Privacy policy

With this Privacy Policy, we inform about the personal data we process in connection with our activities and tasks, including our website. We provide information in particular about the purposes, methods, and locations where we process personal data. We also provide information about the rights of individuals whose data we process.

For individual or additional activities and tasks, additional privacy policies as well as other legal documents such as Terms and Conditions (T&Cs), Terms of Use, or Participation Conditions may apply.

We are subject to Swiss data protection law as well as potentially applicable foreign data protection law, such as the data protection regulation of the European Union (EU) with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The European Commission acknowledges that Swiss data protection law ensures adequate data protection.

1. Contact Details

Responsible for the processing of personal data:

Christian Lässer
International Association of Scientific Tourism Experts
Dufourstrasse 40a, 9000 St. Gallen, Switzerland

We will indicate if there are other responsible parties for the processing of personal data in specific cases.

Data Protection Officers or Advisors

We have the following data protection officer or advisor as a point of contact for individuals and authorities with inquiries related to data protection:

Barbara Bieger
International Association of Scientific Tourism Experts
Dufourstrasse 40a, 9000 St. Gallen, Switzerland

2. Terms and Legal Bases

2.1 Terms

Personal data refers to any information relating to a specific or identifiable natural person. An affected person is a person about whom we process personal data.

Processing encompasses any handling of personal data, regardless of the means and methods used, such as querying, comparing, adapting, archiving, retaining, extracting, disclosing, acquiring, capturing, collecting, deleting, revealing, organizing, storing, altering, distributing, linking, destroying, and using personal data.

The European Economic Area (EEA) includes the Member States of the European Union, as well as the Principality of Liechtenstein, Iceland, and Norway. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) refers to the processing of personal data as the processing of personal data.

2.2 Legal Bases

We process personal data in accordance with Swiss data protection law, particularly the Federal Act on Data Protection (Data Protection Act, DPA), and the Ordinance on Data Protection (Data Protection Ordinance, DPO).

We process, to the extent the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is applicable, personal data according to at least one of the following legal bases:

  • Art. 6 par. 1 lit. b GDPR for the necessary processing of personal data to fulfill a contract with the data subject and to carry out pre-contractual measures.
  • Art. 6 par. 1 lit. f GDPR for the necessary processing of personal data to protect our legitimate interests or those of third parties, unless the fundamental freedoms and rights and interests of the data subject prevail. Legitimate interests include, in particular, our interest in exercising our activities and tasks permanently, user-friendly, securely, and reliably, and being able to communicate about them, ensuring information security, protection against misuse, enforcement of our legal claims, and compliance with Swiss law.
  • Art. 6 par. 1 lit. c GDPR for the necessary processing of personal data to fulfill a legal obligation to which we are subject under potentially applicable law of member states in the European Economic Area (EEA).
  • Art. 6 par. 1 lit. e GDPR for the necessary processing of personal data to perform a task carried out in the public interest.
  • Art. 6 par. 1 lit. a GDPR for the processing of personal data with the data subject's consent.
  • Art. 6 par. 1 lit. d GDPR for the necessary processing of personal data to protect the vital interests of the data subject or another natural person.

3. Nature, Scope, and Purpose

We process personal data that is necessary to carry out our activities and tasks permanently, user-friendly, securely, and reliably. Such personal data may particularly fall into categories of inventory and contact data, browser and device data, content data, meta or contextual data, usage data, location data, sales data, as well as contract and payment data.

We process personal data for the duration necessary for the respective purpose(s) or as required by law. Personal data that is no longer necessary for processing will be anonymized or deleted.

We may have personal data processed by third parties. We may process personal data jointly with third parties or transmit it to third parties. These third parties are particularly specialized providers whose services we use. We ensure data protection with these third parties as well.

We generally process personal data only with the consent of the data subjects. If and to the extent that processing is permissible for other legal reasons, we may refrain from obtaining consent. For instance, we may process personal data without consent to fulfill a contract, to fulfill legal obligations, or to safeguard overriding interests.

In this context, we particularly process information that an affected person voluntarily provides to us when contacting us – for example, by postal mail, email, instant messaging, contact form, social media, or telephone – or when registering for a user account. We may store such information, for example, in an address book or using similar tools. If we receive data about other individuals, the individuals transmitting the data are obligated to ensure data protection for these individuals and ensure the accuracy of this personal data.

Furthermore, we process personal data that we receive from third parties, obtain from publicly accessible sources, or collect in the course of our activities and tasks, to the extent and as long as such processing is legally permissible.

4. Applications

We process personal data of applicants to the extent necessary for assessing suitability for an employment relationship or for the subsequent execution of an employment contract. The necessary personal data arises primarily from the information provided, for example, within the scope of a job advertisement. We also process personal data that applicants voluntarily provide or publish, especially as part of cover letters, resumes, and other application documents, as well as online profiles.

We process – to the extent that the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is applicable – personal data of applicants particularly in accordance with Article 9 par. 2 b GDPR.

5. Personal Data Abroad

We generally process personal data in Switzerland and the European Economic Area (EEA). However, we may also export or transmit personal data to other countries, especially for processing purposes.

We can export personal data to all countries and territories on Earth, as well as elsewhere in the Universe, provided that the local law in accordance with the decision of the Swiss Federal Council ensures adequate data protection and – if and to the extent that the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is applicable – the decision of the European Commission ensures adequate data protection.

We can transmit personal data to countries where their law does not provide adequate data protection, provided that data protection is ensured for other reasons, especially based on standard data protection clauses or other appropriate safeguards. In exceptional cases, we can export personal data to countries without adequate or suitable data protection if the special data protection requirements are met, for example, the explicit consent of the data subjects or a direct connection with the conclusion or execution of a contract. Upon request, we are happy to provide data subjects with information about any guarantees or provide copies of such guarantees.

6. Rights of Data Subjects

6.1 Data Protection Claims

We grant data subjects all rights according to the applicable data protection law. Data subjects have the following rights in particular:

  • Information: Data subjects can request information about whether we process personal data about them and, if so, what personal data it concerns. Data subjects also receive information necessary to assert their data protection rights and ensure transparency. This includes the processed personal data as such, but also information about the purpose of processing, the duration of storage, any disclosure or export of data to other countries, and the origin of personal data.
  • Rectification and Restriction: Data subjects can rectify incorrect personal data, complete incomplete data, and restrict the processing of their data.
  • Deletion and Objection: Data subjects can request the deletion of personal data ("right to be forgotten") and object to the processing of their data for the future.
  • Data Disclosure and Data Portability: Data subjects can request the disclosure of personal data or the transfer of their data to another responsible party.

We can postpone, restrict, or deny the exercise of data subjects' rights within legally permissible limits. We can inform data subjects about any conditions to fulfill for the exercise of their data protection rights. For example, we may partially or completely deny information based on business secrets or the protection of other individuals. We may also partially or completely deny the deletion of personal data based on legal retention obligations.

We can exceptionally require costs for the exercise of rights. We inform data subjects in advance about any potential costs.

We are obligated to identify data subjects who request information or exercise other rights with appropriate measures within legally permissible limits. Data subjects are obligated to cooperate.

6.2 Right to Lodge a Complaint

Data subjects have the right to enforce their data protection claims in court or lodge a complaint with a competent data protection supervisory authority.

The data protection supervisory authority for private responsible parties and federal agencies in Switzerland is the Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner (FDPIC).

Data subjects also have the right – if and to the extent that the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is applicable – to lodge a complaint with a competent European data protection supervisory authority.

7. Data Security

We implement appropriate technical and organizational measures to ensure data security that is suitable for the respective risk. However, we cannot guarantee absolute data security.

Access to our website is secured using transport encryption (SSL / TLS, especially with Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure, abbreviated as HTTPS). Most browsers indicate transport encryption with a padlock icon in the address bar.

Our digital communication is subject to mass surveillance without cause or suspicion and other surveillance by security authorities in Switzerland, the rest of Europe, the United States of America (USA), and other countries – as is the case with all digital communication in general. We have no direct influence on the corresponding processing of personal data by intelligence agencies, police authorities, and other security authorities.

8. Use of the Website

8.1 Cookies

We may use cookies. Cookies – both first-party cookies and third-party cookies from services we use – are data stored in the browser. Such stored data is not limited to traditional text-form cookies.

Cookies can be stored in the browser temporarily as "session cookies" or for a specific period as so-called permanent cookies. "Session cookies" are automatically deleted when the browser is closed. Permanent cookies have a specific storage duration. Cookies allow, in particular, the recognition of a browser on the next visit to our website and, for example, measuring the reach of our website. However, permanent cookies can also be used for online marketing purposes.

Cookies can be disabled or deleted entirely or partially in the browser settings at any time. Our website may not be fully functional without cookies. We ask – at least if and as required – for explicit consent to the use of cookies.

For cookies used for success and reach measurement or advertising, a general objection ("opt-out") is possible for numerous services through AdChoices (Digital Advertising Alliance of Canada), the Network Advertising Initiative (NAI), YourAdChoices (Digital Advertising Alliance), or Your Online Choices (European Interactive Digital Advertising Alliance, EDAA).

8.2 Server Log Files

We may record the following information for each access to our website if it is transmitted from your browser to our server infrastructure or can be determined by our web server: date and time including time zone, Internet Protocol (IP) address, access status (HTTP status code), operating system including user interface and version, browser including language and version, accessed individual sub-page of our website including transferred data volume, and the last website visited in the same browser window (referrer).

We store such information, which may also constitute personal data, in server log files. This information is necessary to provide our website permanently, in a user-friendly and reliable manner, and to ensure data security and thus, in particular, the protection of personal data – also by third parties or with the help of third parties.

8.3 Tracking Pixels

We may use tracking pixels on our website. Tracking pixels are also referred to as web beacons. Tracking pixels – including those from third parties whose services we use – are small, usually invisible images that are automatically retrieved when visiting our website. The same information as in server log files can be collected with tracking pixels.

9. Notifications and Communications

We send notifications and communications via email and other communication channels, such as instant messaging or SMS.

9.1 Success and Reach Measurement

Notifications and communications may contain web links or tracking pixels that capture whether an individual notification was opened and which web links were clicked. Such web links and tracking pixels can also capture the usage of notifications and communications on a personal basis. We require this statistical capture of usage for success and reach measurement in order to effectively and user-friendly send notifications and communications based on recipients' needs and reading habits, and to provide them in a permanent, secure, and reliable manner.

9.2 Consent and Opposition

You must generally explicitly consent to the use of your email address and other contact addresses, unless the usage is permissible for other legal reasons. For possible consent, we use the "double opt-in" procedure whenever possible. This means you receive an email with a web link that you need to click to confirm, preventing abuse by unauthorized third parties. We may log such consents, including Internet Protocol (IP) address, date, and time for evidentiary and security reasons.

You can generally object to receiving notifications and communications, such as newsletters, at any time. By making such an objection, you can also object to the statistical capture of usage for success and reach measurement. Necessary notifications and communications related to our activities and operations remain reserved.

10. Social Media

We are present on social media platforms and other online platforms to communicate with interested individuals and provide information about our activities and operations. In connection with such platforms, personal data may also be processed outside of Switzerland and the European Economic Area (EEA).

The general terms and conditions (GTC) and usage terms as well as privacy policies and other provisions of each operator of such platforms also apply. These provisions inform, in particular, about the rights of data subjects directly vis-à-vis the respective platform, including the right to access.

For our social media presence on Facebook, including the so-called page insights, we are – to the extent that the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is applicable – jointly responsible with Meta Platforms Ireland Limited (Ireland). Meta Platforms Ireland Limited is part of the Meta companies (including in the USA). Page insights provide information about how visitors interact with our Facebook presence. We use page insights to effectively and user-friendly provide our social media presence on Facebook.

Further information about the nature, scope, and purpose of data processing, information about the rights of data subjects, as well as contact information for Facebook and the data protection officer of Facebook can be found in the Privacy Policy of Facebook. We have concluded the so-called "Controller Addendum" with Facebook, agreeing, among other things, that Facebook is responsible for ensuring the rights of data subjects. For the so-called page insights, the relevant information can be found on the page "Information on Page Insights", including "Information about Page Insights Data".

11. Third-Party Services

We utilize services from specialized third parties to carry out our activities and operations in a permanent, user-friendly, secure, and reliable manner. These services enable us to embed functions and content into our website. Due to technical requirements, when embedding these services, the IP addresses of users are captured at least temporarily.

For necessary security-related, statistical, and technical purposes, third parties whose services we utilize may process data related to our activities and operations in an aggregated, anonymized, or pseudonymized manner. This includes performance or usage data needed to provide the respective service.

We primarily use the following services:

11.1 Digital Infrastructure

We use services from specialized third parties to utilize the necessary digital infrastructure in connection with our activities and operations. This includes hosting and storage services from selected providers.

We primarily use the following services:

11.2 Audio and Video Conferences

We utilize specialized services for audio and video conferences to enable online communication. This includes conducting virtual meetings or online teaching and webinars. When participating in audio and video conferences, the legal texts of the respective services, such as privacy policies and terms of use, also apply.

Depending on your situation, we recommend muting the microphone by default and blurring the background or using a virtual background during audio or video conferences.

We primarily use the following services:

11.3 Map Services

We use third-party services to embed maps into our website.

We primarily use the following service:

11.4 Fonts

We use third-party services to embed selected fonts as well as icons, logos, and symbols into our website.

We primarily use the following service:

12. Website Extensions

We use extensions for our website to enable additional features.

We primarily use the following extensions:

13. Success and Reach Measurement

We aim to determine how our online offering is used. This involves measuring the success and reach of our activities and operations, as well as the impact of third-party links to our website. Additionally, we may experiment with and compare different parts or versions of our online offering using the "A/B testing" method. Based on the results of success and reach measurement, we can fix errors, enhance popular content, or make improvements to our online offering.

In most cases, IP addresses of individual users are stored during success and reach measurement. IP addresses are generally shortened (IP masking) to pseudonymize them in accordance with the principle of data minimization.

Success and reach measurement may involve the use of cookies and the creation of user profiles. If user profiles are created, they may include visited individual pages or viewed content on our website, information about the size of the screen or browser window, and the approximate location. Generally, any created user profiles are pseudonymized and not used to identify individual users. Certain third-party services with which users are logged in may potentially associate the use of our online offering with the user account or profile at the respective service.

We primarily use the following service:

  • Matomo: Success and reach measurement; Provider: Matomo (free open-source software); Data protection information: Used on our own server infrastructure with pseudonymized IP addresses, List of all Matomo Features.

14. Final Provisions

The original privacy policy in German can be found there.

We reserve the right to adapt and supplement this privacy policy at any time. We will inform about such changes and additions in an appropriate manner, especially by publishing the current privacy policy on our website.