Privacy Policy

The Mercator Institute for Literacy and Language Education (hereafter referred to as Mercator Institute) takes the protection of your personal data very seriously. We want you to know when we store which data and how we use it when you visit the website of the Mercator Institute. Personal data is collected on the web server of Hetzner Online GmbH ( only to the extent necessary. Under no circumstances will the data collected be sold or passed on to third parties for any reason.

The following statement in accordance with Chapter 13 of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) gives you an overview of how we guarantee this protection and what kinds of data are collected for what purposes.

Name and contact of responsible person

Responsible for the processing of personal data for the operation of this website is:

The University of Cologne
Public Body (Körperschaft öffentlichen Rechts)
represented by the Rector
50923 Köln

Subject responsibility:

Mercator Institute for Literacy and Language Education
Isabell-Carola Zieger
Managing Director
Tel.: +49 (0)221-470 5738

Contact of the Data Protection Officer

Data Protection Officer of the University of Cologne
50923 Köln
Tel.: 0221 / 470-3872
E-Mail: dsb(at)

Purposes, duration, and legal basis of the processing of personal data

Web protocols of the central WWW server

The Mercator Institute collects and automatically stores information your browser sends in the protocol files of the web server. This includes:

  • Browser type and version,
  • operating system,
  • Date and time of the request to the server,
  • Number of visits,
  • time spent on the website,
  • previously visited website (if transmitted by the user),
  • IP address of the user is partially anonymized before it is stored.

The temporary storage of the IP address by the system is necessary to enable delivery of the website to your computer.

In addition, we use the data to ensure the security of our information technology systems and to optimize our website. An evaluation of the data for marketing purposes does not take place in this context.

Of the aforementioned data, the IP address is considered personal. Your IP address is partially anonymized before it is stored, the establishment of a personal reference is no longer possible. After that time, the aforementioned data is no longer personal. It shall be deleted as soon as it is no longer necessary to achieve the purpose for which it was collected.

The legal basis for the temporary storage of data and log files is Chapter 6 Art. 1 (f) of the GDPR, because the University of Cologne has a legitimate interest in identifying and eliminating malfunctions and in optimizing its website.


Cookies in general

We use so-called cookies in various places on the website. Cookies are small text files that your browser stores on your computer and sends to our server when you visit our pages. Cookies do not cause any damage to your computer and do not contain any viruses. They make our website more user-friendly, effective, and secure. The cookies we use are so-called session cookies, which are automatically deleted at the end of your visit. You have full control over the use of cookies: By changing the settings in your Internet browser, you can deactivate or restrict the use of cookies. Cookies that have already been saved can be deleted at any time. This can also be done automatically. If cookies are deactivated for our website, it may no longer be possible to use all functions in full.


This website uses Matomo (previously Piwik), a software that statistically analyses user access. Matomo uses cookies to allow for an analysis of how you are using the website. You can decide whether to accept the cookies when you visit our website. The information generated by the cookie about your use of the website is stored on the server of Hetzner Online GmbH in Germany. Your IP address will be made anonymous immediately after processing and before it is stored. On our website we offer you the possibility to opt-out of the analysis procedure. In this way, another cookie is placed in your system which signals our system not to store your data. If you delete the corresponding cookie from your system in the meantime, the opt-out cookie must be set again.

More information on the Matomo software’s privacy settings can be found here:

Legal Basis

The legal basis for processing the personal data of users in connection with the use of cookies is Chapter 6 Art. 1 (f) of the GDPR, because the University has a legitimate interest in understanding how and how often our websites are accessed as well as in placing advertisement on our pages.

Social Media

We offer our users so-called share opportunities with social media platforms (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc.).

Recommend buttons

The recommend (Facebook) and Twitter buttons – which you will find on many pages – contain an easy link to the respective social networks. This means that a new page will open in your browser with the home page of the respective network. Only then is a connection with the Facebook, Twitter or Google servers established, allowing you to recommend the contribution to your friends.

Newsletter subscription and other input masks


On our website, you can enter your email address (and optionally your first and last name as well as the institution) to subscribe to our newsletter (which is a regular or occasional information circular by email). The administration of the distribution list and the dispatch of the newsletter is carried out by the provider CleverReach (CleverReach GmbH & Co. KG, Mühlenstr. 43, 26180 Rastede).

With CleverReach, we can organize and analyze the newsletter dispatch. The data that you enter to receive the newsletter, for example your email address, is stored on the servers of CleverReach. The servers are located in Germany and Ireland respectively. Sending the newsletter with CleverReach allows us to analyze the behavior of the newsletter recipient. The analysis shows, among other things, how many of the recipients opened their newsletter and with what frequency links in the newsletter were clicked. CleverReach supports conversion tracking to analyze whether a previously defined action occurred after clicking on a link. For more information on data analysis by CleverReach, please visit:

The legal basis is your consent, which you give when ordering the newsletter (Chapter 6 Art. 1 (a) of the GDPR).

You can find out how to unsubscribe from the newsletter with just a few clicks on the sub-page where you can subscribe ( Usually this is also possible at the end of each newsletter.

The legality of the data processing operations already carried out remains unaffected by the revocation.

If you do not wish to have your data analyzed by CleverReach, you must unsubscribe from the newsletter (see above).

Data that you have entered to set up a subscription will be automatically deleted after 7 days in the event of unsubscription or if the subscription is not fully completed. If this data has been transmitted to us for other purposes and elsewhere, it will still remain with us. For more information about CleverReach's privacy policy, please visit:

Contact Form

You can send your inquiries via our contact form. To do this, you must enter your e-mail address and your first and last name.

The purpose of the processing is the handling of your request. The data is first stored on the web server and then forwarded internally to the web editors. On the web server, the data is automatically deleted after 7 days. The processing of the contact request is done via mail. Complete data security cannot be guaranteed. Confidential inquiries will therefore be answered by telephone or in writing, provided that the person making the inquiry has made their telephone number or address available. Following the processing of your contact request, the stored data will also be deleted from our mail server. You can object to the processing of your data by sending an e-mail to with the subject STOP Kontaktanfrage.

The legal basis is your consent, which you give by sending the request (Chapter 6 Art. 1 (a) of the GDPR).

Event Registration

You can register to events of the Mercator Institute via the website. For this purpose, you will need to provide your email address, first and last name, address, and institutional affiliation. If there is a call for papers for an event, you can also upload your proposal via the event page.

The data you provide will be used for participant management, for sending information and documentation, and for invitations to further events. If events are chargeable, we will pass on your data to the accounting department within the University of Cologne. You can revoke your consent at any time by sending an email to with the subject STOP Veranstaltungen.

The legal basis is your consent, which you give by sending your registration for the event (Chapter 6 Art. 1 (a) of the GDPR).

Registration for Weiterbildungsstudium Deutsch als Zweitsprache

Via the website you have the possibility to register for the Weiterbildungsstudium Deutsch als Zweitsprache in the options DaZ KOMPAKT and DaZ INTENSIV. For this purpose, you must provide your e-mail address, first and last name, address, and other information about your professional background. The information will be used to select participants for the continuing education program. The data of applicants who are not accepted will be deleted after the selection process has been completed.

If you are selected for the Weiterbildungsstudium Deutsch als Zweitsprache, the information you provide will be used to conduct and organize the program. We pass on the first and last names of the selected participants within the University of Cologne to the Student Secretariat. After completion of the continuing education program, all data except for your e-mail address, your first and last name and your address will be deleted. We use this data to inform you about new workshops, conferences and continuing education courses offered by the Mercator Institute as well as job offers. You can revoke your consent at any time by sending an email to with the subject STOP Weiterbildungsstudium.

The legal basis for this is your consent, which you give by sending us your application for Weiterbildungsstudium Deutsch als Zweitsprache (Chapter 6 Art. 1 (a) of the GDPR).

Your rights

Every person affected by the processing of personal data has the right, in accordance with the legal provisions, to request free information or confirmation from us regarding the personal data stored about him or her.

In addition, you have the right to the immediate correction or deletion of incorrect personal data concerning you, or to the restriction of the processing, or to object to the processing. (However, the collection of data for the provision of the website and the storage of data in log files is necessary for the operation of the website. Consequently, there is no possibility of objection in this respect.).

You can revoke your consent to the processing of personal data at any time. This does not affect the legality of the University’s processing of your data on the basis of your consent until your revocation.
Data subjects have the right to request information regarding their personal data in a structured, common and machine-readable format and to transmit it to other persons responsible.

We are happy to answer your questions regarding the processing of your personal data at any time. If you would like to know which personal data we store about you or your pseudonym, or if you have questions that this data protection statement could not answer, or if you would like more detailed information on a particular point, please contact us, preferably using our contact address: If you communicate by email, we cannot guarantee the complete confidentiality of the provided information. If your information is confidential, please send it to us by post.
In addition, without prejudice to any other administrative or judicial remedy, an appeal may be lodged with a Member State supervisory authority if there are doubts as to the lawfulness of the processing of personal data. The regulatory authority of the University of Cologne is:

Landesbeauftragte für Datenschutz und Informationsfreiheit
Postfach 20 04 44
40102 Düsseldorf
Tel.: 0211/38424-0
Fax: 0211/38424-10
E-Mail: poststelle(at)