1. Introduction

Welcome to Swiss Polar Institute websites (www.swisspolar.ch and www.polar-class.ch) and online services. To improve your experience, ensure the proper functioning of our websites and distinguish you from other users, we use “cookies”. Cookies are small files placed on the hard drive of a device which allow a web browser to be recognised during the validity time of the cookies.

The main types of cookies are:

  1. Session and persistent cookies : session cookies are temporary bits of information that are erased once a web browser window is closed, or a computer is turned off; persistent cookies remain on a computer until they are deleted, or they expire.
  2. First-party and third-party cookies : first-party cookies are those set by the SPI websites you are visiting; third-party cookies are those served by a third party on our behalf.

To learn all about cookies, you can go to this page: All About Cookies.

2. Purposes of the cookies

The cookies that the SPI websites generate allow the SPI to:

  • offer a faster browsing experience of visitors to the website by storing choices;
  • prepare statistics including frequency of access, the use and performances of websites;
  • adapt the presentation of SPI websites to the display preferences of a visitor’s device (language, operating system etc.);
  • memorise preferences and parameters (authentication);
  • enable reserved or personal spaces on SPI websites to be accessed;
  • improve communication and services.

3. Cookies used by SPI

Cookies used on our website are categorized as follows :

  • Essential or strictly necessary cookies

Some cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly as they ensure basic functionalities and security features of the website. They do not store any personal information.

  • Performance cookies

Performance cookies collect data on website usage and help improve its performance, communication and services. They do not store any personal information.

  • Functionality cookies

Functionality cookies enhance your user experience by remembering your preferences and settings (language, operating system etc.).

  • Analytical or statistic cookies

Analytical cookies collect anonymous data for analytics and statistics, including the frequency of access, website usage, and performance metrics.

  • Third-Party or targeting cookies

SPI websites may include web beacons, cookies, or similar technologies from third-party service providers, in particular Google Inc.

The service offered by Google Analytics allows SPI to determine the number of hits on the site and to pinpoint the most frequently visited pages. Those cookies are introduced and read on user’s terminal equipment and by accessing a website, using the service “Google Analytics”. The information produced by the cookie is related to use of SPI websites and to the IP address using them. This data is anonymised. For more information regarding Google Analytics, please refer to this website: http://www.google.com/analytics/learn/privacy.html. Data collection or use can be opted out of by clicking the following links: http://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout (requires installation of a browser add-on).

SPI may include applications emanating from third parties on our websites, which enable a visitor to share an opinion, the contents of SPI websites with others or to make these others aware of a visit to SPI websites. This is particularly the case of the “Share” and “Like” buttons, derived from social networks (such as “X” (formerly Twitter), “Facebook”, “Instagram”, etc.). The social network that provides such an application button may identify the user because of this button, even if not used when visiting SPI websites. Indeed, this type of application button may allow the social network concerned to follow browsing on SPI websites, simply because the user’s account for that social network account was activated on the device (the user was logged in) whilst browsing SPI websites. Please consult the privacy policies of these social networks to be aware of the purpose, particularly as regards advertising, of browser information that they may gather due to these application buttons. These protection policies must allow a user to exercise choices with these social networks, especially by programming user accounts for each of these networks. SPI is not responsible for any damage related to any personal data transfers to these social networks due to simultaneous connection.

4. Other tracking technologies used by SPI

  • Server Log Files

Each time one of the SPI websites is accessed, the following information may be registered, should they be transmitted to SPI server infrastructure by the web browser: date and time including time zone, IP address, HTTP status code, operating system including user interface and version, browser including language and version, individual pages opened on SPI websites including amount of data transmitted and websites last visited in the current browser window.

Such data are saved in server log files. These data are necessary to ensure that SPI websites remain user-friendly and reliable, and to guarantee data security.

  • Tracking Pixels

SPI may use tracking pixels (also referred to as web beacons) on their websites. Tracking pixels – also those from third parties whose services are used by SPI – are small, generally invisible images that are automatically opened when a user visits the website. Tracking pixels can record the same data as server log files.

  • Fonts

Third-party services are used so that selected fonts can be used on SPI websites. No cookies are generally used in this context.

  • Success and Reach Measurement

Third-party services are used to determine the success and reach of SPI websites. Cookies may be used in this context. Such services provide an adequate level of privacy, notably by anonymising and pseudo-anonymising data.

With consent or provided the law allows, SPI shall use website-visitor data to analyse user preferences and habits, and to personalise and optimise visitor experiences on their websites. To offer enhanced online services, third party services such as streaming services (YouTube, Vimeo and SwitchTube) and social media (X, Instagram and Facebook) may be embedded. These service providers may collect and process personal data as Data Controllers. Please refer directly to the terms and privacy policies of those providers.

5. Managing Cookies

When you visit our websites for the first time, we will show you a pop-up with an explanation about cookies. As soon as you click on “Save preferences”, you consent to us using the categories of cookies and plug-ins you selected in the pop-up, as described in this Cookie Policy. You can disable the use of cookies via your browser, but please note that our websites may no longer work properly as certain cookies are essential for the functionality of the website.

In addition, most web browsers automatically accept cookies but provide controls that allow them to be blocked or deleted. To find instructions for blocking or deleting cookies, refer to the browser’s privacy settings or help documentation. Please note that our websites may not work properly if all cookies are disabled. If you do delete the cookies in your browser, they will be placed again after your consent when you visit our website again.

6. Your rights with respect to personal data

For the detailed information about how your personal data is managed on SPI websites, please refer to our Privacy Policy.

7. Contact details

For questions and/or comments about our Cookie Policy, please contact us by using the following contact details:

Swiss Polar Institute, Route des Ronquos 86, 1950 Sion, Switzerland

This Cookie Policy was last updated on 16/10/2023.