Important information about our privacy policy (written report)

Important notice!

The following text serves as a guideline, no guarantee of legal certainty of the translation

Our privacy policy is very important to us, the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse Issues (referred to as “we” or “Inquiry” hereinafter). Please read these instructions carefully, even though they are very lengthy. The Inquiry’s office will be happy to answer any questions you have.

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

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse Issues works independently with regard to content and expertise. Organisationally we report to the Independent Commissioner for Child Sexual Abuse Issues (UBSKM), who in turn is assigned to the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth. The data and documents held by the Inquiry are therefore subject to the data protection and file management regulations that apply at the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth.

The person responsible within the meaning of Article 4, No. 7 of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is:

The Independent Commissioner for Child Sexual Abuse Issues
at the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth,
Glinkastraße 24,
10117 Berlin

You can contact our official data protection officer at:

Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth
The Data Protection Officer
Glinkastraße 24
10117 Berlin
Telefon: +49(0)30 18 555 0
E-Mail: datenschutzbeauftragte@bmfsfj.bund.de

2. What is the purpose of us processing your details?

he Inquiry is investigating all forms of child sexual abuse that occurred in the Federal Republic of Germany and the former GDR. This includes the following questions:

1. Which omissions or structural defects enabled abuse to occur in the past and also prevented sexual abuse from being processed?
2. What is the extent of sexual violence against children and adolescents in Germany? Under what circumstances does sexual violence occur and what are its causes and consequences?
3. What do politicians and society need to change so that children and adolescents are better protected against abuse in future?

Your written report will help answer these questions. Your details will be processed so that we can carry out our tasks (Art. 6, Para. 1, 1e of the GDPR in conjunction with Section 3 of the Federal Data Protection Act. If you send us information that describes special categories of personal details, such as information about your state of health, sex life or ethnic origin, we will process these details as part of our historical and scientific research. The legal basis for this is Art. 9, Para. 2j, Art. 89, Para. 1 of the GDPR, Section 27, Para. 1 of the Federal Data Protection Act. Your details will only be published with your consent (Section 27, Para. 4 of the Federal Data Protection Act).

3. How are we able to collect your personal details?

We collect and process the personal details that you provide us with in your written report. You are not obliged to provide such details as you only need to report what you want to report to us. If you provide details about third parties who are or would be identifiable through your information, we will also collect these personal details in order to fulfil our mandate comprehensively and to fully depict your details based on facts. We do not carry out investigations into individual offences or perpetrators.

4. How are your details evaluated and stored?

Your written report will be digitally stored by the Inquiry’s office and kept in a file. The Inquiry’s office also maintains a database. Certain details about your story will be entered in this database. This will be done without mentioning your name or other characteristics such as locations, other people or institutions whose mention might identify you (pseudonymised recording). For example, it will record the period in which the sexual violence occurred, what personal relationship you had with the perpetrator and whether you filed a criminal complaint.

The information obtained by the Inquiry will also be evaluated with the help of scientific projects by Inquiry staff members and other scientists. The Inquiry regularly reports its findings to the public and makes action recommendations to politicians and society. The sole purpose of processing your details is to enable us to evaluate and report it.

The following projects have contributed to the details being evaluated by the Inquiry in the past:

  • “Paths to greater justice after sexual violence in childhood and youth”, project management: Inquiry member Prof. Dr. Barbara Kavemann
  • “Sexual child abuse by women”, project management: Inquiry member (2016 – 2022) Prof. Dr. med. Peer Briken
  • “Keeping findings from hearings for the future”, project management: Inquiry chairperson (2016 – 2021) Prof. Dr. Sabine Andresen
  • “Lifestyle after experiencing sexual abuse and maltreatment in institutions”, responsible: Institute for Project Consulting and Practical Research (IPP)/Inquiry memberProf. Dr. Heiner Keupp

The Inquiry also commissions case studies in which hearings and written reports are evaluated on an issue-related basis (such as issues relating to the former GDR and churches). More information about these projects and case studies can be found on our website under Research. Our website is continually updated. All of the projects and case studies carried out by the Inquiry members or commissioned or funded by the Inquiry are presented there, although not all of the projects are included in the evaluation of the hearings and written reports. You are also welcome to contact us for information through our free-of-charge service hotline (Tel.: 0800 40 300 40, office hours: Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays: 9 am – 2 pm; Tuesdays and Thursdays: 3 pm – 8 pm).

5. Who will be given your details?

The written reports submitted to the Inquiry’s office are processed in the Inquiry’s office. Names, locations, people or institutions that could be used to identify you personally are always deleted (pseudonymised). The pseudonymised details are also recorded in our database.

The Inquiry’s office is supported during these various document management steps by the “textpool-berlin” and “MedSOK Krüger e.K.” support offices, the Federal Office for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth and the N.I.N.A. e. V. (National hotline, network and contact point for sexual violence against girls and boys) specialist advice centre.

NINA e. V. also bears technical responsibility for the service hotline.

Everyone involved in the process has been carefully selected and they are committed to ensuring that appropriate technical and organisational measures are always in place to provide the required level of data protection. The Inquiry’s office ensures compliance with this obligation through close cooperation and continuous checks.

So that your details can be evaluated as described under section 4., we pass it on to the institutes and scientists named there and on our website at: www.aufarbeitungskommission.de/projekte. Only pseudonymised (see above) written reports are passed on here, which have no personal references for the recipients to see. Any documents that could be used to identify you always remain in the Inquiry’s office.

Your details will only be processed within the EU’s member states or another country that is a signatory to the European Economic Area Agreement.

Your name or other details that might make you identifiable will not be mentioned in any the Inquiry’s publications or the above-mentioned scientific projects. Your details might be reproduced verbatim in one of the Inquiry’s reports or a publication. Here, too, we will ensure that the quote will not allow any conclusions to be made about you as a person (pseudonymised). If it is a long quote (i.e. more than two sentences), we will only quote you if you specifically consent to this.

6. What rights do you have?

You can exercise the rights set out in Articles 15, 16, 17, 18, 20 and 21 Para. 6 of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) at any time. They are the rights to information, rectification, restriction of processing, deletion and data portability. These rights might be restricted for certain personal details, e.g. if there is a compelling public interest in the processing or if this conflicts with the rights of other peoples. We will inform you of this if you exercise your rights in such cases. In accordance with Article 77 of the GDPR in conjunction with Section 19 of the Federal Data Protection Act, you also have the right to lodge a complaint with a data protection supervisory authority. The responsible supervisory authority for the UBSKM is the Federal Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information (website: www.bfdi.bund.de). You also have the right to take legal action.

7. For how long will your details be stored?

We would also like to stay in contact with you, e.g. to inform you about our publications or to ask you whether we may reproduce your details verbatim in a publication. This means that the Inquiry will store your details for the entire duration of its term, which means for as long as the Inquiry is active. The Inquiry will transfer your details to the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth / the Independent Commissioner for Child Sexual Abuse Issues after it has completed its work. They will stipulate a retention period. Any subsequent questions about the documents can still be answered within this period. The Independent Commissioner for Child Sexual Abuse Issues staff will treat your personal details with the same high standards as the Inquiry did. All of the documents containing personal details (especially non-pseudonymised written reports and e-mails) will be destroyed or deleted after this deadline expires. Written documents from which your name or other circumstances could be used to identify you have been deleted, will be handed over to the Federal Archives. They will then examine the handover. At this point, the Inquiry’s office will also no longer be able to say which story belongs to which person (completely anonymised).

Handing them over to the Federal Archives means that your story and the work of the Inquiry will be preserved as eyewitness documents for future generations. This will contribute to creating a shared reminder about the sexual violence experienced in our society. The documents will then be subject to the provisions of the Federal Archives Act.

8. Are there any exceptions to the confidential handling of details?

Both the members of the Inquiry and the Inquiry’s office staff will treat your details and information confidentially. No further handling or use of your details by them is intended. However, the Inquiry is committed to child protection. Should one of the hearings or a written report reveal specific evidence of an ongoing serious risk to a child’s welfare, then appropriate measures will be discussed to end this risk. This applies, in particular, to cases where a risk of ongoing sexual abuse of a child is suspected. In certain cases, suitable measures might also include informing the youth welfare office or even the police in exceptional cases. However, as a rule this would only occur after a discussion with the person from whom the Inquiry received the information about the risk to a child’s welfare. This person would also be informed about the involvement of the authorities.

The Inquiry’s office might also be obliged to hand over written documents to other authorities (namely public prosecutors’ offices and courts) in specific cases.

9. Can the Inquiry guarantee absolute protection of your details?

We have implemented organisational and technical measures to protect your details. Electronic files are stored in a specially secured Federal Government server. They can only be accessed by office staff and staff at the Federal Office for Family and Civil Society Tasks who need them for their work. Only certain members of the office staff and staff at the Federal Office for Family and Civil Society Tasks can access the pseudonymised lists and passwords.

If we have to pass on your details to other third parties (see section 5. above), we will ensure that secure transmission channels are used and you are personally protected through extensive pseudonymisation and encryption. However, no one can guarantee absolute data protection. If it is important for you to exclude the disclosure of your details in every conceivable case, then you have the option of providing completely anonymous details.

Issued: 22.12.2022

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