top of page

General Privacy Policy

1.What is this privacy policy about? 


The Wyss Academy for Nature at the University of Bern (hereinafter also “Wyss Academy”, “we” or “us”) processes personal data relating to you or other individuals in different ways and for different purposes.  

Personal data” means all information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person, and “processing” means any operation with it, such as collecting, using, and disclosing it.  

This privacy policy explains our processing of such data (hereinafter referred to as personal data or data) when  

  • you visit our website,  

  • you purchase our services or products, 

  • you are otherwise associated with us by contract, 

  • you contact us via email, letter, on social media, by text message, via a contact form, etc.,  

  • you register for our newsletter

  • you deal with us in the context of all other data processing related to our offers.  

For ease of reading, this privacy policy does not mention more than one gender. However, we refer to persons of all genders. 

Please take the time to read this privacy notice to learn how and why Wyss Academy processes your personal data, how Wyss Academy protects your personal data and what rights you have in this context. If you have any questions or would like further information about our data processing, please do not hesitate to contact us (para. 2).  

We have aligned this privacy notice with both the Swiss Federal Act on Data Protection (FADP) and the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). However, whether and to what extent the GDPR is applicable at all depends on the individual case. 

2.Who is responsible for processing your data? 


For the data processing according to this privacy notice, the following company is the “controller”, i.e. the party primarily responsible under data protection law unless otherwise communicated in individual cases: 

Wyss Academy for Nature at the University of Bern 

Kochergasse 4 

3011 Berne 


If you have any questions regarding data protection, please feel free to contact us at the following address so that we can process your request as quickly as possible:


3. What personal data do we process?  


We process different categories of personal data depending on the occasion and purpose. You will find the most important categories below, whereby this list cannot be exhaustive.  

For contracting parties that are companies, we process less personal data because the applicable data protection law generally only covers data of natural persons (i.e. human beings) (in Switzerland, the revised data protection law from September 2023). However, we do process data of the contact persons with whom we are in contact, e.g. name, contact details, professional details and details obtained from communications, details of members of management, etc. as part of the general information about companies with which we work. 

You may provide us with data that relates to other individuals, such as work colleagues. If you do submit data concerning third parties, we understand that you confirm this data is correct and that you are authorised to provide us with this data. We ask you to inform these third parties about our processing of their data (for example, by a reference to this privacy policy). 


3.1. Master data 

Master data is the basic data that we need to process our business relationships or for marketing and advertising purposes and that relates directly to your person and characteristics. For example, we process the following master data: 

  • salutation, surname and first name, gender 

  • address, contact details such as e-mail address and telephone and mobile number 

  • nationality 

  • further information from identification documents 

  • language preference declaration 

  • details of occupational profile and employment (e.g. terms of employment, employer, start of employment) and training, if applicable 

  • in case of contact persons of companies also relations to the company you are working for 

We usually obtain this master data from you directly but possibly also from other persons who work for your company but may also obtain personal data from third parties, for example, from agencies you work for or from third parties such as our contracting parties, associations, and from publicly accessible sources such as public registers or the internet (websites, social media, etc.). 


3.2. Contract data 

Contract data is information that incurs in connection with the conclusion or execution of a contract, for example information about contracts and cooperative partnerships and the services to be rendered or the services rendered, as well as data from the period prior to the conclusion of a contract, information on the conclusion of the contract itself (e.g. the closing date and the subject matter of the contract), as well as the information required or used for the execution. For example, we process the following contract data: 

  • date, information on the type and duration as well as conditions of the respective contract or project, data concerning the termination of the contract or project; 

  • contact details; 

  • information on the use of services; 

  • information on payments and payment methods, invoices, mutual claims, contact with customer service, complaints, feedback, etc. 

We receive this data from you, but also from partners with whom we work. Again, this data may relate to your company, in which case it is not ”personal data“, but it may also relate to you if you work for a company or if you obtain services from us. 


3.3. Communication data  

Communication data is data in connection with our communication with you, for example, when you contact us via contact form or via other means of communication. Communication data is, for example:  

name and contact details such as e.g. postal address, e-mail address and telephone number; 

content of correspondence (e.g. of e-mails, written correspondence, telephone conversations, etc.); 

information on the type, time and, if applicable, location of the communication and other peripheral data of the communication.  


3.4. Technical data 

Technical data is generated in connection with the use of our website. This includes, for example, the following data: 

  • The IP address of the end device and device ID; 

  • information about your device, the operating system of your end device or language settings; 

  • information about your internet provider; 

  • accessed content or protocols in which the use of our systems is recorded; 

  • date and time of access to the website and your approximate location. 


3.5. Preference data

Preference data tells us which needs you are likely to have, and which services and projects might meet your interest or the interest of your company. We therefore also process data regarding your interests and preferences. For this purpose, we can link behavioural data with other data and evaluate this data on a personal and non-personal basis. This allows us to draw conclusions about characteristics, preferences, and anticipated behaviour. 

3.6. Other data 

We may also collect data from you in other situations. In connection with official or judicial proceedings, for example, data (such as files, evidence, etc.) incurs that may also relate to you. We may also obtain or produce photographs, videos, and sound recordings in which you may be identifiable (e.g. at events). We may also collect data on who enters certain buildings and when or has corresponding access rights (incl. in the case of access controls, based on registration data or visitor lists, etc.), who participates in events and who uses our infrastructure and systems and when.  

4. For what purposes do we process your personal data? 


We use the personal data we collect primarily for collaboration with you. In addition, we also process your personal data, to the extent permitted and deemed appropriate, for other purposes in which we (and sometimes third parties) have a legitimate interest corresponding to the purpose: 

  • For communication purposes, i.e. to contact you and to stay in contact with you. This includes answering inquiries and contacting you in case of queries, e.g. by e-mail. For this purpose, we especially process your communication and master data. 

  • For customer care and marketing purposes to offer you targeted information about new offers according to your personal interests and preferences, for example, through the newsletter and personalised advertising. For this purpose, we especially process technical data, master data and communication data.  

  • We also process data to improve our services and for product development

  • To ensure IT security and for prevention: we process personal data to monitor the performance of our company, in particular IT, our website, applications, and other platforms, for security purposes, to ensure IT security, to prevent theft, fraud and abuse, and for evidence purposes. This includes, for example, the evaluation of technical records of the use of our systems (log data), the prevention, defence and investigation of cyber-attacks and malware attacks, analyses and tests of our networks and IT infrastructures, system and error checks. 

  • To maintain the internal rules and other measures for IT, building and facility security and for the protection of our employees and other persons and assets belonging to or entrusted to us (such as access controls, visitor lists, network and mail scanners). 

  • To protect our rights: we may also process personal data to enforce claims in or out of court and before authorities in Switzerland and abroad, or to defend ourselves against claims. For this purpose, master data and communication data may be processed. 

  • To comply with legal requirements: this includes, for example, the processing of complaints and other notifications, compliance with orders of a court or an authority, measures to detect and investigate abuses, and generally measures that we are obliged to take by applicable law, self-regulation, or industry standards. For this purpose, we may especially process your master data and communication data. 

  • For administration and support: to shape our internal processes efficiently, we process data as far as necessary for the administration of IT, for accounting or for archiving data. For this purpose, particularly communication and behavioural data as well as technical data may be used. 

  • We may also process data for other purposes. These include company management, including business organization and other internal processes and administrative purposes (e.g. management of master data, accounting and archiving), as well as educational purposes. 

If we ask for your consent for certain processing activities, we will inform you separately about the corresponding purposes of the processing. You can revoke your consent at any time by written notice.  

5. What online tracking and online advertising techniques do we use? 


On our website, we use various techniques to let us and third parties consulted by us recognise you when you use our website and, in some cases, track you across multiple visits. The use of such techniques is regulated separately. The following section provides information on this topic. 

5.1. How and for what purpose do we use cookies and similar technologies? 


We use third-party services for our website to measure and improve the user experience of the website and online advertising campaigns. For this purpose, we may embed third-party components on our website, which may in turn use cookies. When we track you or use similar technologies, the core purpose is to enable us to distinguish access by you (via your system) from access by other users so that we can ensure the functionality of the website and perform statistical analyses. We do not want to identify you in this process. The technology used is designed to recognise you as an individual visitor each time you access the site, for example, by having our server (or the servers of third parties) assign a specific identification number to you or your browser (so-called "cookie"). 

Cookies are files that your browser automatically stores on your end device when you visit our website. Cookies contain a unique identification number (an ID) that allows us to distinguish individual visitors from others, but usually without identifying them. Depending on the purpose, cookies contain further information, for example, on accessed sites and the duration of the visit to a site. On the one hand, we use session cookies, which are deleted again when the browser is closed, and on the other hand, we use permanent cookies, which remain stored for a certain duration after the browser is closed and are used to recognise visitors on a subsequent visit. 

We use the following types of cookies and similar technologies: 

  • Necessary cookies: necessary cookies are required for the functionality of the websites, for example, to allow you to switch between sites without losing information entered in a form. 

  • Performance cookies: these cookies collect information about the use of a website and enable analyses, for example, which sites are most popular. They can thereby simplify the visit to a website and improve the user experience. 

  • Functional cookies: functional cookies enable advanced features and can display personalised content.  

  • Marketing cookies: marketing cookies help us and our advertising partners to target you on our websites and on websites of third parties with advertisements for products or services that may be of interest to you or to display our advertisements during your further internet use after visiting our websites. 


We particularly use cookies for the following purposes: 

  • personalisation of content; 

  • displaying personalised advertisements and offers; 

  • displaying ads on third-party websites and measuring their success, i.e. whether you respond to these ads; 

  • save settings between your visits; 

  • determining whether and how we can improve our website; 

  • collection of statistical data on the number of users and their usage habits, as well as to improve the speed and performance of the website; 

  • we may process your contact details to target you with advertisement on third-party platforms. 


We may also use similar technologies (e.g. LinkedIn Insight Tags, Pixel Tags or Fingerprints) to store data in the browser. Pixel Tags refer to small, usually invisible images or a program code that are loaded from a server and thereby transmit certain information to the operator of the server, e.g. whether and when the website was visited. Fingerprints are information that is collected when you visit our website via the configuration of your end device or your browser, and which make your end device distinguishable from other devices.  


5.2. How can cookies and similar technologies be disabled? 


When accessing our website, you have the option to activate or deactivate certain categories of cookies. You can configure your browser in the settings to block certain cookies or similar technologies or delete existing cookies and other data stored in the browser. You can also enhance your browser with software (so-called “plug-ins”) that blocks tracking by certain third parties. You can find out more about this in the help pages of your browser (usually under the heading “Privacy”). Please note that our website may no longer fully function if you block cookies and similar technologies.  

5.3. Cookies from partners and third parties on our website 


We use third-party services to help us measure and improve the user experience of the website and online advertising campaigns. Third-party service providers may be located outside Switzerland and the EU/EEA, provided that the protection of your personal data is adequately ensured. For example, we use analytical services to allow us to optimise our website. The respective third-party providers may record the use of the website for this purpose and combine their recordings with further information from other websites. This allows them to record user behaviour across multiple websites and end devices in order to provide us with statistical evaluations on this basis. The providers may also use this information for their own purposes, e.g. for personalised advertising on their own website or other websites.  

Two of the most important third-party providers are Google and Meta/Facebook. You can find more information about them and also about the tool LinkedIn Insight Tag below. Other third-party providers generally process personal and other data in a similar way. 

  • Google Analytics, an analysis service of Google LLC (1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA, USA) and Google Ireland Ltd. (Google Building Gordon House, Barrow St, Dublin 4, Ireland; jointly "Google", with Google Ireland Ltd. being responsible for the processing of personal data). Google uses cookies and similar technologies to collect certain information on the behaviour of individual users on or in the relevant website as well as information on the end device used for this purpose (tablet, PC, smartphone, etc.). Google collects information on the behaviour of users on the website and the end device used and provides us with evaluations on this basis, but also processes certain data for its own purposes. We have configured Google Analytics in a way that IP addresses of visitors are anonymised before being forwarded to the USA. You can find information on data protection at Google Analytics here. You can disable Google Analytics by installing a respective browser add-on

  • Meta Pixel, an analysis tool of Meta Platforms Ireland Ltd (4 Grand Canal Square, Grand Canal Harbour, Dublin 2, Ireland). This allows us to control advertisements on Meta and Meta's partners to be displayed only to users for whom advertisements are likely to be of interest. We can also measure the effectiveness of such advertisements for statistical and market research purposes. We are jointly responsible with Meta for sharing data that Meta receives from us, for displaying personalised advertisements, improving advertisement delivery, and personalising content. The data is stored on servers in the EU/EEA and the USA. Users may submit information requests and other inquiries directly to Meta/Facebook. Further information on data protection at Meta and corresponding settings options can be found here

  • LinkedIn Insight Tag, an analytical tool from LinkedIn Ireland Unlimited Company (Wilton Place, Dublin 2, Ireland). Using LinkedIn Tag, we are informed about you visiting our websites, whereby your IP address is also collected. In addition, timestamps and events such as access to websites are stored. This enables us to statistically evaluate your use of our website in order to constantly optimise it. For example, we learn which LinkedIn advertisement or interaction on LinkedIn you used to reach our website. This allows us to have better control over the display of our advertising. The data is stored on servers in the EU/EEA and the USA. We have configured LinkedIn Insight Tag to only forward visitors' IP addresses to the USA in a shortened or hashed version. Please note that LinkedIn can store the data allowing a connection to the respective user profile and LinkedIn can use the data for its own advertising purposes. Further information on LinkedIn's data protection and corresponding settings options can be found here

6. How do we process data in connection with social media?


We offer you the option on our website to use a ”social media plugin“ for Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter to incorporate features from these providers into our websites. These plugins are deactivated by default. As soon as you activate them (for example, by clicking the button), the corresponding providers can determine that you are on our website. If you have a corresponding account with the social media provider, they can allocate this information to you and thus track your use of online offers.  


We are generally jointly responsible with the respective providers for the exchange of data this provider collects via plugins or comparable functions (but not for further processing by a provider). Where possible, we have concluded a corresponding additional agreement with the provider. You can address requests for information and other data subject inquiries in connection with the joint responsibility directly to the respective provider. 


If you communicate with us via social media and our profiles there (e.g. on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) or comment on or share content, we collect information for this purpose, which we use primarily to communicate with you, for marketing purposes and for statistical evaluations. Please note that when you visit our social media sites the platform provider itself also collects and uses data (e.g. on user behaviour), possibly together with other data known to it (e.g. for marketing purposes or to personalise the platform content). For more information on data processing by social network providers, please refer to the privacy policies of the respective social networks. 

7. To whom do we disclose your personal data? 


In connection with our processing activities, we also disclose your personal data to other recipients (e.g. cooperation, research and implementation partners). 

We further disclose personal data to service providers as required for their services. This particularly concerns IT service providers, but also, analysis service providers, marketing service providers, etc. As far as service providers process personal data as processors, they are obliged to process personal data exclusively according to our instructions and to implement data security measures.  


Data may also be disclosed to other recipients, e.g. to courts and authorities as part of legal proceedings and legal information and cooperation duties, to buyers of companies and assets, to financing companies in the case of securitizations, and to collection agencies. 

In individual cases, it is possible that we also disclose personal data to other third parties for their own purposes, e.g. if you have given us your consent to do so or if we are legally obliged or entitled to disclose such data.  

8. Do we disclose personal data abroad? 


Recipients of data are not only located in Switzerland. These may be located outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland (especially in the USA but also in other regions and countries worldwide, especially Southeast Asia, South America, East Africa. For example, we may transmit data to authorities and other persons abroad if we are legally obliged to do so or, for example, in the context of a company sale or legal proceedings. Not all of these countries currently guarantee an adequate level of data protection according to the standards of Swiss law. We therefore take contractual precautions to contractually compensate for the lower level of legal protection, especially with the standard contractual clauses issued by the European Commission and recognised by the Swiss Data Protection and Information Commissioner (FDPIC).For more information and a copy of these clauses, please visit

In certain cases, we may transmit data in accordance with data protection law requirements even without such contracts, e.g. if you have consented to the corresponding disclosure or if the disclosure is necessary for the execution of the contract, for the establishment, exercise or enforcement of legal claims or for overriding public interests.  

9. How long do we process personal data? 


We store and process your personal data as long as it is necessary for the purpose of the processing (in the case of contracts, usually for the duration of the contractual relationship), as long as we have a legitimate interest in storing it (e.g. to enforce legal claims, for archiving or to ensure IT security) and as long as the data is subject to a legal retention obligation (for example, for certain data, a ten-year retention period applies). If there are no legal or contractual obligations to the contrary, we will destroy or anonymise your data after the storage or processing period has expired within our normal processes. 

10. What are the legal bases for data processing? 


As the case may be, data processing is only permitted if the applicable law specifically allows it. This does not apply under the FADP, but does apply, for example, under the GDPR as far as it is applicable. In this case, we base the processing of your personal data on the following legal bases: 

  • on your consent (Article 6(1)(a) and Article 9(2)(a) GDPR), 

  • that the processing is necessary for the performance of the contract or pre-contractual measures (e.g. the review of a contract proposal; Article 6(1)(b) GDPR), 

  • that the processing is necessary for the establishment or defence of legal claims or civil proceedings (Article 6(1)(f) and Article 9(2)(f) GDPR), 

  • that the processing is necessary for compliance with domestic or foreign legal provisions (Article 6(1)(c) and (f); Article 9(2)(g) GDPR), 

  • that the processing is necessary for a legitimate interest in the data processing, in particular the interests mentioned in section 4 (Article 6(1)(f) GDPR).] 

11. How do we protect your data? 


We take appropriate security measures to protect the confidentiality, integrity and availability of your personal data to protect it against unauthorised or unlawful processing and to protect it against the risks of loss, accidental alteration, or unauthorised access. However, security risks cannot be completely ruled out; residual risks are unavoidable. 

12. What rights do you have? 


Under the applicable data protection law, you have certain rights to obtain further information about and influence our data processing. Particularly, these are the following rights:  

  • Access right: you can request further information about our data processing. We are at your disposal for this purpose. You can also submit a so-called information request if you wish to receive further information and a copy of your data. 

  • Objection and deletion: you may object to our data processing and request that we delete your personal data at any time if we are not obliged to continue processing or storing this data and if it is not necessary for the contract. 

  • Correction: you can have incorrect or incomplete personal data corrected or completed or complemented by a note that indicates your objection. 

  • Data portability: you also have the right to receive the personal data you have provided to us in a structured, common and machine-readable format or to have it transferred to a third party, as far as the respective data processing is based on your consent or is necessary for the execution of the contract. 

  • Revocation: if we process data based on your consent, you can revoke your consent at any time. The revocation is only valid for the future, and we reserve the right to continue to process data based on another basis in the event of a revocation. 


If you wish to exercise any rights against us, please contact us in writing. You will find our contact details in section 2. As a rule, we will have to verify your identity (e.g. by means of a copy of your ID card). You are also free to file a complaint against our processing of your data with the competent supervisory authority. The competent supervisory authority in Switzerland is the Swiss Data Protection and Information Commissioner (FDPIC)


Status of this privacy policy: August 7th, 2023 

bottom of page