fonts.gstatic.com. According to Google, all requests for CSS and fonts are fully separated from any other Google services. If you have a Google account, you do not need to worry that your Google account details are transmitted to Google while you use Google Fonts. Google records the use of CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) as well as the utilised fonts and stores these data securely. We will have a detailed look at how exactly the data storage works.
What are Google Fonts?
Google Fonts (previously Google Web Fonts) is a list of over 800 fonts which href=”https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google?tid=121335039”>Google LLC provides its users for free.
Many of these fonts have been published under the SIL Open Font License license, while others have been published under the Apache license. Both are free software licenses.
Why do we use Google Fonts on our website?
With Google Fonts we can use different fonts on our website and do not have to upload them to our own server. Google Fonts is an important element which helps to keep the quality of our website high. All Google fonts are automatically optimised for the web, which saves data volume and is an advantage especially for the use of mobile terminal devices. When you use our website, the low data size provides fast loading times. Moreover, Google Fonts are secure Web Fonts. Various image synthesis systems (rendering) can lead to errors in different browsers, operating systems and mobile terminal devices. These errors could optically distort parts of texts or entire websites. Due to the fast Content Delivery Network (CDN) there are no cross-platform issues with Google Fonts. All common browsers (Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, Opera) are supported by Google Fonts, and it reliably operates on most modern mobile operating systems, including Android 2.2+ and iOS 4.2+ (iPhone, iPad, iPod). We also use Google Fonts for presenting our entire online service as pleasantly and as uniformly as possible.
Which data is saved by Google?
Whenever you visit our website, the fonts are reloaded by a Google server. Through this external cue, data gets transferred to Google’s servers. Therefore, this makes Google recognise that you (or your IP-address) is visiting our website. The Google Fonts API was developed to reduce the usage, storage and gathering of end user data to the minimum needed for the proper depiction of fonts. What is more, API stands for „Application Programming Interface“ and works as a software data intermediary.
Google Fonts stores CSS and font requests safely with Google, and therefore it is protected. Using its collected usage figures, Google can determine how popular the individual fonts are. Google publishes the results on internal analysis pages, such as Google Analytics. Moreover, Google also utilises data of ist own web crawler, in order to determine which websites are using Google fonts. This data is published in Google Fonts’ BigQuery database. Enterpreneurs and developers use Google’s webservice BigQuery to be able to inspect and move big volumes of data.
One more thing that should be considered, is that every request for Google Fonts automatically transmits information such as language preferences, IP address, browser version, as well as the browser’s screen resolution and name to Google’s servers. It cannot be clearly identified if this data is saved, as Google has not directly declared it.
How long and where is the data stored?
Google saves requests for CSS assets for one day in a tag on their servers, which are primarily located outside of the EU. This makes it possible for us to use the fonts by means of a Google stylesheet. With the help of a stylesheet, e.g. designs or fonts of a website can get changed swiftly and easily.
Any font related data is stored with Google for one year. This is because Google’s aim is to fundamentally boost websites’ loading times. With millions of websites referring to the same fonts, they are buffered after the first visit and instantly reappear on any other websites that are visited thereafter. Sometimes Google updates font files to either reduce the data sizes, increase the language coverage or to improve the design.
How can I delete my data or prevent it being stored?
The data Google stores for either a day or a year cannot be deleted easily. Upon opening the page this data is automatically transmitted to Google. In order to clear the data ahead of time, you have to contact Google’s support at https://support.google.com/?hl=en-GB&tid=121335039. The only way for you to prevent the retention of your data is by not visiting our website.
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=121335039. While Google does address relevant elements on data protection at this link, it does not contain any detailed information on data retention. It proofs rather difficult to receive any precise information on stored data by Google.
On https://policies.google.com/privacy?hl=en-GB you can read more about what data is generally collected by Google and what this data is used for.
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=121335039.
We use the tracking and analysis tool Google Analytics (GA) of the US-American company Google LLC (1600 Amphitheatre Parkway Mountain View, CA 94043, USA). Google Analytics collects data on your actions on our website. Whenever you click a link for example, this action is saved in a cookie and transferred to Google Analytics. With the help of reports which we receive from Google Analytics, we can adapt our website and our services better to your wishes. In the following, we will explain the tracking tool in more detail, and most of all, we will inform you what data is saved and how you can prevent this.
What is Google Analytics?
Google Analytics is a tracking tool with the purpose of conducting data traffic analysis of our website. For Google Analytics to work, there is a tracking code integrated to our website. Upon your visit to our website, this code records various actions you perform on your website. As soon as you leave our website, this data is sent to the Google Analytics server, where it is stored.
Google processes this data and we then receive reports on your user behaviour. These reports can be one of the following:
- Target audience reports: With the help of target audience reports we can get to know our users better and can therefore better understand who is interested in our service.
- Advertising reports: Through advertising reports we can analyse our online advertising better and hence improve it.
- Acquisition reports: Acquisition reports provide us helpful information on how we can get more people enthusiastic about our service.
- Behaviour reports: With these reports, we can find out how you interact with our website. By the means of behaviour reports, we can understand what path you go on our website and what links you click.
- Conversion reports: A conversion is the process of leading you to carry out a desired action due to a marketing message. An example of this would be transforming you from a mere website visitor into a buyer or a newsletter subscriber. Hence, with the help of these reports we can see in more detail, if our marketing measures are successful with you. Our aim is to increase our conversion rate.
- Real time reports: With the help of these reports we can see in real time, what happens on our website. It makes us for example see, we can see how many users are reading this text right now.
Why do we use Google Analytics on our website?
The objective of our website is clear: We want to offer you the best possible service. Google Analytics’ statistics and data help us with reaching this goal.
Statistically evaluated data give us a clear picture of the strengths and weaknesses of our website. On the one hand, we can optimise our page in a way, that makes it easier to be found by interested people on Google. On the other hand, the data helps us to get a better understanding of you as our visitor. Therefore, we can very accurately find out what we must improve on our website, in order to offer you the best possible service. The analysis of that data also enables us to carry out our advertising and marketing measures in a more individual and more cost-effective way. After all, it only makes sense to show our products and services exclusively to people who are interested in them.
What data gets stored by Google Analytics?
With the aid of a tracking code, Google Analytics creates a random, unique ID which is connected to your browser cookie. That way, Google Analytics recognises you as a new user. The next time you visit our site, you will be recognised as a “recurring” user. All data that is collected gets saved together with this very user ID. Only this is how it is made possible for us to evaluate and analyse pseudonymous user profiles.
Your interactions on our website are measures by tags such as cookies and app instance IDs. Interactions are all kinds of actions that you perform on our website. If you are also using other Google systems (such as a Google Account), data generated by Google Analytics can be linked with third-party cookies. Google does not pass on any Google Analytics data, unless we as the website owners authorise it. In case it is required by law, exceptions can occur.
The following cookies are used by Google Analytics:
Name: _ga Value:2.1326744211.152121335039-5 Purpose: By deafault, analytics.js uses the cookie _ga, to save the user ID. It generally serves the purpose of differenciating between website visitors. Expiration date: After 2 years
Name: _gid Value:2.1687193234.152121335039-1 Purpose: This cookie also serves the purpose of differentiating between website users Expiration date: After 24 hours
Name: _gat_gtag_UA_<property-id> Value: 1 Verwendungszweck: It is used for decreasing the demand rate. If Google Analytics is provided via Google Tag Manager, this cookie gets the name _dc_gtm_<property-id>. Expiration date: After 1 minute
Name: AMP_TOKEN Value: No information Purpose: This cookie has a token which is used to retrieve the user ID by the AMP Client ID Service. Other possible values suggest a logoff, a request or an error. Expiration date: After 30 seconds up to one year
Name: __utma Value:1564498958.1564498958.1564498958.1 Purpose: With this cookie your behaviour on the website can be tracked and the site performance can be measured. The cookie is updated every time the information is sent to Google Analytics. Expiration date: After 2 years
Name: __utmt Value: 1 Purpose: Just like _gat_gtag_UA_<property-id> this cookie is used for keeping the requirement rate in check. Expiration date: Afer 10 minutes
Name: __utmb Value:3.10.1564498958 Purpose: This cookie is used to determine new sessions. It is updated every time new data or information gets sent to Google Analytics. Expiration date: After 30 minutes
Name: __utmc Value: 167421564 Purpose: This cookie is used to determine new sessions for recurring visitors. It is therefore a session cookie, and only stays saved until you close the browser again. Expiration date: After closing the browser
Name: __utmz Value: m|utmccn=(referral)|utmcmd=referral|utmcct=/ Purpose: This cookie is used to identify the source of our website’s visitor number. This means, that the cookie saves information on where you came to our website from. This could be another site or an advertisement. Expiration date: After 6 months
Name: __utmv Value: No information Purpose: The cookie is used to store custom user data. It gets updated whenever information is sent to Google Analytics. Expiration date: After 2 years
Note: This list is by no means exhaustive, since Google are repeatedly changing the use of their cookies.
Below we will give you an overview of the most important data that can be evaluated by Google Analytics:
Heatmaps: Google creates so-called Heatmaps an. These Heatmaps make it possible to see the exact areas you click on, so we can get information on what routes you make on our website.
Session duration: Google calls the time you spend on our website without leaving it session duration. Whenever you are inactive for 20 minutes, the session ends automatically.
Bounce rate If you only look at one page of our website and then leave our website again, it is called a bounce.
Account creation: If you create an account or make an order on our website, Google Analytics collects this data.
IP-Address: The IP address is only shown in a shortened form, to make it impossible to clearly allocate it.
Location: Your approximate location and the country you are in can be defined by the IP address. This process is called IP location determination.
Technical information: Information about your browser type, your internet provider and your screen resolution are called technical information.
Source: Both, Google Analytics as well as ourselves, are interested what website or what advertisement led you to our site.
Further possibly stored data includes contact data, potential reviews, playing media (e.g. when you play a video on our site), sharing of contents via social media or adding our site to your favourites. This list is not exhaustive and only serves as general guidance on Google Analytics’ data retention.
How long and where is the data saved?
Google has servers across the globe. Most of them are in America and therefore your data is mainly saved on American servers. Here you can read detailed information on where Google’s data centres are located: https://www.google.com/about/datacenters/inside/locations/?hl=en
Your data is allocated to various physical data mediums. This has the advantage of allowing to retrieve the data faster, and of protecting it better from manipulation. Every Google data centre has respective emergency programs for your data. Hence, in case of a hardware failure at Google or a server error due to natural disasters, the risk for a service interruption stays relatively low.
Google Analytics has a 26 months standardised period of retaining your user data. After this time, your user data is deleted. However, we have the possibility to choose the retention period of user data ourselves. There are the following five options:
- Deletion after 14 months
- Deletion after 26 months
- Deletion after 38 months
- Deletion after 50 months
- No automatical deletion
As soon as the chosen period is expired, the data is deleted once a month. This retention period applies to any of your data which is linked to cookies, user identification and advertisement IDs (e.g. cookies of the DoubleClick domain). Any report results are based on aggregated information and are stored independently of any user data. Aggregated information is a merge of individual data into a single and bigger unit.
How can I delete my data or prevent data retention?
Should you generally want to deactivate, delete or manage all cookies (independently of Google Analytics), you can use one of the guides that are available for any browser:
Google Analytics is an active participant of the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework, which regulates correct and save transfer of personal data. You can find more information on this at https://www.privacyshield.gov/participant?id=a2zt000000001L5AAI&tid=121335039. We hope we were able to make you more familiar with the most important information on Google Analytics’ data processing. If you want to learn more about the tracking service, we recommend both of the following links: https://marketingplatform.google.com/about/analytics/terms/gb/ and https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/6004245?hl=en.
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.
Name: YSC Value: b9-CV6ojI5Y121335039-1 Purpose: This cookie registers a unique ID to store statistics of the video that was viewed. Expiry date: after end of session
Name: PREF Value: f1=50000000 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
Name: GPS Value: 1 Purpose: This cookie registers your unique ID on mobile devices to track GPS locations. Expiry date: after 30 minutes
Name: VISITOR_INFO1_LIVE Value: 95Chz8bagyU 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:
Name: APISID Value: zILlvClZSkqGsSwI/AU1aZI6HY7121335039- 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
Name: CONSENT Value: YES+AT.de+20150628-20-0 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
Name: HSID Value: AcRwpgUik9Dveht0I Purpose: This cookie is used to create a profile on your interests. This data helps to display customised ads. Expiry date: after 2 years
Name: LOGIN_INFO Value: AFmmF2swRQIhALl6aL… Purpose: This cookie stores information on your login data. Expiry date: after 2 years
Name: SAPISID Value: 7oaPxoG-pZsJuuF5/AnUdDUIsJ9iJz2vdM Purpose: This cookie identifies your browser and device. It is used to create a profile on your interests. Expiry date: after 2 years
Name: SID Value: oQfNKjAsI121335039- 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
Name: SIDCC Value: AN0-TYuqub2JOcDTyL 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: