Skip to main content Skip link: Search Skip link: What are guide dogs? Skip link: Interested? Skip link: Contact us
Black Labrador lies at the foot of a green and mossy tree

Data Protection Declaration

1. As the Foundation Swiss School for Guide Dogs for the Blind, Markstallstrasse 6, 4123 Allschwil, Switzerland CHE-108.130.285, we are subject to this Data Protection Declaration.

We are the operator, and are thus responsible for legal compliance in the way we collect, process and use your personal information in respect of the following internet domain:

We are committed to dealing responsibly with your personal data. Consequently, we regard it as self-evident that we should fulfil the statutory requirements of the Swiss federal law on data protection (the Bundesgesetz über den Datenschutz, DSG), the ordinance applicable to the Swiss federal law on data protection (the Verordnung zum Bundesgesetz über den Datenschutz, VDSG) and the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (EU GDPR).

In this Data Protection Declaration, we advise you which details of yours we process, why we need this information and how you can object to the collection of your data.

Please note that the information contained in the following text may be inspected and revised from time to time. We therefore recommend that you should review this Data Protection Declaration on a regular basis.

Most recent update: 1 December 2019

We cannot guarantee that any external websites accessed through links on our own website will also adhere to the data protection provisions.

1.1 You decide for yourself about the processing of your own personal details.

You can, at any stage, refuse or withdraw your consent to the processing of your data, or require your data to be deleted, within the legal framework.

1.2 Your information will not be sold.

Your data will only be disclosed to selected third parties, as set out in this Data Protection Declaration, and only for the purposes explicitly specified. If we instruct any third parties to carry out data processing activities on our behalf, they will also be bound by the duty of adherence to our data protection standards.

1.3 We guarantee the security and protection of your data.

As a Foundation, we guarantee that your personal data will be handled with care; we also guarantee that such data will be provided with systems for security and protection. We ensure that the necessary organisational and technical arrangements are in place. A detailed description of the way in which we deal with your data is set out below.

2. Who is responsible for data processing?

Foundation Swiss School for Guide Dogs for the Blind is responsible for processing your data.

Should you have any questions or suggestions about data protection, you can contact our internal Data Protection Officer at any stage, either by post to:

The Foundation Swiss School for Guide Dogs for the Blind
Internal Data Protection Officer
Markstallstrasse 6
4123 Allschwil
or by e-mail to:

3. What are your rights with regard to your personal data?

You can withdraw your consent to the processing of your data at any stage; this applies in particular to data processing activities associated with direct advertising (e.g. rejection of e-mail adverts). Furthermore, you also have other rights, as follows:

3.1 The right to be informed

If we process any information about you, you have the right to require access to any of your information that is stored by us, free of charge and at any time. For example, you can check which items of your personal data we process, and that we use this information in accordance with the applicable data protection provisions.

3.2 The right to rectification

You have the right to require the rectification of any incorrect or incomplete personal data, and to be kept informed about the rectification process. In such cases, we notify the recipient of the affected data about the adjustments, unless this proves impossible or involves disproportionate expense.

3.3 The right to withdraw consent

You have the categorical right to withdraw any consent that has already been provided at any stage. However, any processing activities in the past that relied on your consent will not become unlawful as a result of your withdrawal of that consent.

To exercise your rights, simply send a letter by post to:

The Foundation Swiss School for Guide Dogs for the Blind
Internal Data Protection Officer
Markstallstrasse 6
4123 Allschwil
or by e-mail to:

4. Why do we collect personal data?

We know how important it is for you that we treat your personal details with care, and we take the protection and security of your data very seriously.

We only undertake any data processing activity for a specific purpose. This may, for example, be necessary for technical reasons, contractual requirements, statutory requirements or overriding interests – i.e. for legitimate reasons – or it may arise out of your own explicit approval.

We collect, store and process personal details to the extent that this is necessary; this may, for example, be to manage the customer relationship; to sell our products and provide our services; to process orders and contracts; to carry out the sales and invoicing processes; to answer questions and concerns; to provide information about our products and services and to market them; to provide support for technical issues; and to evaluate and develop services and products into the future.

For more detailed information about which details are processed and for what purpose, please read the sections below.

5. What information is stored, and to what purpose?

5.1 When visiting internet sites

When you visit our website, the servers operated by our hosting providers temporarily save the details of every access event in a log file. Without any action being taken by you, the following information is collected and saved until it is automatically deleted after 52 weeks:

  • IP address of the computer you used for access
  • Date and time of access
  • Website through which access was requested, possibly along with the search term you used
  • Name and URL of the requested file
  • The operating system used by your computer (provided by the User Agent)
  • The browser used by you (provided by the User Agent )
  • Type of device if you are accessing through a mobile phone
  • The transmission control protocol being used

This information is collected and processed to help maintain the security and stability of the system, to analyse faults and performance and for internal statistical purposes; it also helps us to optimise our online service.

Furthermore, it is also evaluated in conjunction with other data for information and defensive purposes in the event of attacks on the network infrastructure and any other unauthorised or improper use of the website, and used where appropriate within the framework of criminal investigations for identification purposes and to instigate civil and criminal proceedings against the relevant users.

Finally, when you visit our websites, we use cookies, together with applications and tools that are based on the use of cookies. More information about this subject is available in the sections on cookies, tracking tools, advertisements and social plugins contained in this Data Protection Declaration.

We cannot guarantee that any external websites accessed through links on our own website will also adhere to the data protection provisions.

5.2 When making purchases from the online Guide Dogs Shop

For contractual reasons in the case of online orders (and for the purchase of articles, in particular), we need personal details so that we can provide our services and conduct the contractual relationship.

When an article is purchased, we collect the following information:

  • Name, surname,
  • Invoice address & delivery address
  • E-mail address of the person making the purchase
  • Telephone number
  • Agreement to the T&Cs
  • Type of product being purchased
  • Price
  • Location, date and time of purchase

Any items of data generated during an online ordering process are saved in a central database held on internal servers.

5.3 Means/methods of payment

If payment is made by credit card, we forward your credit card details to your credit card provider and to the credit card acquirer. This happens via Payrexx for all the credit cards we accept.

If you decide to pay by credit card, you will be asked to enter all the obligatory details in every case. In view of the fact that these third parties will be processing your credit card details, we would ask you to also read your credit card provider’s General Terms & Conditions and Data Protection Declaration. The legal basis applicable to the forwarding process lies in the fulfilment of a contract in accordance with Art. 6 Para.1 lit. b EU GDPR.

6. How long will your data be stored?

We store personal details only for as long as is necessary:

  • to provide the services that you have requested or for which you have given your consent, to the extent specified in this Data Protection Declaration.
  • to carry out the tracking services specified in this Data Protection Declaration within the framework of our legitimate interest.

We will retain contractual details for a longer period; this is required in order to satisfy statutory retention obligations.

Once we no longer require these details in order to provide you with our services, the data will be rendered inaccessible. This means that that information may then only be used to fulfil our retention obligations.

7. Where is the information stored?

it is a categorical principle that your details are stored in databases within Switzerland.

We are entitled to transfer your personal details to external companies in other countries if this is necessary in connection with the processing system; naturally, we thereby observe the statutory requirements for forwarding personal data to third parties. These third parties are bound by the data protection provisions to the same degree as the providers themselves.

Some of the third-party providers named in this Data Protection Declaration are based in the USA (see “Tracking tools” and “Links to our sites on social media”). You can find further explanations regarding data transfer arrangements in the USA in the section on “Tracking tools used by us“.

8. Will your data be passed on to third parties?

We will not sell your details on to others. Your personal details will only be forwarded to selected service providers, and only to the extent that is necessary for the provision of the service.

This provision relates to providers of IT support services, delivery service providers (such as Swiss Post), our hosting provider and the service providers named in the sections on tracking tools und social plugins.

Various third party service providers are mentioned explicitly in this Data Protection Declaration (e.g. in the sections on tracking tools und social plugins).

One service provider to which the personal details collected via the website are forwarded (or which has access, or could have access to these details) is our web hosting company, IWF AG. The website will be hosted on servers located within Switzerland.

One service provider that has access to our online shop and the personal details as collected is the administrator of our online shop.

In addition, your details can also be forwarded if we are under a statutory obligation in this regard, or if this is necessary to safeguard our rights, particularly for the assertion of claims arising from the relationship with you.

Our legitimate interest in the data processing process rests upon the aims set out above.

9. How are tracking tools used?

We use Google’s website analytics service for the design and ongoing optimisation of our websites.

Our legitimate interest in the data processing process rests upon the aims set out below.

9.1 Cookies – when are they used?

In particular circumstances, we use cookies. Cookies are small files that are stored on your computer or mobile terminal device when you visit or use one of our websites.

Among other purposes, cookies help to organise your visit to our website to make it easier, more enjoyable and more constructive. Cookies are information files that your web browser automatically stores on the hard disc of your computer when you visit our website.

We use cookies to temporarily store the articles you select and the entries you make when you fill in a form on the website, for example, so that you don’t have to repeat the entries when you call up another sub-page.

Most web browsers accept cookies automatically. However, you can configure your browser so that no cookies are stored on your computer, or so that a message will always appear when a new cookie appears. Explanations of how to configure the processing of cookies in the most common browsers are provided in the following websites:

Deactivating cookies may result in an inability to use all of the functions offered by our website. Our legitimate interest in the data processing process rests upon the aims set out above.

9.2 Tracking tools used by us

9.2.1. Google Analytics

We use the Google Analytics web analysis service offered by Google for the tailored design and ongoing optimisation of our website. In this application pseudonymised user profiles and small text files (“cookies”) are created and stored on your computer. The information generated by the cookie about how you use this website is sent to Google’s servers in the USA, where it is stored. This information includes details such as:

  • Browser type/version
  • The operating system you are using
  • Referrer URL (the page previously visited)
  • The host name of the computer requesting access (IP address)
  • Time of server request
  • Device

Activating the IP anonymising (“anonymizeIP”) function on this website causes the IP address to be abbreviated before transmission in the Member States of the European Union and in other contracting states to the agreement on the European Economic Area. The anonymised IP address transmitted by your browser within the framework of Google Analytics will not be combined with other data from Google. Only in exceptional cases will the full IP address be transmitted to a Google server in the USA and abbreviated there. In such cases, we ensure that Google adheres to an adequate standard of data protection by imposing contractual guarantees.

The information is used to evaluate the use of the website, to produce reports on website activities and to provide other services connected with website and internet usage for market research purposes and to design these websites to meet the needs of the users. This information may also be passed on to third parties if this is required by law or if third parties are processing the information on a contract basis. According to Google, the IP address is never associated with other data relating to the user.

Users can prevent Google acquiring and processing the details generated by the cookie and information relating to the use of the website by the relevant user (including the IP address) by downloading and installing the browser plugin available via the link below:

The legal basis for the processing of the data for the above purposes rests upon our justified interest in the optimisation and personalisation of our website.

For the sake of completeness, we would point out that, in the USA, the US authorities use monitoring measures that generally allow the storage of all personal information on all those people whose details have been transmitted from the European Union into the USA. This happens without distinction, limitation or exception in terms of the pursued intention, and in the absence of any objective criterion that enables the US authorities’ access to the information and its subsequent use to be restricted to highly specific, strictly limited purposes that might justify the intervention in both the access to this information and its use.

10. Social media presence and social plugins

10.1 The Facebook social media network

On our website, you will find links to the social media network operated by Facebook Inc., 1601 S. California Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94304, USA. These are not plugins provided by Facebook, which transmit data to Facebook as soon as the website is downloaded, without any intervention at all by the user. Nothing is hidden behind these buttons other than a link to the social media network, including handover of the website to be shared. No user information is transmitted from the website to Facebook.

If you click on the link to the Facebook profile, this will create a direct connection between your browser and the server. Facebook then receives the information that you, with your IP address, have visited our website and clicked on the link. When you click on a link to Facebook, and while you are logged into your account with Facebook, the content in our website can be linked with your profile. This means that Facebook can allocate the visit you made to our website directly to your user account. If you want to avoid this happening, you should log out of your account before clicking on the relevant links. Allocation will take place in any case if you log in to Facebook after clicking on the links.

Facebook can use this information for advertising and market research purposes, and to design the Facebook sites to meet the needs of the user. In order to do this, Facebook creates user profiles, interest profiles and relationship profiles, e.g. in order to evaluate your use of our website in terms of the adverts displayed to you on Facebook, or to advise other Facebook users about your activities on our website and to provide other services associated with the use of Facebook.

Please refer to Facebook’s own data protection information for the purpose and scope of their data acquisition processes and Facebook’s other processing and use of data, as well as your rights and configuration options for the protection of your privacy in this regard.

11. Data security.

We employ suitable technical and organisational security measures so that the personal information that belongs to you and is stored by us is protected from manipulation, from complete or partial loss and from unauthorised access by third parties. Our security measures are updated continuously in accordance with technological developments.

We also take the company’s own internal data protection extremely seriously. Our employees and the service-providing companies engaged by us are bound by us to a duty of secrecy and adherence to the data protection provisions. Furthermore, they are only granted access to personal details to the level that is necessary.

We take appropriate precautionary measures to protect your details. However, the transmission of information over the internet and other electronic methods always involves certain security risks, and we can accept no liability for the security of information transmitted in this way.

12. Retention periods

We store personal data only for as long as is necessary to provide the tracking services described above and carry out any further processing functions within the framework of our lawful interests. We will retain contractual details for a longer period; this is required in order to satisfy statutory retention obligations. The retention requirements that oblige us to retain information arise from financial reporting and taxation regulations. According to these regulations, business communications, contracts already concluded and accounting documents all have to be retained for up to 10 years. Once we no longer require these details in order to provide you with our services, the data will be rendered inaccessible. This means that the information may subsequently only be used for financial reporting and taxation purposes.

13. Applicable law and place of jurisdiction

The exclusive place of jurisdiction for any disputes between the website’s visitors/users and the Foundation Swiss School for Guide Dogs for the Blind, Markstallstrasse 6, 4123 Allschwil, Switzerland and arising from the operation of the website or visits to the website is in the courts at the headquarters of the Swiss School for Guide Dogs for the Blind. Swiss law is the sole applicable law.

©, December 2019