Cookies, web beacons, and similar technology (“Cookies Policy”)
This Cookies Policy is effective from March 2, 2022. .
1. Information regarding the technologies we use
The cookies and similar technologies used by us have various functions:
- They can be (technically) necessary for the provision of our Site and Site Services
- They help us to technically enhance our Site and Site Services (e.g. monitoring of error messages and loading times)
- They help us to improve your user experience (e.g. by saving the font size and data entered into webforms)
- They enable us to show you more relevant ads
1.1 What are cookies, web beacons and similar technologies
Cookies are small text files (typically made up of letters and numbers) which are placed in the memory of your browser or device when you make use of our Site and Site Services, in particular when you visit our Site or when you open a message. Cookies allow for a recognition of a specific device or browser. There are different types of cookies:
- Session cookies (also called session-based cookies) expire at the end of your session (e.g. when closing your browser window) and enable the entity using them to track your activities during this one session
- Persistent cookies remain stored on your device between sessions and enable us, for example, to track your settings or activities on several websites
- First-party cookies are set by the provider whose online service you are using (e.g. the operator of the website you are visiting)
- Third-party cookies are set by a provider other than the provider whose online service you are using (e.g. the operator of a website other than the one you are visiting)
1.1.2 Web beacons
Web beacons (also known as pixel tags or clear GIFs) are small graphic images that are used in connection with the provision of our services and which typically work in conjunction with cookies to track the use of an online service by its users. For example, when we send you emails, web beacons allow us to track if you opened the emails and clicked links to measure campaign performance and improve features.
1.1.3 Similar technologies
Similar technologies are technologies which enable the entity using it to track your user behavior. This can be done by local shared objects or local storage, such as flash cookies, HTML 5 cookies and other web application software methods, all of which store information in your browser or device. Additionally, there are other technologies that function without local storage in your end device and instead make use of, inter alia, browser functions. In this context, a “fingerprint” of your system is created that serves as a unique identifier.
These technologies may function across all your browsers and in some cases are not fully managed by your browser, but may need to be managed directly from your installed applications or your device. We sometimes use the terms cookies and similar technologies interchangeably.
1.2 Why do we use these technologies
The cookies, web beacons and similar technologies used in connection with our Site and Site Services serve the following functions:
1.2.1 Technologies which are operationally necessary
1.2.2 Technologies which are performance-related
1.2.3 Technologies which are functionality-related
1.2.4 Technologies which are advertising- or targeting-related
1.3 Which service providers do we cooperate with?
In regard to the usage of cookies, web beacons and similar technologies, we cooperate with authorized service providers. This includes ad networks and ad exchanges, which enable us to show you advertisements.
Authorized service providers are entitled to place web beacons and similar technologies within our Site and Site Services and to place cookies on your device, as far as this is permissible according to applicable law. In this context, data for the identification of your device will be tracked, for example the IP address, the device ID or the advertising ID (IDFA – ID for Advertising or Google Advertising ID).
This enables the service providers to help us deliver content and more relevant advertisements, and to produce anonymous metrics and analytics, including conversion statistics. The processing of personal data by external service providers is subject to data protection and confidentiality agreements with us and applicable data protection laws. With regard to data processing by service providers, please check the privacy notices of the respective third-party providers.
Service providers that we cooperate with include Facebook and Google:
- Facebook: Provision of advertising services via Facebook’s advertising and marketing platforms, e.g. Website Custom Audiences (Facebook’s Data Policy)
With the exception of the use of such technologies by our service providers or other authorized third parties, we do not permit any third-party content on our Site (such as communication between Members, comments, reviews, etc.) to include or utilize any cookies, web beacons, local storage, or similar technologies for tracking purposes or to collect your personal data for the own purposes of such third parties. If you suspect that an offer or third-party content within our Site and Site Services collects personal data or may use tracking technologies, please report this to email@example.com .
1.4 Google Analytics
On our behalf, Google processes this data to evaluate the use of our Site and Site Services, to compile reports on usage activities and to provide us with further services associated with the use of our Site and Site Services. Your IP address transmitted in the context of Google Analytics will not be combined with other data from Google.
The data collected via Google Analytics is automatically deleted after 14 months. Data whose retention period has been reached is automatically deleted once a month.
You can prevent the collection of data through the Google Analytics cookie by adjusting your browser settings accordingly. If you deactivate cookies, you may not be able to use all functions of our Site and Site Services to their full extent, however.
In addition, you can prevent the collection of data related to your use of the Site and Site Services (including your IP address) via the Google Analytics cookie and the processing of this data by Google by installing the following browser plugin.
Additional information for users in the European Union and the UK:
We would like to point out that on our website Google Analytics has been extended by the code “gat._anonymizeIp();” in order to guarantee an anonymized collection of IP addresses (so-called IP masking). This means that, before your IP address is transmitted to Google’s servers in the USA, it is sent to a Google server in the EU (or in another member state of the European Economic Area (“EEA”)), where it is shortened so that it cannot be traced to a specific person. Only after the IP address has been made anonymous is the shortened IP address sent to a Google server in the USA and stored there.
If personal data is transferred to the USA, this happens on the basis of the adequacy decision of the European Commission under the EU-US Privacy Shield. You can download the certificate here.
1.5 Google Signals
We also use Google Signals in connection with the provision of our Site and Site Services. This is an extension function of Google Analytics that enables cross-device tracking. This means that if your Internet-enabled devices are linked to your Google Account, Google can generate reports on usage patterns (especially cross-device traffic) even if you switch devices. If you have activated the setting “personalized ads” in your Google account, Google will process data for this purpose. We do not process personal data in this respect, we only receive statistics based on Google Signals.
You can deactivate the use of Google Signals at any time by downloading and installing the browser plugin in order to opt-out of Google Analytics (see above under Google Analytics). This will prevent the collection of data generated by the cookie and related to your use of the Site and Site Services (including your IP address) and the processing of this data by Google. In addition, you can disable the “personalized advertising” setting in your Google Account. Details can be found here.
Users in the EU and UK:
You can determine via the (“Google Advertising”) whether you consent to the use of Google Signals. We only use Google Signals with your consent.
1.6 Google reCAPTCHA: Prevention of automated access
We make use of Google reCAPTCHA (“reCAPTCHA”) within the provision of our Site and Site Services. reCAPTCHA is used to check and prevent interactions through automated access, for example through so-called bots (computer programs that perform tasks automatically and independently). reCAPTCHA is used in particular to check whether data input in connection with our Site and Site Services (e.g. in a contact form) is carried out by a human or by an automated program. For this purpose, reCAPTCHA analyzes the behavior of the user on the basis of various characteristics. This analysis automatically begins as soon as the user connects with the online service, e.g. visits the website. For the purposes of this analysis, reCAPTCHA evaluates various pieces of information (e.g. IP address, duration of the user’s visit to the online service or the user’s mouse movements). The data collected during the analysis is forwarded to Google. The analyses by reCAPTCHA are carried out entirely in the background.
1.7 Which security measures do we take to protect your data?
We protect our cookies and similar technologies to ensure that only we or authorized service providers can evaluate them. For this purpose, we assign a unique identifier (ID) to them that is designed so that only we can process them.
2. Your Choices
With regard to the use of advertising-related or personalization-related technologies, you have in particular the following options:
All users: You can adjust the settings for the usage of first-party cookies (and similar technologies) for marketing purposes.
2.1 Technologies which are operationally necessary, performance-related or functionality-related
If you wish to deactivate the use of any cookies – including cookies that are operationally necessary, performance-related or functionality-related – that we use within the provision of our Site and Site Services, you may do so by using the settings in your browser or device, if this is supported by your browser or device. The settings must be made separately for each browser you use.
Please note that you may not be able to use portions of our Site and Site Services when you deactivate cookies and similar technologies (e.g. the ‘stay logged in function’). You may also need to enter your password more frequently during your browser sessions.
2.2 Technologies which are advertising- or targeting-related
2.2.1 All users
You can deactivate the use of any third-party cookies – e.g. by online ad networks – within our Site and Site Services by using the settings in your browser or the device settings in your device, if this is supported by your browser or device.
You can also find information on advertising-related third-party cookies and similar technologies and how to prevent their use on the following websites:
- www.aboutads.info/choices (available in English only)
- www.networkadvertising.org/choices (available in English only)
If you delete all cookies on your device, any opt-out cookies that have already been set will also be deleted, so that you will have to declare again any opt-outs that have already been declared.
2.2.2 Users in the EU and UK
3. Do Not Track
California law requires us to let you know how we respond to web browser Do Not Track (DNT) signals. Because there currently isn’t an industry or legal standard for recognizing or honoring DNT signals, we don’t respond to them at this time. We await the result of work by the privacy community and industry to determine when such a response is appropriate and what form it should take.