PEFC Council Website Privacy Notice

PEFC Council Website Privacy Notice


Welcome to the PEFC Council Website Privacy Notice. 

PEFC Council (hereafter “PEFC”) is committed to protecting and to being transparent about how it collects and uses your personal data and to meet applicable data protection obligations. This Privacy Policy will inform you as to how PEFC looks after your personal data when you visit our website (regardless of where you visit it from) and tell you about your privacy rights and how the law protects you.

PEFC Data Subject Access Request Form

Please find here the PEFC Council Data Subject Request Form, which you might use to send the PEFC Council any request related to your data subject rights. The use of the standard form is not compulsory; however, this form should help you to formulate your request by indicating your subject rights and the information you need to provide us with for us to be able to answer in a timely manner. 

1. Who is responsible for data processing and who can you contact? 

Responsible body: 

PEFC Council (PEFC International)
1215 Geneva, route de Pré-Bois 20

Email address:  

2. Definitions

2.1 Personal Data 

All information that relates to a natural person that is identified or identifiable from that data alone or from that data when it is combined with other information that is in the possession of or is likely to come into the possession of the PEFC Council.  

In addition, it includes any sensitive personal data in relation to an individual’s behaviour, opinion, personal or professional life. Sensitive personal data are subject to stricter rules regarding their processing.  

Note 1: Example of personal data collected by PEFC International include are names, physical addresses, e-mail addresses, recruitment information, remuneration details and an individual’s IP address.  

Note 2: Example of sensitive personal data includes any data relating to the racial or ethnic origin of the data subject; their political opinions; their religious or philosophical (or similar) beliefs; their physical or mental health condition; details of actual or alleged criminal offences or criminal convictions and genetic and biometric data. These data are not collected by PEFC International. 

2.2 Data processing 

Any operation with personal data, irrespective of the means and the procedures applied, and the collection, recording, storage, use, modification, disclosure, archiving, deletion, or destruction of data. 

2.3 Profiling 

Automated processing of personal data consisting of the use of personal data to evaluate certain personal aspects relating to a natural person, in particular to analyse or predict aspects concerning that natural person’s performance at work, economic situation, health, personal preferences, interests, reliability, behaviour, location or movements. 

2.4 Pseudonymisation 

The processing of personal data in such a manner that the personal data can no longer be attributed to a specific data subject without the use of additional information, provided that such additional information is kept separately and is subject to technical and organisational measures to ensure that the personal data are not attributed to an identified or identifiable natural person. 

2.5 Controller 

The natural or legal person, public authority, agency or other body which, alone or jointly with others, determines the purposes and means of the processing of personal data; where the purposes and means of such processing are determined by Union or Member State law, the controller or the specific criteria for its nomination may be provided for by Union or Member State law. 

2.6 Processor 

The natural or legal person, public authority, agency or other body which processes personal data on behalf of the controller. 

2.7 Recipient 

The natural or legal person, public authority, agency or another body, to which the personal data are disclosed, whether a third party or not.  

2.8 Third party 

The natural or legal person, public authority, agency or body other than the data subject, controller, processor and persons who, under the direct authority of the controller or processor, are authorized to process personal data. 

2.9 Consent 

Any freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous indication of the data subject’s wishes, by a statement or by a clear affirmative action, and signifies agreement to the processing of their personal data. 

 3. Collection and further processing of personal data on the website 

When you only visit the PEFC website for informational purposes, i.e. if you do not register or otherwise provide us with information, we only collect the personal data that your browser transmits to our server. We collect the following data, which is technically necessary for us to display our website to you and to guarantee stability and security: 

  • Communication data (name, e-mail address, IP address) 
  • The date and time of the request 
  • Time zone difference to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) 
  • Content of the request (specific page) 
  • Access status / HTTP status code 
  • Amount of data transferred in each case 
  • Website from which the request came 
  • Browser information 
  • Operating system and its interface 
  • Language and version of the browser software. 

 4. For what purpose does PEFC process your data and on what legal basis?  

In accordance with applicable data protection laws, PEFC process the personal data of its website users and other digital offerings for the purpose of maintaining and developing the website. Personal data is processed based on the following legal grounds - provided any such legal ground is required under applicable data protection law (i.e. the GDPR or the Swiss Federal Act on Data Protection):  

  • Performance of contracts or pre-contractual measures 
  • Compliance with legal obligations of PEFC 
  • Consent (insofar as the processing is based on a specific request for consent) 
  • Legitimate interests of PEFC are, including but not limited to: 
    • Efficient and effective improvement of services 
    • Carrying out communications and marketing activities 
    • Efficient and effective member and user support 
    • Understanding members and third-party behaviour, activities, concerns and needs, market studies 
    • Maintenance and successful further development of our websites and other digital offerings and of our IT systems. 

Our website also enables users to quickly get in touch with us via e-mail. If you contact PEFC by e-mail or via a contact form, the personal data you provide will be stored automatically. Such personal data transmitted on a voluntary basis will be stored for the purpose of processing or contacting you. This personal data is not passed on to third parties. 

On the website, you are given the opportunity to subscribe to our newsletter. Which personal data are transmitted to PEFC when ordering the newsletter, results from the input mask used for this purpose. The newsletter can only be received by you if you have a valid e-mail address and if you register for the newsletter. For legal reasons, a confirmation e-mail will be sent to the e-mail address you entered for the first time for the newsletter dispatch using the double opt-in procedure. This confirmation e-mail serves to verify whether the owner of the e-mail address as the data subject has authorized the receipt of the newsletter.

5. Who will receive your personal data? 

We may have to share your personal data with the parties set out below for the purposes set out in Section 4 above. 

  • Group companies, third party service providers and partners who provide data processing services to us (for example, to support the delivery of, provide functionality on, or help to enhance the security of our website);   
  • Competent law enforcement body, regulatory, government agency, court or other third party where we believe disclosure is necessary (i) as a matter of applicable law or regulation; (ii) to exercise, establish or defend our legal rights; or (iii) to protect your vital interests or those of any other person;  
  • To any other person with your consent to the disclosure. 

We transfer your personal data to our other PEFC entities and third parties worldwide. Some countries do not provide adequate data protection provisions. In this case, we ensure suitable data protection with adequate contractual guarantees on the basis of EU/Swiss standard contract clauses or other provisions, or we may transfer Personal Data based on the exception of consent, of contract processing, of the determination, assertion or enforcement of legal claims, of overriding public interests, or because the transfer is necessary to protect the physical integrity of a data subject.  

6. How long will your data be stored? 

We retain personal data as long as we need it to fulfil our purposes. 

Additionally, we store personal data that relates to the provision of our services or otherwise to a contract or business relationship as long as the contractual relation is ongoing and for a period of 10 years after the termination of the contractual relationship. In some cases, a longer statutory retention period is applicable for reasons of proof or if there is another valid reason for an exception based on applicable law or regulation.   

Also, if you contact us by e-mail, the data you provide (your e-mail address, possibly your name and telephone number) will be saved by us in order to answer your questions. We delete the data if no longer needed, or we restrict the processing, if there are statutory retention requirements. 

7. Data security 

We consider it our primary task to protect the confidentiality of the personal data you provide us with and to protect it from unauthorized access. That is why we apply the utmost care and state-of-the-art security standards to ensure maximum protection of your personal data. 

We have put in place procedures to deal with any suspected personal data breach and will notify you and any applicable regulator of a breach where we are legally required to do so. When we notify you, we will provide you with the relevant details of the personal data breach. 

8. Further functions and offers on our website 

In addition to the informational use of our website, we offer various services that you can use. To do this, you usually have to provide additional personal data that we use to provide the respective service and for which the data processing principles apply. 

In some cases, we use external service providers to process your data. These have been carefully selected and commissioned by us, are bound by our instructions and are assessed regularly. 

Furthermore, we can transfer your personal data to third parties, if we offer participation in campaigns, photo contests, conclusion of a contract or similar services together with partners. You will receive more information on this when you provide your personal data. 

If our service providers or partners are based in a country outside of Switzerland, we will inform you of the consequences of this fact in the description of the offer. 

 9. Use of cookies 

In addition to the aforementioned data, we use cookies incl. tracker like Google Analytics, which are stored on your computer when you use our website. Cookies are small text files that are stored on your hard drive and assigned to the browser you are using and through which certain information flows to the place that sets the cookie. Cookies cannot run programs or transmit viruses to your computer. They serve to make the Internet offer more user-friendly and more effective overall. 

You can configure your browser settings according to your wishes and e.g. reject third-party cookies or all cookies. So-called "Third Party Cookies" are cookies, that have been set by a third party, therefore not by the actual website you are currently visiting. We would like to point out that by deactivating cookies you may not be able to use all functions of this website. 

10. What privacy rights do you have? 

Under applicable data protection law, you have the following privacy rights: 

  • Request access to your personal data (commonly known as a "data subject access request"). This enables you to receive a copy of the personal data we hold about you and to check that we are lawfully processing it.  
  • Request correction of the personal data that we hold about you. This enables you to have any incomplete or inaccurate data we hold about you corrected, though we may need to verify the accuracy of the new data you provide to us.  
  • Request erasure of your personal data. This enables you to ask us to delete or remove personal data where there is no good reason for us continuing to process it. You also have the right to ask us to delete or remove your personal data where you have successfully exercised your right to object to processing (see below), where we may have processed your information unlawfully or where we are required to erase your personal data to comply with local law. Note, however, that we may not always be able to comply with your request of erasure for specific legal reasons which will be notified to you, if applicable, at the time of your request.  
  • Request restriction of processing of your personal data. This enables you to ask us to suspend the processing of your personal data in the following scenarios: (a) if you want us to establish the data's accuracy; (b) where our use of the data is unlawful but you do not want us to erase it; (c) where you need us to hold the data even if we no longer require it as you need it to establish, exercise or defend legal claims; or (d) you have objected to our use of your data but we need to verify whether we have overriding legitimate grounds to use it. 
  • Object to processing of your personal data where we are relying on a legitimate interest (or those of a third party) and there is something about your situation which makes you want to object to processing on this ground as you feel it impacts on your fundamental rights and freedoms. You also have the right to object where we are processing your personal data for direct marketing purposes. In some cases, we may demonstrate that we have compelling legitimate grounds to process your information which override your rights and freedoms. 
  • Request the transfer of your personal data to you or to a third party. We will provide to you, or a third party you have chosen, your personal data in a structured, commonly used, machine-readable format. Note that this right only applies to automated information which you initially provided consent for us to use or where we used the information to perform a contract with you.  
  • Withdraw consent at any time where we are relying on consent to process your personal data. However, this will not affect the lawfulness of any processing carried out before you withdraw your consent. If you withdraw your consent, we may not be able to provide certain products or services to you. We will advise you if this is the case at the time you withdraw your consent. 

If you wish to exercise any of the rights set out above, please contact us using the details set out in Section 1.  

Time limit to respond  

We try to respond to all legitimate requests within one month.  

You may also raise a complaint with the competent data protection authority, which for PEFC in Switzerland is the Swiss Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner (   

11. Amendment of our data protection notice

We reserve the right to change our security and data protection measures, if this becomes necessary due to technical circumstances. In these cases, we will also amend our information on data protection accordingly. Please note therefore the current version of our data protection declaration. 

Status: 09.08.2022

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