Data Protection

Data Protection

Statement of Data Protection Conditions for the Internet


Fraunhofer USA, Inc. takes the protection of your company and personal data (collectively, “personal data”) very seriously.  When we process personal data that is collected during your visits to our website, we always observe the rules established by applicable data protection laws.  Your data will not be disclosed publicly by us, nor transferred to any third parties without your consent, except as required by law.


In the following sections, we explain what types of data we record when you visit our website, and precisely how they are used:


1.         Recording and processing of data in connection with access over the Internet

2.         Orders

3.         Consent to use data in other contexts

3.1       Newsletters and press distribution

3.2       Forums

4.         Cookies

5.         Social plugins

6.         Use and transfer of personal data

7.         Security

8.         Links to Web sites operated by other providers

9.         International Transfers

10.       Right to information and contact data

11.       Acceptance, validity and modification of data protection conditions


1.     Recording and processing of data in connection with access over the Internet

When you visit our website, our Web server makes a temporary record of each access and stores it in a log file.  The following data are recorded, and stored until an automatic deletion date:


·         IP address of the requesting process

·         Date and time of access

·         Name and URL of the downloaded file

·         Volume of data transmitted

·         Indication whether download was successful

·         Data identifying the browser software and operating system

·         Website from which our site was accessed

·         Name of your Internet service provider


The purpose of recording these data is to allow use of the website (connection setup), for system security, for technical administration of the network infrastructure and in order to optimize our Internet service.  The IP address is only evaluated in the event of suspected improper access to the network infrastructure of Fraunhofer USA.


Apart from the special cases cited above, we do not collect personal data without first obtaining your explicit consent to do so. 


2.     Orders

If you order information, material or other goods via our website, we will use the address data provided only for the purpose of processing your order.


3.     Consent to use data in other contexts

The use of certain services on our website, such as newsletters or discussion forums, may require prior registration and involves a more substantial processing of personal data, such as longer-term storage of e-mail addresses, user IDs and passwords.  We use such data only insofar as it has been sent to us by you and you have given us your express prior consent for this use.  For example, we request your consent to the collection and storage of personal data in the following situations:


3.1          Newsletters and press distribution

In order to register for a newsletter service provided by Fraunhofer USA, we need at least your e-mail address so that we know where to send the newsletter.  All other information you supply is on a voluntary basis, and we will use that data only if you give your consent, for example, to contact you directly or clear up questions concerning your e-mail address.  If you request delivery by post, we need your mailing address.  If you ask to be included on a press distribution list, we need to know which publication you work for, to allow us to check whether specific publications are actually receiving our press material.


As a general rule, we employ the double opt-in method for registration.  In order words, after you have registered for the service and informed us of your e-mail address, you will receive an e-mail in return from us, containing a link that you must use to confirm your registration.  Your registration and confirmation will be recorded.  The newsletter will not be sent until this has been done.  This procedure is used to ensure that only you register with the newsletter service under the specified e-mail address.  You must confirm your registration as soon as possible after receiving our e-mail, otherwise your registration and e-mail address will be erased from our database.  Until we receive your confirmation, our newsletter service will refuse to accept any other registration requests using your e-mail address.


You can cancel subscriptions to our newsletters at any time.  To do so, either send us an email or follow the link at the end of the newsletter.


3.2           User Forums

If you wish to sign up for a website forum run by Fraunhofer USA, we need at least a user ID, a password, and your e-mail address.  For your protection, the registration procedure for this type of service, like that for the newsletters, involves you confirming your request using the link contained in the e-mail we send you and you giving your consent to the use of further personal data where this is necessary to use the forum.


You can cancel your registration for this type of service at any time, by sending us an e-mail via the Web page offering the service.


As a general rule, the content of user forums is not subject to monitoring by Fraunhofer USA.  Nevertheless, we reserve the right to delete posted contributions and to prohibit users from further use of the service at our discretion, especially in cases where posted content contravenes the law or is deemed incompatible with the objectives of Fraunhofer USA.


4.     Cookies

Cookies are small text files that are stored locally in the cache memory of the site visitor’s web browser.  The cookies enable the web browser to be recognized.  We don’t normally use cookies on our Web site, but in certain exceptional cases we may use cookies which place technical session-control data in your browser memory.  These data are automatically erased at the latest when you close your browser.  If one of our applications requires the storage of personal data in a cookie, for instance a user ID, we will notify you that such storage will occur.


It is possible to consult our website without the use of cookies.  Please note, however, that most browsers are programmed to accept cookies in their default configuration.  You can prevent this by changing the appropriate setting in the browser options.  If you set the browser to refuse all cookies, this may restrict your use of certain functions on our website.


5.     Social plugins

We also use social plugins in some cases, e.g. from Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Google+ social networks.  The plugins are identified with the companies’ logo, comment fields or what are known as a »Like« or »+1« button.


If you open a page of our website in your web browser containing such a plugin, your web browser will create a direct connection to the servers of the respective provider.


By incorporating the plugins, the provider is given at the least the information that you have visited a certain page on our website, and perhaps also other information that your web browser or the device you use also discloses.  The content of the plugin is loaded by your web browser directly from the provider and incorporated into our website.  If you are registered and have logged in with the provider concerned, your visit can also be assigned to your user account.


If you interact with a plugin, e.g. if you click on the »Like« button or enter a comment in a form field, your browser will also transmit this information directly to the provider where it will be saved and, if applicable, continue to be used and published.


You can find details on this and on your rights and on ways in which you can prevent the collection and use of your data in order to protect your private sphere directly in the data privacy policy of the plugin provider.


If you do not wish a provider to collect data on you through our website you must deactivate the plugins in your web browser.  If you wish to avoid a link to any existing user account, you must log out before your visit to our website.  By visiting our website, you declare your consent to the above provisions.


6.     Use and transfer of personal data

All use of your personal data is confined to the purposes stated above, and is only undertaken to the extent necessary for those purposes.  Your data will not be disclosed to third parties, except as required by law.  Personal data will not be transferred to government bodies or public authorities except in order to comply with applicable laws or if the transfer of such data is necessary to take legal action in cases of improper access to our computer network.  Personal data will not be transferred for any other purpose.


7.     Security

Fraunhofer USA implements technical and organizational security measures to safeguard stored personal data against inadvertent or deliberate manipulation, loss or destruction and against access by unauthorized persons.  Our security measures are continuously improved in line with technological progress.


8.     Links to Web sites operated by other providers

Our Web pages may contain links to other providers’ Web pages.  Please note that this statement of data protection policies applies exclusively to the Web pages managed by Fraunhofer USA.  We cannot influence the practices of other providers with respect to data protection, nor do we monitor the privacy policies of any third party.


9.     International Transfers

Fraunhofer USA is part of an international organization and your data might be transferred to our affiliates’ international offices, many of which are in countries outside of United States.  This Website is hosted by servers located in Germany.


10.   Right to information and contact data

You have a legal right to inspect any stored data concerning you, and also the right to demand the correction or deletion of your personal data.


In some cases, if you are a registered user of certain services provided by Fraunhofer USA, we offer you the possibility to inspect your personal data online, and even deleting or modifying the data yourself, via a user account.


If you wish to obtain more information regarding the handling of your personal data by Fraunhofer USA or if you want us to correct or erase such data, or if you have any other questions concerning the use of personal data held by us, please contact:


11.   Acceptance, validity and modification of data protection conditions

By using our Web site, you implicitly agree to accept our use of your personal data as specified above.  This statement of data protection conditions came into effect on April 1, 2017.  As our Web site evolves, and new technologies come into use, it may become necessary to amend this Statement of Data Protection Policy.  The Fraunhofer USA reserves the right to modify this data protection policy at any time, effective upon publication.  We recommend that you re-read the latest version from time to time.