Privacy policy

This data protection declaration clarifies the type, scope and purpose of the processing of personal data within our online offering and the associated websites, functions and content. With regard to the terms used, such as “personal data” or their “processing”, we refer you to the definitions in Art. 4 of the General Data Protection Regulation (DGPR).

The GBOL-Portal collects personal data from visitors. Personal data are all data that can be used to identify a real person either directly or indirectly by combination. This includes the device’s internet addresses (IP-addresses) and all identifiers connected with a page visit.

Responsible for the GBOL-Webportal and data processing according to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is the:

Zoological Research Museum Alexander Koenig
Leibniz-Institute for Animal Biodiversity
Foundation under public law
Adenauerallee 160
53113 Bonn
email: datenschutz(at)

You have the right to request a copy of all personal data stored about you and to request the deletion or correction of these data. The request can be send to the Biodiversity Department of the ZFMK (address see below) or via email to ZFMKdatacenter(at) Details on your rights to access, correct and delete your personal data are described in paragraphs 6, 7, 8, and 9 of this document.

1 Collection and processing of personal data

The GBOL-Portal serves the German Barcode Of Life project in the task to record the biological diversity and to setup a library of genetic barcodes for all biological species occurring in Germany. Therefore, the portal differentiates between experts and portal visitors. Experts are registered users who collect biological specimens for DNA barcoding and provide the associated occurrence data (research data) to the GBOL-Portal. Visitors are users who can access the research data without any registration. Different privacy protection policies apply to the groups of non-registered users and registered users (see paragraphs 2 and 3). The collection and processing of the research data is handled according to the rules of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research as founding agency and the policies of the German Research Foundation (DFG). Privacy protection of research data is explained in paragraph 4.

2 Collected personal data of non-registered users

The following data are collected from non-registered visitors of the GBOL-Portal:

  • IP-address, time stamp, browser-identification, requested pages within the GBOL-Portal

These data are stored for 7 days to allow us to recognize and defend attacks on the GBOL-Portal servers. The IP addresses become anonymized after a period of 7 days to make identification of users impossible. The anonymized IP-addresses, time stamps, browser identifications and requested pages are stored for 6 months for statistical purposes to document project activity for the Federal Ministry of Education and Research as funding organization.

In addition, the following data will be stored on the visitor’s device for convenience of the GBOL-Portal usage:

  • So called cookies with an unique identifier

Cookies are small data files that are created by the browser. The GBOL-Portal can access these files to get information on the last visit of a user on the portals pages. In the GBOL-Portal the cookies are used to keep the users choice of the selected language. Cookies are stored for one week.

On the pages ‚News‘ and ‚Publications‘ third party cookies will be set by YouTube (YouTube LLC, 901 Cherry Ave, San Bruno, CA 94066 USA) to allow the usage of the integrated YouTube video player. These cookies are used by YouTube and its parent company Google (Google LLC 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway Mountain View, CA 94043 USA) to store and combine the following personal data:

  • IP-address
  • user profile name and browser activity if you are logged in with a Google account
  • other data connected to your Google account

For details on YouTube‘s and Google‘s handling of personal data see:

The setting and storage of cookies can be completely prevented by disallowing them in your browsers settings. This will cause the loss of your language preferences on the portals pages and make it impossible to see YouTube videos with the embedded player. Alternatively, the storage of cookies can be limited to the time period of your browser session.

The GBOL-Portal uses services of the OpenStreetMap Foundation (132 Maney Hill Road, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, B72 1JU, United Kingdom) to display sampling sites of organisms on a map in the result pages. The OpenStreetMap Foundation collects and stores data with unique identifiers. The data will be anonymized by the OpenStreetMap Foundation and stored for statistics and usage analyses. For detailed information on personal data collected by the OpenStreetMap services see:, paragraph ‚Log files and Information submitted to OSMF Services‘.

To prevent the data collection by OpenStreetMap services you can block requests to the domain with a browser AddOn like ‚Privacy-Badger‘ Blocking the services will make display of maps in the GBOL-Portal unavailable.

3 Collected personal data of registered users

Users of the GBOL-Portal can register as expert on a taxon to participate in the collection or determination of biological specimens and their occurrence data. A registered user will get the contact data of a GBOL-taxon coordinator who will be available for questions on research and GBOL-Portal usage. To review the required expertise and provide the user with sampling material and compensation for expenses the following personal data are collected by the GBOL-Portal:

  • Name, phone number, postal address, email address of the user
  • Taxonomic expertise of the user
  • Affiliation in a research institute, a scientific society, or references of other experts

These data are only collected in agreement with the respective user. Users are informed about data collection and asked to accept this private policy when they register at the GBOL-Portal. Registered users choose to make their name and expertise viewable on the GBOL-Portal ‚Experts‘-page when they like to provide the information to others.

In addition to the data collected also for non-registered users (see paragraph 2) the following data are collected when users are registered:

  • Cookies with the name of the user and the date and time of their login
  • Cookies with an unique identifier

These cookies are used to manage the access of the users to their resources on the portal (upload collection data, access research data, and account management). The setting of cookies can be prohibited by disallowing cookies via the browser preferences. Prohibiting cookies will disable the usage of the GBOL-Portal as registered user.

4 Collection of personal data in the research data

The goal of the GBOL-Portal is to collect research data about occurrences and genetic markers (barcodes) of biological species. For quality assurance and reusability of the research data it is important to have a complete documentation of data collection and applied sampling methods. Therefore, the research data stored and processed by the GBOL-Portal system contain personal data, like collector names, sampling sites and their GPS coordinates and sampling dates. These are data provided by the registered users when they upload data sheets with the specimen data. In short, the data contain:

  • Name(s) of the collectors that have done the specimen collection
  • Locality and date of the sampling location, with coordinates and possibly a locality description

These data are made publicly available under the condition that the expert (registered user) has given his / her permission. The permission to publish the data can be revoked on the level of single datasets after consultation of the responsible GBOL-taxon coordinator.

When an expert uploads personal data of persons that are not registered in the GBOL-Portal (e. g. persons that participated in specimen collection) the expert must have the permit to upload these data to the GBOL-Portal. In addition, the expert must have informed the persons about the usage of their personal data in the GBOL-Portal. Persons who’s data have been provided to the research data by registered users have the same rights on requesting, correction and deletion of their personal data as registered users.

According to research data management policies1,2 of the German Research Foundation (DFG) the collected research data with the contained personal data are stored for at least 10 years.


5 Sharing and disclosure of personal data to third parties

The collected research data will be published in order to fulfill the scientific goal of the GBOL-project and make the results available to the interested public, researchers, as well as scientific and administrative institutions. The personal data of collectors can be anonymized before publication when experts request it. The anonymization can be done after consultation with the responsible taxon coordinator. The request can be send to the Biodiversity Informatics Department of the Zoological Research Museum Koenig (ZFMK) (see address below) that will forward it to the taxon coordinator.

6 Contact address to request deletion, correction, or accessing personal data and to revoke the agreement of personal data handling

For all requests on deletion, correction, access and agreement on personal data collected in the GBOL-Portal please contact:

Zoologisches Forschungsmuseum Alexander Koenig
Section for Biodiveristy Informatics
Adenauerallee 160
53113 Bonn
email: ZFMKdatacenter(at)

7 Deletion or correction of personal data

Personal data will be deleted or corrected on request when they are not part of the research data uploaded by experts. Users can request the deletion or correction of their personal data by contacting a taxon coordinator or the Biodiversity Informatics Department of ZFMK (see address above). User authentication is required when requesting the deletion or correction of personal data.

Deletion or correction of personal data contained in research data is only possible after negotiation and agreement of the responsible GBOL-taxon coordinator since the requirements and policies of the funding organization (BMBF) must be taken into account. A deletion of data copied and stored by other services on the internet (e.g. archiving services, scientific portals) cannot be carried out.

8 Access to collected personal data

Collected personal data will be made available to the concerned person in machine readable or human readable form. Users can request information on their personal data and the data themselves by contacting the Biodiversity Informatics Department of ZFMK (see address above). The request will be processed within a period of 4 weeks, if the requesting person can provide a valid authentication.

9 Revoke the agreement to collect personal data

Registered users can revoke their given agreement to the collection and handling of personal data by the GBOL-Portal. The collected data will then be deleted within 4 weeks. The person who wants to revoke his / her agreement will be asked for an authentication. The revoke-request can be send to the Biodiversity Informatics Department of the ZFMK (address see above).

10 Right of appeal at the regulating authority

In accordance to article 13 of the GDPR users have the right of appeal at the regulating authority. The address is:

Landesbeauftragte für Datenschutz und Informationsfreiheit Nordrhein-Westfalen
Postfach 20 04 44
40102 Düsseldorf
Kavalleriestraße 2-4
40213 Düsseldorf
Email: poststelle(at)
Public PGP-Key:

11 Contact data of the ZFMK data protection officer

Thorsten Klug
Zoological Research Museum Alexander Koenig
Adenauerallee 160
53113 Bonn
email: datenschutz(at)