Data Privacy Statement
RP Photonics Consulting GmbH takes privacy matters very serious. We do our best to strictly observe the relatively strict German data protection law and to provide all our services with particularly high respect for privacy. Therefore, on this page we explain in detail and with clarity, how we deal with data and for which purposes.
The subject of data protection are all data which are directly or indirectly related to persons such as names, postal addresses, e-mail addresses, telephone numbers and IP addresses.
Surfing on our Website
The majority of our very comprehensive Internet services can be used totally anonymously, i.e., without entering any personal data. We do not require that users register on our website for such services.
If you call pages on our website or download documents or programs, these requests are normally automatically registered (with exceptions explained below). However, no personal data are stored. In particular, we do not store the IP addresses of our users, but only store anonymized hash values, from which the original IP addresses could not be retrieved, and the country information obtained from the IP address (using a local database, i.e., not by sending the IP address to an external service). We also store the so-called “user agent”, a specification delivered by your browser. The combination of the hash value of the IP address and the user agent is used for estimating the number of unique users in our usage statistics and for the analysis of usage patterns on our website, thus finally for the further improvement of our website. The country information is used for statistical purposes.
We do not use so-called “browser fingerprinting”. The stored data are used only for statistical analysis of the website usage and are not transmitted to third parties. We never try to identify particular users of our website. Therefore, we also do not undertake any attempts to identify or localize users based on IP addresses, for example. Also, we do not use any cookies on our website, with a single exception: a no-tracking cookie as explained below, if you wish that.
We offer two ways in which you can suppress the user tracking – which means that our server does not even store the anonymized IP-based hash value and the user agent when you load a page:
- You can activate the “Do Not Track” feature in your browser settings. (In your browser, that feature is currently not activated.)
- Alternatively, you can let our server set a no-tracking cookie in your browser. That cookie will suppress the user tracking on our website for your browser, as long as it is not removed and cookies are allowed in your browser settings. For creating or removing that cookie, use our no-tracking cookie page. (In your browser, the cookie is currently not activated.)
We emphasize, however, that even without the “Do Not Track” setting or the mentioned cookie we would to our best knowledge never do anything which could allow the tracking of any individual users based on browsing our website. Therefore, it should actually be unnessary to take such measures, which somewhat degrade the quality of our web statistics.
Our web server is operated in Germany according to German data protection law. For example, it is configured such that no Apache web logs are stored, since they would contain IP addresses and thus be questionable in terms of privacy. In principle, the operator of our Web server has access to various data mentioned on this page; however, this company is bound by German data protection law.
Since 2015-08-16, the web server delivers all pages in encrypted form (via HTTPS). That change improves security and privacy in various respects. For example, if you surf on our encyclopedia, using your notebook in a hotel with a non-encrypted WLAN connection (and without a VPN tunnel), other parties in that hotel cannot watch any longer which pages you are visiting and what feedback you are submitting. Also, it is prevented that someone can manipulate the page content on the way to you (e.g. with insertion of malicious code).
Partly, we use certain buttons for using social media such as Google+, Facebook and Twitter. As the original forms of these buttons appear questionable to us, we use modified forms, which ensure that data of users are transmitted to the operators of these services only if the users really use these buttons.
We also do our best to ensure that no third parties obtain access to our usage data, as far as that would go beyond the very restricted data transfers explicitly mentioned on this page. In particular, we do not cooperate with any advertising networks, also not with Google Analytics.
Some search pages use Google custom search; however, they send information to a Google server only if the search functionality is actually used.
We publish some data of our usage statistics (for example, in relation to our advertising offers), which however do not contain any personal data.
Feedback of the Users
Many of our pages contain a form with which users can send their feedback in a privacy-friendly manner. Here, it is not required for them to identify themselves as users, except of course if they wish an answer from us. Again, we store the related data in a form which is uncritical in terms of privacy, in particular without direct storage of IP addresses, and do not share them with any third parties.
We offer various newsletters, which you can receive via e-mail. If you register for a newsletter (via “double opt-in”) or cancel your subscription, this process is permanently stored in a file in our server. If you want your address to be permanently removed from that file, you can tell us (ideally via letter or telephone).
We assure you that we use these data only for sending these newsletters. We do not share these data with third parties, except from our German e-mail provider, as we send the e-mails themselves, using that provider.
We strictly avoid sending our newsletters too frequently, which might be disturbing for our readers.
In rare cases, we do some surveys, e.g. related to users of our software, consulting customers or users of our website. We limit the collected information to what is required for the purpose (essentially statistics) and do not share it with third parties; at most, we release non-personal statistical evaluations.
Our RP Photonics Buyer's Guide contains many entries from companies offering products in the area of photonics. Occasionally, these companies receive statistical usage data, but never in a form which would allow them to identify users.
The same holds for companies using banners on our website.
Right of Access and Withdrawal
On request, we will inform you on your data which are stored on our website. You can have such data corrected or deleted at any time, only with the following limitations:
- The anonymized data stored for statistical purposes (see above) cannot be changed or deleted. This is exactly because at this place we do not have any relation of data to persons and can thus not filter out data of particular persons.
- Our incoming and outgoing e-mails are, as requested by German law, safely archived. We are not able to delete any archived e-mails.