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  • Privacy Policy

    © Universität Bielefeld

Privacy Policy

This privacy statement informs you as a visitor to our internet pages about the use of personal data which is processed within the central website of Bielefeld University. With this privacy statement, Bielefeld University as the data controller fulfils its obligation to provide information in accordance with Art. 13 of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (EU-GDPR). 
On internet pages in which data is collected via forms, additional information is provided on the processing of personal data gathered there.

Bielefeld University is responsible for this website. The University is a statutory body under public law supported by the State of North Rhine-Westphalia. It is represented by the Rektor, Professor Dr. Ing. Gerhard Sagerer.


Contact details of responsible parties

Universität Bielefeld
Universitätsstraße 25

33615 Bielefeld

Phone: 0521 / 106 - 00

Contact details of the data protection officers

The data protection officers of Bielefeld University can be contacted by post at the above address or as follows:


Phone: 0521 / 106 - 5225

Storage of browser data

Generally, when you visit a website, information is automatically stored for technical reasons in server log files that your browser transmits to us. This information consists of:

  • IP address
  • file names
  • access status (http status code)
  • amount of data retrieved
  • date and time of the server request
  • referrer URL (the previously visited page will only be saved in the log in case of an error (Error 404)

These collected data are used for purposes of identification and to detect unauthorized attempts to access the web server and cannot be assigned to a specific individual. A comparison with other databases or a disclosure to third parties does not take place. Data is stored for seven days and erased after it has been used for anonymous evaluation for statistical purposes. Data the further retention of which is required for evidentiary purposes shall be exempted from the deletion until the final clarification of the respective incident.

Forms and web-based services

At some places on the website of Bielefeld University there is the option to share additional personal data by way of forms or through the use of web-based services. For example, a user may request information using a web-form or subscribe to a newsletter. The use of these services takes place on a voluntary basis. Details as to which data are collected and processed in each case are stated in the corresponding forms or web-services. The use of these additional features and the associated input of personal data is undertaken solely on a voluntary basis by the user. The data will be processed exclusively for the purpose stated there. If data is passed on to a third party, this will only be done on the basis of a legal permission or with the informed consent of the data subject.


Your browser also stores so-called "cookies". Cookies are small files that can be stored by the website provider in the directory of the browser programme on the user's computer. These files contain text information and can be read again by the provider when the page is revisited. The provider can use these cookies, for example, to always deliver pages in the language selected by the user.

The storage of cookies can be switched off in your browser settings or assigned an expiry date. By deactivating cookies, however, you may not be able to use certain functions of the website that are managed via cookies which could have a negative impact upon the usability of the website.

Bielefeld University uses cookies for the following purposes on its website:

Recognition of a user during a session in order to assign language preference and other personal settings (e.g. with a session cookie).
Anonymous recognition of a user by the web analysis software Matomo (formerly: Piwik). The cookie "PIWIK_SESSID" or similar has a lifespan of one week and is then deleted from your browser. When you visit the website again, the validity is reset to one week.
Storage of the user's objection to tracking by the web analysis software Matomo (formerly: Piwik) in the permanent cookie "matamo_ignore"

In addition, optional cookies are used on this website for website analysis with the Siteimprove software. The usage analysis carried out in this way is anonymised and does not allow any conclusions to be drawn about individual visitors.

  • Cookie name: nmstat
    • Cookie type: Persistent – expires after 1000 days
    • About: This cookie is used to help record the visitor’s use of the website. It is used to collect statistics about site usage such as when the visitor last visited the site. This information is then used to improve the user experience on the website. This Siteimprove Analytics cookie contains a randomly generated ID used to recognize the browser when a visitor reads a page. The cookie contains no personal information and is used only for web analytics. It is also used to track the sequence of pages a visitor looks at during a visit to the site. This information can be used to reduce user journeys, and enable visitors to find relevant information quicker.
  • Cookie name: AWSELB / AWSELBCOR
    • Cookie type: Persistent – expires after 7 days
    • About: The AWSALB cookie ensures that all page views for the same visit (user session) are sent to the same endpoint. This enables us to determine the sequence of a user's page views needed for features like Behavior Tracking and Funnels.

Furthermore, individual web applications (learning platforms, forums, blogs, etc.) linked via the web pages may set additional cookies if necessary. These are detailed in the privacy policy statements of the respective services, insofar as they deviate from this privacy policy.

Possibility of objection and removal

You can consent to the collection of your data by Siteimprove Analytics by activating the following checkbox. If you deactivate the checkbox, you object to the collection of your data by Siteimprove.

Web analysis using Matomo (formerly Piwik)

Bielefeld University uses the web analysis software of the open source project "Matomo" to optimise its website.

In order to generate statistics, the web analysis software evaluates the following data from a visit to its website:

the website/address accessed
anonymised IP address
date and time of the page view
amount of data retrieved
web page or search engine from which you accessed a page (referrer)
browser type and browser version / operating system used

These stored data are anonymised (are not assigned to individuals) and used solely to improve our online services. Anonymisation is achieved by shortening the IP address, so that it cannot be linked to any device or person.

You can object to the recording of tracking information. A so-called deactivation cookie can be stored in your browser for this purpose. If you delete the deactivation cookie from your browser, you must repeat the process.

Here you can decide whether a unique web analysis cookie may be stored on your browser in order to enable the operator of the website to collect and analyse various statistical data.

If you wish to opt out, uncheck the following box to place the Matomo deactivation cookie on your browser. Your visit to this website is currently being tracked by the Matomo Web Analytics Cookie.

If you delete the opt-out cookie from your browser, you must repeat the process.

Search function of the website of Bielefeld University

The University provides a search function on its website.

This search function is a service that lies within the responsibility of the University Library Bielefeld. No data will be transferred to third parties when accessing the webpages of Bielefeld University. When you make a search query, the search terms, your IP address and browser information are saved in a server log file (see section on storage of browser data). A cookie with the name "SearchUniBI" is placed on your browser when you visit the University search page and deleted when you leave the page.

The use of social media

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

The website of Bielefeld University does not embed social media plugins (e.g. "like" buttons) of the social networks Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. This means that no data is transferred to external social networks when you access the University website. However, once you click on the icons/symbols/links of the social networks which are found on the University website you will visit the pages they link to and therefore leave the webpages which lie within the responsibility of Bielefeld University. Upon visiting the external websites, the conditions of the respective provider/social network apply.


For the integration of videos onto their website, Bielefeld University uses the service provider YouTube LLC, 901 Cherry Avenue, San Bruno, CA 94066, represented by Google Inc., 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA 94043, USA. Normally, when you visit a page with embedded videos, your IP address is sent to YouTube and cookies are installed on your computer. However, Bielefeld University has enabled the "privacy-enhanced mode" for YouTube videos on its website (in this case, YouTube still contacts Google's DoubleClick service, but according to Google's privacy policy, personal data is not evaluated). This means that YouTube will not store information on visitors to the University website unless they watch on the video. If you click on the video to watch it, your IP address will be transmitted to YouTube and YouTube will know that you viewed the video. If you are logged in to YouTube, this information is also associated with your user account (you can prevent this by logging out of YouTube account before viewing the video).

Bielefeld University has neither knowledge of nor influence over the collection and use of your data by YouTube. Further information can be found in YouTube's privacy statement entnehmen. For general information on how to manage and disable cookies, please refer to the cookies section on this page.


Videos of the video platform Panopto are also embedded on the pages of the University website. This video platform is operated by the provider Panopto EMEA Limited, Highgate Studios, 53-79 Highgate Road, London NW5 1TL, UK. Any data collected when a page with embedded Panopto videos is accessed (IP address, content of the Panopto session cookie on your browser) cannot be viewed by Bielefeld University and can only be viewed by Panopto EMEA Limited with the express permission of Bielefeld University. Further information on Panopto's privacy policy can be found at


Bielefeld University maintains a presence on the social media platform Facebook of the company Facebook Ireland Ltd., 4 Grand Canal Square, Grand Canal Harbour, Dublin 2, Ireland.

In accordance with the judgement of the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) in Case C-210/16, the social network operator Facebook, Facebook Ireland Ltd., and the administrator of the Facebook page, Bielefeld University, are regarded as jointly responsibility for the processing of data of visitors to the page. The data collected and processed by Facebook and Bielefeld University are described below.

Data collection and processing by Facebook

When you visit our Facebook page, you are accessing a service that is technically provided by Facebook Ireland. By doing so, you already transmit various personal data when you click on the site, such as your IP address or cookie information, through which you can be identified as the person who visits the page.

We would like to point out that when accessing Facebook, the user's data may be processed outside of the European Union. This may entail risks for users, e.g. by making it more difficult to enforce user's rights. It is important to note that companies such as Facebook, which are certified under the Privacy Shield, have committed themselves to comply with EU data protection standards.

Which data Facebook stores and how these data are use are described in its own data use policy. You will also find contact information for Facebook here:

Bielefeld University has no influence over the extent to which Facebook uses the data from visits to Facebook pages for its own purposes, the degree to which activities on the Facebook page are assigned to individual users, how long Facebook stores such data and whether data from a visit to the Facebook page is passed on to third parties.

Data collection and processing by Bielefeld University

Bielefeld University, as the administrator of the Facebook page of Bielefeld University does not collect or process any personal data. Please note, however, that information about your profile will be visible when you interact with the content of our page or use the Facebook messaging service to contact Bielefeld University.

Within the framework of the statistics provided by Facebook (Facebook Insights), we collect and evaluate anonymous data on the basis of our legitimate interests (i.e. interest in the analysis, optimisation and economic operation of our online services in accordance with Art. 6 Para. 1 lit. f. of the General Data Protection Regulation (EU GDPR). As the page administrator, Bielefeld University evaluates anonymised information provided by Facebook, such as the number of people or accounts who have viewed, responded to or commented on our posts, as well as aggregated demographic information.

Bielefeld University collects and processes the above-named data and log files required for the technical operation of the website in order to safeguard the technical security of the systems. It also collects and processes data in the context of web analysis in order to safeguard the legitimate interests of the University in accordance with Art. 6 Para. 1 lit. f. of the General Data Protection Regulation (EU-GDPR). These data are necessary to deliver our online services, for the secure operation of the web servers as well as to improve our website and are only used for the purposes as stated in each case.

The processing of additional data via forms and web-based services shall only be lawful if the data subject has given consent pursuant to Art. 6 para.1 lit. a. of EU GDPR or is necessary for the performance of a task carried out by Bielefeld University pursuant to Art. 6 para. 1 lit. e. in conjunction with the Higher Education Act of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia (HG NRW).

As a matter of principle, we do not pass on personal data which is processed during a visit to Bielefeld University's internet pages to third parties. In some circumstances, this may be necessary if we are required by law to do so, for example, transmission to criminal prosecution authorities to clarify criminal offences within the framework of the provisions of the German Code of Criminal Procedure (StPO) or for the purpose of asserting claims for damages in the event of copyright infringements. Where technical service providers have access to personal data, this happens on the basis of a contract pursuant to Art. 28 of EU GDPR.

No personal data is transferred to countries outside the European Economic Area and associated countries (no third country transfer). If this should become necessary you will be informed.

The processing of personal data by Siteimprove for the purpose of web analytics is based on a contract pursuant to Art. 28 DSGVO.

As a data subject, you can assert the rights granted to you by the EU-GDPR at any time, insofar as these apply to the data processing:

  • the right of access by you as the data subject to obtain confirmation of whether and which data concerning you are being processed (Art. 15 EU GDPR);
  • the right to request rectification of inaccurate or incomplete data pertaining to you (Art. 16 EU GDPR)
  • the right to erasure of your personal data in accordance with Art. 17 EU GDPR
  • the right in accordance with Art. 18 EU GDPR to obtain restriction of data processing;
  • the right to object to the future processing of your personal data in accordance with Art. 21 EU GDPR.

In order to operate and maintain the web services of Bielefeld University it is necessary that we collect data and store data in log files. Users may therefore not object to this. Although IP addresses may be regarded as personal data, the University does not assign them to individuals. Because of this, the University cannot fulfil a request by the user for information as there is no IP address associated with them.

In addition to the aforementioned rights, you have the right to lodge a complaint with the respective data protection supervisory authority (Art. 77 EU GDPR).

Validity of this privacy statement

We reserve the right to amend our privacy policy, in order to adapt to changes in relevant laws and regulation and to better meet your needs as the user of our website.

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