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Privacy policy

You have the right to know what data we collect, when we collect data, and the purposes for which we use data. We have taken technical and organisational measures to ensure that the relevant data protection provisions are observed, both by us and by our external service providers.

Protecting your privacy and your personal data rights is very important to the Federal Ministry of Finance. The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) sets out uniform EU-wide norms that guarantee the protection of personal data.

Changes to our privacy policy may become necessary as we continue to update our online services and deploy new technologies. We would therefore recommend that you re-read this policy from time to time.

1. General information

You have the right to know what data we collect, when we collect data, and the purposes for which we use data. We have taken technical and organisational measures to ensure that the relevant data protection provisions are observed, both by us and by our external service providers.

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1.1 Introduction

To the extent necessary, the Federal Ministry of Finance processes personal data in order to perform tasks that are in the public interest. The Finance Ministry’s tasks include informing the general public. We do this, for example, on our website, at events and in responses to public enquiries.

The following information provides an overview of how we ensure the protection of your data, what types of data we process, and the purposes and legal basis for processing this data.

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1.2 Responsibility

The entity responsible for processing personal data collected from the Finance Ministry’s website is:

Federal Ministry of Finance
Wilhelmstrasse 97
10117 Berlin
Germany
Tel.: +49 (0)3018 / 682-0
Fax: +49 (0)3018 / 682-3260
email: poststelle@bmf.bund.de

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1.3 Data protection officer

If you have any questions regarding the handling of personal data at the Federal Ministry of Finance, please contact our data protection officer:

email: datenschutz@bmf.bund.de
Tel.: +49 (0)30 / 18 682-3208

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1.4 Protection of minors

If you are under 16 years of age, please do not send us any personal data without the consent of your parent or guardian. We do not request any personal data from minors, nor do we knowingly collect such data.

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2. Reasons for processing personal data

What types of personal data does the Federal Ministry of Finance process, and for what purpose? This depends mainly on the web activity for which the data are collected.

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2.1 Visiting this website

In general, you can use the Finance Ministry’s website without having to provide personal data. Personal data is collected on this website only if necessary for technical reasons: when you order something, when you subscribe to a newsletter or when you register for a Finance Ministry event.

In addition, data that is necessary for transmitting information to users is collected and processed every time our website is visited. This includes:

  • IP address
  • browser type and version
  • operating system
  • webpage accessed
  • time of server request

The Finance Ministry analyses this data, which is first rendered anonymous, for purely statistical purposes in order to measure interest in the ministry’s website and improve it . It is not possible for the Finance Ministry to trace this data back to specific individuals.

This data is not collated with other sources of data (e.g. contact details provided for brochure orders or newsletter subscriptions). Our technical service provider stores IP addresses for a 30-day period, after which they are automatically deleted.

Data logged during visits to the Finance Ministry’s website is only shared with third parties if we are obliged to do so by legal provisions or by court decisions, or if it is necessary to provide the data for the purposes of legal or criminal proceedings in the event of attacks on the internet infrastructure used by the Finance Ministry. These are the only cases in which data is shared.

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2.1.1 Web analytics

We use the web analytics platform Matomo to carry out statistical analysis and to optimise our website. If you provide your consent, we will record your browsing activities on our website and we will access technical data about your device, strictly for the above-mentioned purposes.

Matomo
Recording metrics for the purpose of web analysis

After you provide your consent, the script “matomo.js” will be run. The following device information will be recorded: device type, device brand, device model (not usually required for desktop devices), screen resolution, operating system version, browser/browser engines and browser plugins.
No Matomo cookies are stored on your device.

In addition to the information about your device, data about your usage of our website is also stored: your shortened/modified IP address; accessed URLs; the website from which you accessed the current page (referrer site); length of visit; downloaded PDFs; search terms entered. The raw data is stored for days and then automatically deleted.
Your full IP address is not stored. The final two octets are omitted/modified at the earliest possible stage (example: 183.172.xxx.xxx). Other personal data is not collected.
Using Matomo enables us to analyse users’ browsing behaviour. This helps us to constantly improve our website and make it more user-friendly. No user profiles are created. The processing of your data helps to ensure that targeted information about the ministry’s work is made available to the public. The legal basis for the processing is section 3 (1) of the E-Government Act (E-Government-Gesetz) in conjunction with section 3 of the Federal Data Protection Act (Bundesdatenschutzgesetz). Modifying IP addresses at the earliest possible stage adequately addresses users’ interests in having their personal data protected. Access to your device data is carried out on the basis of your consent pursuant to Article 25 (1) of the Act on Data Protection and the Protection of the Private Sphere in Telecommunications and Telemedia (Gesetz über den Datenschutz und den Schutz der Privatsphäre in der Telekommunikation und bei Telemedien).
The Matomo software is operated locally on the servers of our service provider in Germany. No data is shared with Matomo or any other third parties.

If you do not agree to the storage and analysis of the data from your visit, you can object any time, below, with a single click: If you object, an opt-out cookie will be enabled on your browser and Matomo will not collect any session data.

Please note: If you delete your cookies, this will also delete the opt-out cookie and you will have to enable it again.

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2.1.2 Ordering publications

If you order a brochure on our website (by using the basket or sending an email to bestellservice@bmf.bund.de), you must provide personal data (first name, surname, street name and number, postcode, city and email address) in order for us to process the order.

If we do not fully process the order ourselves, the personal data you submit to us is forwarded to third parties (the delivery company, or other authorities or bodies if they are shipping the materials you ordered) for the sole purpose of processing the order. Your data is deleted once your order has been processed.

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2.1.3 Video streaming

We use the Vimeo video hosting service for some of the videos streamed on our website. This is done to ensure image quality. The video hosting service is operated by Vimeo Inc., 555 West 18th Street, New York, New York 10011, USA.

If you stream a Vimeo-supported video on our website, your browser connects with Vimeo’s servers. Data is then transmitted to and processed by these servers. Vimeo collects data about you even if you do not have a Vimeo account. This includes your IP address, technical information about your browser type and operating system, and basic device information. Vimeo also stores information about the website you are using to connect to Vimeo services as well as your web activities on our website. These web activities include your session duration, bounce rate, and which button featuring an integrated Vimeo function you clicked.

In addition, if you are logged on to Vimeo as a registered user, more data may be collected since cookies may have already been stored on your browser. In this case, your actions on our website are directly linked to your Vimeo account. To prevent this, you can log out of Vimeo while you are visiting our site.

Please note that the United States is not regarded as a secure third country as defined in EU data protection law. US companies are required to disclose personal data to security authorities; the data subject does not have the right to take legal action against this. It is therefore possible that US authorities (such as intelligence services) may process your data for surveillance purposes once it has been transmitted to US servers. We have no influence over these processing activities. Before Vimeo-supported videos are streamed, you are therefore informed of the use of Vimeo and asked to consent to the transmission of data.

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2.1.4 Newsletter subscriptions

On our website, you can subscribe to newsletters on specific topics. We will keep you informed of new developments relating to your selected topics. If you subscribe to a Finance Ministry newsletter, we will store your email address and the name(s) of the newsletter(s) to which you have subscribed on a server. In this case, your data is processed based on your consent.

We use double-opt-in for newsletter subscriptions to ensure that you really wish to receive the newsletter. This means that, after you have registered, we will send an email to the email address you provided, asking you to confirm that you wish to subscribe. We will store your email address only once you have confirmed your subscription by clicking on the link. We will store it for as long as you receive the newsletter.

We use this data only for the purpose of sending newsletters and for statistical analysis. We will not pass your personal data on to third parties, and we will not use your data for any other purposes.

You can check your stored data at any time here (linked page in German only). To do this, you will need to enter the email address you used to subscribe to the newsletter.

You can withdraw your consent to receiving newsletters at any time and unsubscribe from newsletters by clicking on the link that is included in every newsletter.

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2.1.5 DRH 360°

Our website offers a virtual tour of the Detlev Rohwedder Building where the Finance Ministry’s headquarters are located. The virtual tour is embedded in the “DRH 360” application (www.drh360.de), which uses cookies for its basic functions.

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2.1.6 Cookies

Cookies are small text fields that are stored on your computer when you visit a website. For the most part, the Finance Ministry’s website can be used without cookies. To facilitate navigation, session cookies are used when individual webpages are accessed. However, these session cookies contain no personal data and are deleted when the session ends.

We do not use technologies such as Java applets or ActiveX controls that can be used to track users’ access behaviour.

On every web browser, you can check whether cookies are being used and what they contain. Detailed information is available on the websites of the Federal Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information and the Federal Office for Information Security. All web browsers allow users to manage cookies. The default setting on most browsers is to accept all cookies without asking the user. However, you can block individual or all cookies.

The cookies used on our website serve the following purposes:

To enable you to order brochures on our website and collect them in a basket, a session cookie is used. The session cookie is deleted when you end your visit to our website, either by closing your browser or visiting another website that is not operated by the Finance Ministry.

If you wish you make full use of the basket function on our website, please configure your browser to allow session cookies.

If you block session cookies,

  • you will not be able to add multiple publications to the basket.
  • This means that you will be able to order only one brochure at a time.

Another session cookie is used to assign visitors to a specific load balancer. The load balancer ensures that visitors to the website always remain on the same server during a particular session, instead of being redirected between different servers. This enables us to ensure that all users can enjoy a stable website with fast response times. If you decline the use of cookies and tracking in the cookie banner when you first visit our home page, then your visit to this website will not be recorded by Matomo web analytics during the session. The next time you visit our website, you will be asked again, provided you did not create a permanent setting using the toggle switch under “Web analytics”.

To display and execute the consent banner for statistical analysis, we use only cookies that are necessary for technical reasons. These cookies help the Matomo web analytics platform to provide you with the necessary information so that you can give or withhold your consent. The cookies record your selected settings, thereby ensuring that you do not have to repeat your selection on every page of our website.

The information on our website is available in German and English. We use a cookie for language settings and for displaying website subpages in the language you select.

On every web browser, you can check whether cookies are being used and what they contain. Detailed information is available on the websites of the Federal Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information and the Federal Office for Information Security.

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2.1.7 Sharing information on social media

The information published on our website can be shared with other users on Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), LinkedIn and XING (please note that these services use your data in accordance with their own policies). The information on our social media feeds can also be accessed directly via our newsletters, RSS feed and website.

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2.2 Contacting the Federal Ministry of Finance

You can contact us in various ways. Depending on the method you use to contact us, various types of personal data are processed.

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2.2.1 Sending email / post

When you send us an email or write us a letter, we use the personal data that you provide (sender details and, if applicable, other shared personal data) only for the purpose of contacting you and processing your enquiry.

If necessary for purposes of responding, your enquiry may be forwarded to the relevant authorities or companies that work on behalf of the Finance Ministry, if it can be assumed that this is in your interest and no sensitive personal data is transmitted (Article 6 (1) (e) of the GDPR in conjunction with section 3 of the Federal Data Protection Act [Bundesdatenschutzgesetz]).

Correspondence relating to your enquiry is stored for the applicable storage periods stipulated in the Guidelines on the Processing and Management of Records in Federal Ministries (Registraturrichtlinie), which supplements the Joint Rules of Procedure of the Federal Ministries (Gemeinsame Geschäftsordnung der Bundesministerien).

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2.2.2 Using the contact form

If you wish to contact us using our online contact form, you must provide your first name, surname and email address in order for us to process your enquiry. The contact form entries for location and country are optional.
All of the data that you provide is used solely for the purpose of contacting you and processing your enquiry.

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2.2.3 Visiting the Finance Ministry

Visitors to the Finance Ministry can attend informational events and take a tour of the Detlev Rohwedder Building. To do this, you must register using the contact form.

The personal data that is processed for this purpose is necessary in order to identify visitors based on the relevant registration list and to allow them to enter the Ministry. We use this data solely for these purposes. The data is shared with other parties only if this is necessary for the purpose of organising the informational event or tour (e.g. it may be shared with security staff so you can be admitted to the building). Otherwise the data is not shared with third parties. The data is erased immediately after your visit, provided it is no longer needed.

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2.2.4 Attending Finance Ministry events

If you attend a Finance Ministry event, we will process the personal data you provide when you register for the event – usually your first name, surname and contact information. We receive this data directly from you, and it is used solely for the purpose of organising and conducting the event.

You can use an online registration form to register for events. We use the event management tool yve to register participants. This tool is provided by Buckow Enterprise Solutions GmbH. As stipulated by law, we have concluded an agreement with this company regarding the processing of personal data.

If you have given your consent, we will store your contact details in an internal address database. We use this stored data solely for the purpose of inviting you to upcoming events. This data is only shared with other parties if this is necessary for the purposes of carrying out the event (e.g. it may be shared with security staff so you can be admitted to the building). Otherwise the data is not shared with third parties.

You can unsubscribe from the events mailing list at any time by emailing internetredaktion@bmf.bund.de. Your data will then be deleted from the address database.

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2.2.5 Audiovisual recordings and photographs

During events, photographs may be taken and audiovisual recordings may be made. The individuals featured in these images and recordings are chosen more or less at random. Written signs at the entrance to events inform participants that photographs may be taken and recordings may be made. The images and recordings may be used for reporting and documentation purposes on our website, social media feeds or posters, or in video content, print media and other media.

The legal basis is provided by Article 6 (1) (e) of the GDPR in conjunction with section 3 of the Federal Data Protection Act and section 23 of the Art Copyright Act (Kunsturhebergesetz).

If you object to photographs or recordings being made or published in a specific case, please contact the photographer responsible for selecting the images, the event organiser or the event’s main information desk directly.

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2.3 Visiting the Finance Ministry’s social media feeds

The information that the Finance Ministry publishes on its website is also available on social media platforms. We currently have active feeds on X (formerly Twitter), Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube. We use a widget to display content from X (formerly Twitter) on our website. We do not use client plug-ins for content-sharing functions. When the widget is displayed and the share function is used, however, communication is established with this service.

We would like to explicitly point out that these platforms store their users’ data (such as personal information and IP addresses) in accordance with their own data use policies and use this data for commercial purposes. Please consult each social media platform’s privacy policy to find out about your rights and how you can change your settings to protect your privacy.

The Finance Ministry also uses the non-commercial Mastadon micro-blogging service. The privacy policy for Mastodon content is available (in German) here: https://social.bund.de/terms.

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2.4. CCTV surveillance

To maintain order and ensure security, the areas outside the Finance Ministry’s properties are monitored using CCTV systems. These properties are located in Bonn (Am Propsthof 78 A, 53121 Bonn), Brühl (Willy-Brandt-Strasse 10, 50321 Brühl) and Berlin (Wilhelmstrasse 97, Mauerstrasse 75, Leipziger Strasse 126 and Markgrafenstrasse 58, 10117 Berlin; Charlottenstrasse 14/15 and Charlottenstrasse 82, 10969 Berlin).

Collected data is processed on the basis of Article 6 (1) (e) of the GDPR in conjunction with section 4 of the Federal Data Protection Act for the purposes of maintaining order, preventing threats, ensuring the security of buildings and properties, protecting people in the buildings and on the properties, and preventing or investigating crimes and administrative offences.

If images are recorded, this takes place either continuously (24/7) on an automated basis or when individuals enter the monitored area. The data is stored on internal file servers with strict access restrictions until the storage capacity is used up; after that, the oldest data is overwritten. Based on the available recording capacity, this cycle restarts every seven days on average. Recordings are analysed and potentially stored for longer periods only if there are concrete suspicions of wrongdoing.

If necessary, the CCTV systems can generate image files in response to manual requests. The collected data is transmitted to the competent investigative authorities only if this is necessary as part of a justified police operation or if ordered by a judge. The transmission of the data is documented accordingly. In other cases, data is not forwarded to other parties and automated cross-checks with other information sources are not conducted.

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3. Your rights

You always have the right to access information regarding the personal data which has been collected concerning you. You also have the right to access information as to its source, the recipient and the purpose of storing your data. You also have the right to rectification, the right to erasure and the right to restriction of processing. In addition, you have the right to object to the processing of your data.

Please contact the Ministry’s web team if you require further information about how stored data is processed (internetredaktion@bmf.bund.de).