Responsible handling of personal data is a priority for the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. We want our users to know when the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy is collecting what data and for what purpose.

We have taken technical and organisational measures to ensure that both we as well as external service providers comply with the provisions governing data protection.

Personal data

In principle, the web services provided by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy are accessible to you without the need for disclosing your identity.

What is personal data?
Personal data is the term used to denote information (such as names, addresses, postal addresses, phone numbers) that allows for users’ identities to be known. This does not apply to information that is not linked to a person’s identity (such as the number of users visiting a website).

Data collection and storage

The Ministry uses a web tracking tool to obtain anonymous data about user visits to our websites. This data can be used to create pseudonimised use profiles. The cookies placed on your computer are solely used to draw conclusions about the use patterns on the Ministry’s websites and to regularly review the information services we provide to our users. No personal data is retained or passed on to third parties. It is possible to withhold or withdraw consent to the future collection and storage of data at any time.

If you use our contact form or write to us per email, your data will be stored so that we can correspond with you.

If we receive a message from you via the contact form or via email, we assume that we have the right to respond via email. Otherwise, you must explicitly ask us to use another channel of communication.

All content submitted via the contact forms of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy is transmitted via an encrypted https link.

Communication via email is vulnerable to security risks. It is possible, for instance, that emails sent to the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy may be stopped and viewed by skilled internet users.

Whenever the contact form is being used, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy receives not only the information inserted in the data fields, but also the sender’s IP address. In principle, the same is true whenever a normal email is sent. Before the contact form is sent, you will be asked to agree to having your IP address transmitted and stored. The IP address will only be used for the purpose of public prosecution under criminal law and to combat threats in line with the applicable legislation.

Enquiries from the general public, both in paper and electronic form, are stored in accordance with the statutory time limits for retaining written records established by the Registry Directive (Registraturrichtlinie), which complements the Joint Rules of Procedure of the Federal Ministries (Gemeinsame Geschäftsordnung der Bundesministerien, GGO).

If you order information material or brochures, subscribe to newsletters, or register for a forum or database operated by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, we will ask for your name and other personal data. You are free to decide whether or not to provide this information. By entering your data, you consent to it being used for the purpose/s specified. We store this data on secure servers in Germany. Only a very limited number of specially authorised individuals who are involved with the technical, commercial or editorial management of the servers have access to this data.

We only store your data for as long as we need it for the specified use. For example, your data will be deleted if you cancel a subscription to a newsletter or once we have sent you the requested information.

In addition to this, we store data for statistical and security purposes whenever our servers are accessed. More specifically, the IP address submitted by the internet service providers, the data and time when our server was accessed, and the specific target addresses are stored for the duration of seven days. This data is used for the sole purpose of improving the web services provided by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy and is not traced back to individual users. Notwithstanding this, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy reserves the right to make use of certain data sets to arrive at personal data in cases of serious violations of our terms of use and in cases of unauthorised access or attempted unauthorised access to our servers.

Disclosure of data to third parties

Data collected in connection with access to the web services provided by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy is only transmitted to third parties in cases where the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy is obliged by law or by court order or where this is necessary for attacks on the internet infrastructure of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy to be prosecuted. Data will not be passed on for any other non-commercial or for commercial purposes.

In cases where personal data has been submitted for the purpose of ordering information material or brochures, this data will only be used within the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy and by the companies responsible for dispatching the brochures. No data will be passed on to third parties without your explicit consent.

Data protection statement for social media

The Ministry takes the ongoing debate about data protection in social networks very seriously. It is not yet clear whether and to what extent all the networks’ services are in compliance with European data protection rules.

We therefore explicitly draw your attention to the fact that the services used by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy store user data (e.g. personal information, IP address etc.) in line with their own guidelines on data usage and use it for commercial purposes.

The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy has no influence on the collection and use of the data by social networks. We are unable to ascertain the extent, the location and the duration of the data capture, the extent to which the networks meet obligations to delete data, what evaluations and links pertaining to the data are made, and to whom the data is forwarded.

Modification of the data protection statement

As our website (and the underlying technology) develop further, it may become necessary for us to change the terms of this data protection statement. We therefore recommend that you re-read this data protection statement from time to time.

Name and address of the person responsible for data processing
The person responsible within the meaning of the General Data Protection Regulation, of other data protection rules applicable in the EU Member States and of other related provisions is:

Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy
Public Relations Division
Responsibility within the meaning of Section 55 (2) of the Interstate Agreement on Broadcasting (Rundfunkstaatsvertrag) resides with:
Christina Sasch
Scharnhorststr. 34-37
10115 Berlin
Postal address: 11019 Berlin
Phone: +49 (0) 30-18 615-6141
Fax: +49 (0) 30-18 615-5208
Email: info@bmwi.bund.de
Website: www.bmwi.de