Privacy Policy

Privacy Policy


1. General

The operator of the BQ portal, the Cologne Institute for Economic Research, takes the protection of your personal data very seriously. All data collected will be used solely in the operation of the BQ portal. This data will not be sold.

The following declaration is intended to provide an overview of how we guarantee to safeguard all data, and of what kind of data we collect and for what purpose. In this context, please also note our current Terms and Conditions of Use.

Please contact us in writing or by e-mail ( if you have any questions on the subject of data protection.


2. Registering for the portal

In order to make full use of the BQ portal and to access all of the information published, users must register and log in. Non-registered users only have access to the information that is publicly available.

The operator of the BQ portal accepts no responsibility for the loss of the password and for any loss or damage incurred by the user as a result of this. The user must ensure that he or she uses a password that is as secure as possible and keeps this secret from third parties, including BQ portal staff.


3. Nature and purpose of data usage and storage

We collect data when you visit or use our website or when you register and log in.

When you are using our website, technical data such as the IP address of your network, date, time, time zone and status of the file requested, information about the website from which you access our website, the type of your browser and the version of your operating system is transmitted to us for a limited period. The purpose of recording these data is to allow use of our Website

The data collected electronically and in writing during the registration process will be stored by the operator of the BQ portal and used only for the contractually agreed purposes (including identifying the user during the registration process, checking the user’s affiliation to a competent authority and their role there). All data collected by the operators of the BQ portal will be stored either electronically or in written form.

The operator of the bq-portal informs registered users about news and portal-changes by sending out e-mails to the users’ addresses. Users have the right to cancel consent at any time by  e-mail or in writing.

Users can subscribe to and unsubscribe from the newsletter on the pages of the BQ portal. A valid e-mail address to which the user has access is required for this.

By choosing to receive the newsletter, the user consents to the e-mail address required for this being stored. Consent to the storage of the e-mail address and to it being used for the purpose of distributing the newsletter may be revoked at any time by e-mail or in writing.


4. Data security

We maintain up-to-date technical measures to ensure data security, especially to protect your personal data from risks during data transmission and from access to the information by third parties. Each of these measures is suitably updated to the current state of technology.


5. Right of access and corrections

The user has the right to check all data related to his or her person that is stored with the operator, and to correct it if it is outdated or not correct. The user can contact the project office for this purpose (


6. Disclosure of data to third parties

Personal data will only be made available to third parties if the operator uses this data to operate the BQ portal. An example is the service provider that hosts the BQ portal and the data generated via the portal. The third parties entrusted with providing this type of service will be obligated by the operator of the BQ portal to observe the statutory provisions (for example, the Federal Data Protection Act).

Insofar as the operator is bound to do so by statute or by court order, the data will be provided to authorities entitled to receive such information.

Apart from this, no data will be transferred to third parties without the express permission of the respective user.

An exception to this is the portal’s editor search function for registered users for the purposes of establishing contact within the password-protected area. The “user name”, “chamber affiliation”, “country expertise”, “language expertise” and “professional expertise” fields (where these have been completed) can be found by other registered users via the search function. If a user explicitly agrees that all of the data provided by him or her can be found, then this is completely visible to other registered users.

The operator of the portal points out that information disclosed in the forum area, for example, can also be viewed by other users. Users are obliged to exercise the appropriate care when publishing content.


7. Right of withdrawal

The user is entitled to withdraw their consent to their personal data being used at any time with effect for the future. This can be communicated by e-mail (


8. Cookies

A cookie is a small text file that is sent by WWW servers when the user visits a webpage, and is stored on the respective user’s hard drive. If the relevant server is accessed again, the user’s browser sends the previously received cookie back to the server. The server is then able to analyse the information obtained through this procedure in various ways. Cookies can be used to make it easier for the user to navigate an Internet page, for example, or to save configurations.

The cookies used by the portal do not contain any personal data or any personal information about the user whatsoever, making it impossible for the operator to identify the user from the information obtained using the cookies.

Users can prevent cookies from being stored on their hard drive by choosing not to accept cookies in their browser settings. They can also configure their browser in such a way that the user is asked whether they wish to accept cookies each time.

Cookies that are already on your hard drive can be deleted again at any time.

If the user does not accept any cookies, their use of certain functions of the website may be restricted.


9. Use of Piwik

(1) This website uses the Piwik Web analytics service to analyse user access to it.

(2) It does this by storing cookies on your computer. The service provider stores the collected information exclusively on its server in Germany. If you prevent cookies from being set, please note that you will not be able to use all the functionalities of this website. You can prevent cookies from being set by changing the settings in your browser or unticking the following box to activate the opt-out plug-in: [Piwik iFrame].

(3) This website uses Piwik with the IP anonymisation feature enabled. This means that IP addresses are processed in curtailed form so that information is not personally identifiable. The IP address sent by your browser via Piwik will not be collated with other data that we collect.

(4) The Piwik programme is an open-source project. Information about the third-party provider’s privacy policy is available at


10. Use of social media plug-ins

(1) We currently use the following social media plug-ins: Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Xing. To do so, we use what is known as a “two-click solution”. This means that no personal data is sent to the providers of these plug-ins when you first visit our website. You can recognise the plug-in providers by the initial marked on the greyed-out box. Only when you click on one of the plug-ins are any personal data transmitted: when the plug-in is activated, data are automatically sent to the plug-in provider and stored on their servers (in the case of US service providers, in the US). We have no influence over the collected data and data processing procedures, neither do we know exactly what volume of data is collected, the purposes they serve, nor how long they are stored for. Since the plug-in provider gathers data mainly via cookies, we recommend deleting all cookies in your browser’s security settings before clicking on the greyed-out box.

(2) When you activate a plug-in, the plug-in provider receives the information that you have accessed the corresponding sub-page of our website. Furthermore, the data referred to in this statement are also transmitted, although in the case of Facebook and Xing the respective providers in Germany state that only an anonymised IP is collected. This is done regardless of whether you have an account with that plug-in provider and whether you are logged in or not. If you are logged into the plug-in provider, these data are assigned directly to your account. If you click on the activated button and, for example, link to the page, the plug-in provider also stores that information in your user account and publicly informs your contacts. If you do not wish the information to be assigned to your profile with the plug-in provider, you should log out before activating the button.

(3) Plug-in providers store these data as a usage profile and exploit them for the purposes of advertising, market research and/or for creating a website design tailored to user needs. These kinds of analytics (even for users who are not logged in) are used first and foremost for customised advertising and to inform other social network users of your activity on our website. You have the right to oppose the creation of these user profiles; to exercise it you must contact the respective plug-in provider.

(4) You can find out further information about the purpose and scope of the collected data and how they are used by the plug-in providers from their respective privacy statements, which are listed below: these also contain further information about your privacy rights and settings for protecting your privacy.

(5) Provider addresses and URLs of provider privacy statements:

a) Facebook Inc., 1601 S California Ave, Palo Alto, California 94304, USA;; weitere Informationen zur Datenerhebung:, applications sowie everyoneinfo.

b) Twitter, Inc., 1355 Market St, Suite 900, San Francisco, California 94103, USA;

c) Xing AG, Gänsemarkt 43, 20354 Hamburg, DE;

d) Google Inc. („Google“), Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA 94043, USA;


11. Embedded third-party services  

(1) We have included YouTube videos on our website which are stored at and can be played back directly from our website. They are all included in the "extended data protection mode" which means that no data about you as a user is transmitted to YouTube if you do not play back the videos. The data specified in Section 3 will be transmitted only when you play back the videos. We have no influence on this data transmission.  


12. Use of our forum 

(1) Our forum cannot be read without logging into the BQ-Portal. You must register in the portal in order to actively participate in the forum.

(2) If you delete your account, your public statements, in particular your contributions to the forum remain visible to all readers. Your user profile is, however, no longer available.


13. Deletion of personal data

The data collected during registration will be set to inactive following a cancellation, but will not be deleted from the system. This ensures that no one is able to access the profile of a user who has de-registered, and that the document histories of texts and entries to which the user has contributed remain intact.

The registration or newsletter receipt can be suspended by the user.

The data will be saved if a statutory or contractual storage period applies.


14. Right to information

(1) You have the right to request information from us at any time about the data we have stored about you. 

(2) If you have given your consent to the use of data, you may revoke your consent at any time.  

(3) Please send all your requests for information or objections to data processing by e-mail to


15. Alteration of the privacy policy (reservation of the right to make changes)

These data protection notices may be altered at any time in compliance with the applicable data protection regulations. The version valid at the time of your visit shall apply.