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Privacy Policy

of the Swiss Ornithological Institute Sempach

In this Privacy Policy, we inform you about how we, the Swiss Ornithological Institute Sempach (hereinafter also referred to as the “Swiss Ornithological Institute”, “we” and “us”) collect and process your personal data (hereinafter also referred to as “data” or “personal data”).

Personal data is any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person. This includes, for example, your name, address, date of birth, e-mail address and telephone number. Personal data may also include information about personal preferences such as leisure activities or memberships.

If you provide us with other people’s personal data (e. g. employee data), we assume that you are authorised to do so and that the data is correct. You confirm this by submitting data about other people. Please ensure that the other people are aware of this Privacy Policy.

We are committed to handling your personal data responsibly. This is important to us. Insofar as we (or third parties on our behalf) collect and process personal data, we comply with the requirements of the Swiss Data Protection Act. In addition, we also comply with the provisions of the EU GDPR and/or the UK GDPR, insofar as we are legally obliged to do so. However, whether and to what extent these laws are applicable depends on the individual case.

In this Privacy Policy, you will find information about the following in particular:

– How to contact us if you have any questions
– Which personal data of yours we collect and process, and for what purposes.
– What legal grounds we base our processing on.
– Who we disclose your personal data to.
– How we protect your data.
– Which cookies/tracking and other technologies we use.
– How long we process your personal data for.
– What rights you have with regard to your personal data.
-Which privacy policy applies.


1. Our contact details

Under data protection law, the Swiss Ornithological Institute Sempach is responsible for data processing in accordance with this Privacy Policy. If you have any questions about this Privacy Policy, our use of your data or your rights, please contact us at:

Swiss Ornithological Institute Sempach
Seerose 1
6204 Sempach


2. Which data we collect and for what purpose

2.1 Use of the website (creation of log files) and other electronic offerings

Every time you visit our website (“Swiss Ornithological Institute Website” or “our website”), the web server automatically collects data and information from the computer system of the accessing computer. In particular, this includes information about the browser type and version used, the user’s operating system, the user’s internet service provider, the referrer URL (websites from which the user’s system accesses the Swiss Ornithological Institute website) and websites accessed by the user’s system via the Swiss Ornithological Institute website, as well as the user’s IP address, the date and time of access and the client’s file request (file name and URL). This data is stored in the log files of our system (or with third parties) together with other data and are only collected for the purpose of statistical evaluation. If you enter information on the website (e. g. in the contact form), this data is also recorded in the log files. This serves as a backup copy so that you can still proceed with your request in the event of a faulty process.

We use this data to ensure a smooth connection, the convenient use of the website and other electronic services, to evaluate system security and stability, and for other administrative purposes. With the exception of the information you enter, this data does not generally allow us to draw any conclusions about your identity. In the context of user accounts or registrations, however, they may be linked to other categories of data – and thus possibly to your person.

2.2 Fundraising and newsletter

We may use your name, postal or e-mail address(es) or your telephone number to provide our services and to maintain customer relations, to send newsletters, and to send out event information/invitations, publications, and fundraising, information and awareness-raising campaigns on nature and bird conservation issues and the like.

The newsletter is sent via our software partner Intuit Mailchimp, which is based in the USA. By registering, you agree to us transferring your data to our software partner, tracking your opening and clicking behaviour, and contacting you directly in individual cases. Where required by law, we will obtain your prior consent for this, unless we have received your contact details in connection with our services and you have not expressly refused to receive such information and fundraising measures. If you no longer wish to receive correspondence from us, you can unsubscribe at any time using the contact details provided. There is also an unsubscribe link at the end of each e-mail.

We receive your data directly from you when you make it available to us (e. g. through a donation, participation in a competition, shop order, etc.). By submitting the data to us, you agree to us using your data for the aforementioned purposes and to us transferring the data to our printing, shipping and dialogue marketing partners. Where required by law, we will obtain your prior consent for this, unless we have received your contact details in connection with our services and you have not expressly refused to receive such information and fundraising campaigns. Post is sent by our printing and shipping partners Baumer AG (certified for data protection based on Good Priv@cy®) and Swiss Post, both of which are located in Switzerland. The address data is maintained by Swisscom Directories AG via “Online address maintenance” for the purpose of address updating. Data is only transmitted via encrypted connections.

In connection with mailing and telephone fundraising campaigns, we sometimes work with external data providers. In this case, we receive your data from Walter Schmid Fundraising & Data AG. Our telephone fundraising campaigns are carried out by spiritline GmbH, Bern. Once a campaign has been completed, your data will be deleted by spiritline GmbH.

If you do not wish to receive any further postal deliveries or telephone calls from us in the future, you can notify us to this effect at any time using the contact details above. You may also request the deletion of your data by Walter Schmid Fundraising & Data AG. To do so, send the deletion request to Walter Schmid Fundraising & Data AG, Auenstrasse 10, CH-8600 Dübendorf, Switzerland.

It is also possible to have your data permanently deleted by us. However, there is a risk that we may receive your address again at a later date via an address data provider and contact you again in this way. You can avoid this by opting out of postal delivery or contact instead of a deletion request. If we refer to third-party websites for product information, events, etc. and you visit these websites, the relevant data protection regulations of the respective website operator apply. We have no control over this

2.3 Contact via e-mail and other communication channels

We offer you the option of contacting us via the e-mail address displayed on our website and via other digital communication channels (e. g. Facebook, Instagram). By sending your enquiry, you consent to us processing your data in order to answer it. In addition, you confirm that you have read and understood our Privacy Policy.

Digital communication channels are partly operated by companies based in the USA. By using these digital communication channels, you consent to your data being transmitted to the USA, to the tracking of your opening and clicking behaviour, and to us contacting you directly.

If you contact us in connection with your work as a journalist, we may use your professional contact details to maintain media relations and for the purpose of contact management and media activities. For this purpose, we use the Media Contacts services of our software partner Argus Data Insights, which is based in Switzerland. By contacting us, you agree to us transmitting your data to our software partner and to us contacting you directly. If you no longer wish to receive correspondence from us, you can unsubscribe at any time using the contact details provided. There is also an unsubscribe link at the end of each e-mail.

Some digital communications (e. g. e-mail, Facebook, etc.) are unencrypted and unsecure. You bear the risk in this case.

2.4 Web forms and shop

On our website we offer you the opportunity to get in touch with us and our experts, to become a friend of the Swiss Ornithological Institute, and to support our work financially. Among other things, this enables us to contact you and process your enquiry. The data you enter in these input screens is transmitted to us in encrypted form and stored. We may use your data to answer your enquiry, to track and ensure the quality of research data, to maintain customer relations, and for information and fundraising purposes. By submitting the form, you consent to us processing your data. You also confirm that you have read and understood our Privacy Policy.

You can also make purchases in our online shop. In doing so, we collect and store the data that you provide to us. When you set up a customer account, we save additional information such as the payment method and previously ordered items. Shipping is carried out in collaboration with Swiss Post. We have also commissioned a service provider for the shop and payment function: Saferpay. In connection with these activities, service providers may be given access to the data required for the order. We may use your data to process your order and for information and fundraising campaigns. By making the purchase, you consent to us processing your data. You also confirm that you have read and understood our Privacy Policy.

2.5 Competitions

You have the opportunity to take part in a competition on our website and when visiting our visitor centre in Sempach. We may use the data you provide to us in this context for the purpose of processing the competition, maintaining the customer relationship and for information and fundraising purposes. By participating in the competition, you consent to us processing your data. You also confirm that you have read and understood our Privacy Policy.

2.6 Job applications

Our vacancies are posted on our website, with our platform partner, and in some cases on external portals and platforms. You can apply directly via The separate Privacy Policy on that website applies. We process the data you provide to us with your application in accordance with this Privacy Policy as part of the application process.

2.7 Bird care

If you bring an orphaned bird to our bird care centre in Sempach, we collect your contact details such as title, name or address. We may use this data for tracking and information purposes, to maintain the customer relationship, and for information and fundraising purposes. By submitting the data to us, you agree to us using your data for the aforementioned purposes, unless you have expressly refused to receive such information and fundraising campaigns.

2.8 Environmental education

As a teacher, you can book various school offerings provided by the Swiss Ornithological Institute. In order to register for these services, you provide us with the data you enter on the registration screen. This enables us to contact you, align our service to your requirements, and ensure the smooth handling of the activity. The data you enter in these input screens is transmitted to us in encrypted form and stored. We process your data to process your enquiry and your booked activity. We also use the data to provide information and raise awareness about nature and bird conservation (environmental education letter, school newsletter). If you no longer wish to receive correspondence from us, you can unsubscribe at any time using the contact details provided. There is also an unsubscribe link at the end of each e-mail. By submitting the form, you consent to us processing your data. You also confirm that you have read and understood our Privacy Policy.

2.9 / NaturaList / Terrimap Online

In collaboration with Biolovision S.à.r.l, based in Ardon, we operate the website and the associated app NaturaList, where you can report bird sightings. The Swiss Ornithological Institute also operates the web application Terrimap Online for collecting data from territory mapping. Authentication on Terrimap Online is also handled through the account. If you register on and report sightings, the data you enter is transmitted to us in encrypted form and stored. We use this data to track and ensure the quality of our research data, e. g. for queries in the event of unusual sightings. Your name may be published in ornithological publications (e. g. ID-Bulletin, Ornithologischer Beobachter) in connection with your report. Biolovision S.à.r.l. transmits taxa reports that do not concern birds (dragonflies, butterflies, mammals, etc.) to the Swiss Cartographic Centre on Fauna (CSCF) in Neuchâtel. Similarly, observations reported abroad via the NaturaList app may be passed on by Biolovision S.à.r.l to the competent organisations in that country. In connection with our reporting to authorities, your name and your report may be passed on to the federal government and other clients such as environmental consultancies. The use of the website and associated mobile applications is subject to the relevant data protection regulations of the operator. By registering and reporting your observations, you consent to us processing your data. You also confirm that you have read and understood our Privacy Policy.

2.10 Volunteering

You can do volunteer work for the Swiss Ornithological Institute. We use the data you provide to us in this context to communicate and coordinate your volunteering activities as well as to track and ensure the quality of the research data. By registering for voluntary work, you give your consent for us to process your data. You also confirm that you have read and understood our Privacy Policy.

2.11 «Upswing for birds»-programme

If you own land or decide on the long-term use of land and you meet the main criteria, you can take part in the «Upswing for birds» programme. Together with the Swiss Ornithological Institute, you can implement measures to create valuable habitats for birds. We process the data you provide to us in order to handle this project collaboration. We may share your data with third parties involved in the project (e.g. environmental offices). This disclosure will only take place with your prior consent. By contacting us, you agree to us processing your data. You also confirm that you have read and understood our Privacy Policy.

2.12 Memorial donations

When a loved one passes away, you have the opportunity to make a donation to the Swiss Ornithological Institute in memory of that person. We use the data you provide to us to process the donation and for information and fundraising purposes. We also inform the bereaved family about your donation. If you do not wish to inform the bereaved family, please note this accordingly in the payment reference.

2.13 Business relationships

We may process your data that we receive in the course of our business relationship with our customers, other business partners and other persons involved. In particular, this includes contact details such as title, first name, surname, gender, date of birth, address, e-mail address, telephone number and other contact details, as well as communication data such as exchanged communication content from e-mails, other written correspondence, telephone conversations, video conferences, etc. and details of the type, time and place of communication.

Where permitted, we also collect data from publicly accessible sources (e. g. commercial register, media, the internet, social media, etc.). In addition to data that you provide to us directly, this includes data that we receive about you from third parties (authorities, credit reports, banks, address traders, other third parties), in particular information from public registers, in connection with official and judicial proceedings, in connection with your professional functions and activities, information about you in correspondence and meetings with third parties, information that persons associated with you (e. g. family, advisors, legal representatives, employers) provide to us so that we can conclude or process contracts with or involving you (e. g. references, powers of attorney), your address and, where relevant, your interests, and other socio-demographic data (for marketing and fundraising).


3. Legal basis for data processing

3.1 In connection with our services and in order to fulfil contractual obligations

Data is processed for the purpose of providing our services to our clients, including pre-contractual measures and post-contractual support. The data collected in this way is used, for example, for the entire processing of our services, including any subsequent warranty claims, technical administration, etc. Further details on the purposes of data processing are to be found in the relevant contract documents and terms and conditions.

3.2 In connection with the balancing of interests

Where necessary and permissible, we process your data beyond the actual performance of the contract in order to protect our legitimate interests or those of third parties. This includes:

– consultation and exchange of data with information centres and other third parties (e. g. debt enforcement registers);
– review and optimisation of needs analysis procedures for the purpose of direct donor contact and collection of personal data from publicly accessible sources for the purpose of donor acquisition;
– advertising or market and opinion research, unless you have objected to the use of your data;
– assertion of legal claims and defence in legal disputes;
– guaranteeing IT security and IT operations;
– preventing and investigating criminal offences;
– measures for business management and further development of services and products and the website;
– purchase and sale of business units, companies or parts of companies and other corporate transactions and the associated transfer of data and business management measures.

3.3 Based on your consent

If you have given us your consent to processing data for specific purposes, the lawfulness of such processing is based on your consent. Consent granted may be revoked at any time. The withdrawal of consent does not affect the lawfulness of the data processed prior to its withdrawal.

3.4 Based on legal requirements or in the public interest

We are also subject to various legal obligations in connection with which we have to process your data.


4. Data transfer and transfer abroad

We only disclose your data to third parties in connection with our activities and for the purposes described in this Privacy Policy when we are obliged to do so by law, court order or official regulations, if the disclosure is necessary for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims, or for the execution of contracts and business activities, or based on your consent. These third parties include in particular the following categories of recipients:

– processors such as providers, service providers for evaluating the benefits of the website (marketing purposes), research service providers, service providers for IT services (data management, data storage, technical support, newsletter distribution, etc.), service providers in the field of recruitment, talent management, HR and other services;
– external business partners (e. g. traders, suppliers, shipping service providers, subcontractors, banks, debt collection agencies) and experts in connection with the contractual service;
– competitors, industry organisations, associations, organisations and other bodies;
– media;
– domestic and foreign authorities, official bodies or courts;
– other parties in possible and actual legal proceedings.

Third parties can process personal data not only in Switzerland. Your data may be processed in the European Union and the European Economic Area as well as in any country in the world (including the USA). If the level of data protection in the country where the processing third party is located is deemed inadequate by Swiss standards (including the USA), we provide suitable data protection by means of appropriate safeguards (e. g. standard contractual clauses), unless there is a legal exception (e. g. your consent), the recipient is already subject to a legally recognized set of data protection rules (e. g. Swiss-US Data Privacy Framework), or we are able to rely on an exception. Such contractual arrangements (guarantees) partly compensate for weaker legal protection or lack of it, but not all risks can be completely excluded (e. g. from government access abroad).

Please also note that data exchanged via the internet is often routed via third countries. Your data may therefore be sent abroad even if the sender and the recipient are in the same country.


5. Data security

We use appropriate technical and organisational measures in the systems to keep your data stored by us securely and to protect it from loss, destruction, alteration and unauthorised access by third parties.

Technical security measures include the encryption (including login data) and pseudonymisation of data, logging, access restrictions and the storage of backup copies.

Our security measures are continuously adapted in line with technological developments. Absolute protection cannot be guaranteed, though.


6. Cookies/tracking and other technologies

6.1 Use of cookies

We use cookies on our website to make it more user-friendly, secure and effective. In this connection, our interest in optimising our website is to be regarded as legitimate. Cookies are text files that are stored in the internet browser or by the internet browser on your computer system. The use of cookies serves to make the use of our website more convenient for you.

We primarily use session cookies to determine that you have already visited individual pages of our website. These are automatically deleted when you leave our site. In addition, we also use temporary cookies for the purpose of user-friendliness which are stored on your device for a specified period of time. If you visit our website again to use our services, it is automatically detected that you have already visited us and which entries and settings you previously made so that you do not have to enter this information again.

We also use cookies to statistically record the use of our website and evaluate it for the purpose of optimising our offerings for you, as well as to display information tailored specifically to you if necessary (online marketing). These cookies are automatically deleted after a defined period of time.

The data collected in this way is pseudonymised by means of technical precautions. As a result, it is no longer possible for us to associate the data with the accessing user. The data is not stored together with other data. When you first visit our website, an information banner informs you about the use of cookies for analysis purposes and refers you to this Privacy Policy. You can prevent cookies from being stored in your browser settings. If cookies are deactivated for our website, it may no longer be possible to use all functions of the website to their full extent.

The procedure for controlling and deleting cookies depends on the browser you use. You will find information on this in the help menu of your browser (usually under “Privacy”).

To the extent permitted, we may also incorporate visible and invisible image elements in our newsletter e-mails. By retrieving them from our servers, we can determine whether and when an e-mail was opened so that we can measure and better understand how our offerings are being used. You can block this in your e-mail programme.

By using our website and consenting to receive newsletter e-mails, you agree to the use of these technologies. If you do not wish this to happen, you must set your browser or e-mail programme accordingly.

6.2 Analytics

On our website, we use Google Analytics, a web analysis service provided by Google LLC (1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA, USA) and Google Ireland Ltd. (Google Building Gordon House, Barrow St, Dublin 4, Ireland); both together “Google”, whereby Google Ireland Ltd. is our processor. Google Analytics uses cookies (text files) and similar technologies to collect certain information about the behaviour of individual users on or in the website in question and the device used for this purpose (tablet, PC, smartphone, etc.) in order to analyse the use of the website.

The information generated by these performance cookies about the use of the website (including your IP address) is transmitted to and stored by Google on servers in the USA. Depending on the version of Google Analytics used, the services are configured in such a way that no IP addresses are logged or stored, or the IP addresses of visitors to Google websites within Europe are truncated before being forwarded to the USA so that they cannot be traced. We have deactivated the “Data transfer” and “Signals” settings. Google provides us with reports and can therefore be regarded as our processor. Google also processes certain data for its own purposes. Google may be able to draw conclusions about the identity of visitors to the websites based on the data collected and therefore create personal profiles and link the data obtained to any existing user accounts of these persons. Google may also pass on this information to third parties if required to do so by law or if third parties process this data on behalf of Google. If you consent to the use of Google, you explicitly consent to such processing, which also includes the transfer of personal data to the USA and other countries. You can find further details on data privacy in connection with Google Analytics here .

6.3 Google Maps

We use Google Maps by Google Inc. on our website. By using this website, you consent to the collection, processing and use of automatically collected data by Google Inc., its representatives and third parties. You will find the Terms of Use of Google Maps here.

6.4 Social media

We use plugins from social networks such as YouTube, X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn on our website. The relevant icons/links are to be found on our website. These items are configured to be disabled by default. By clicking on the icons/links, the respective operators of the social networks can, among other things, register that you are on our website or where your location is and use this information for their own purposes. The processing of your data is the responsibility of the respective operator in accordance with its privacy policy. We do not receive any information about you from them.
If you communicate with us via such social networks or comment on or distribute our content, we collect the relevant information and process it in accordance with our Privacy Policy.
When you visit our social media pages, data (e. g. about your user behaviour) may be transmitted directly to or collected by the provider in question and processed together with other data already known to the provider (e. g. for marketing and market research purposes and for personalising the platform content). Further information on data processing by the providers of social networks, the countries in which they process your data and your rights is to be found in the privacy policies of the respective social networks.

6.5 Shop

We use cookies to store the contents of the shopping cart. As soon as the order process is complete or the shopping cart is reset to 0, this data is deleted again unless you have logged into your customer account. We process our customers’ data as part of the order processes in our online shop in order to enable customers to select and order the selected products and services, as well as to pay for and deliver them or provide them. The data processed includes master data, communication data, payment data, and the data subjects affected by the processing include our customers, interested parties and other business partners. The processing takes place for the purpose of providing contractual services as part of the operation of an online shop, billing, delivery and customer services. In doing so, we use session cookies to store the contents of the shopping cart and permanent cookies to store the login status. The data is used exclusively to maintain the customer relationship between the users and the Swiss Ornithological Institute and for information and fundraising purposes.


7. Duration of processing of your personal data

We only process your data for as long as it is necessary for the respective purpose and for the fulfilment of our contractual and legal obligations, including statutory retention obligations (usually 10 years), or if you have given us your consent to do so. We continue to process your data for as long as we have a legitimate interest in storing it. This may be the case in particular if we require personal data to assert or defend against claims, for archiving purposes, and to ensure IT security.


8. Your rights

You have several choices when using this website. You may choose not to provide any information at all by not filling out any relevant forms or data fields on our website, by blocking cookies and by not using any of the available personalised services.

If you choose to provide personal data or provide it to us in connection with our business relationship, you have, under certain circumstances and to the extent permitted by applicable law, the right to access, rectify and erase your data, the right to restrict data processing and withdraw your consent to data processing and, where applicable, the right to data portability and the right to object. Your rights are not absolute. We reserve the right to enforce the restrictions provided for by law. We will inform you accordingly.

If you would like to assert your rights with us, please contact us in writing (by post or e-mail) and enclose proof of your identity.

Furthermore, every data subject has the right to assert their claims in court or to lodge a complaint with the competent data protection authority. The competent data protection authority in Switzerland is the Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner. A list of the European data protection authorities can be found here.


9. Subject to alteration

The Privacy Policy does not form part of any contract with you. We reserve the right to amend this Privacy Policy at any time, in particular if we change the way in which we process data or if new legislation becomes applicable. The version published on this website is the current version; previous versions are replaced by the new version.


The German version of the privacy policy is the legally valid version in any case.

Last updated: 11.04.2024