Privacy statement

1. Who are we?

The Federal Office of Meteorology and Climatology MeteoSwiss, Operation Center 1, P.O. Box 257, 8058 Zurich Airport (kundendienst@meteoswiss.ch, +41 58 460 91 11) ("MeteoSwiss", "we" or "us") is responsible for data processing in accordance with this privacy statement.

The Data Protection Officer for MeteoSwiss is Caroline Lehner, Head of Legal Services (Operation Center 1, P.O. Box 257, 8058 Zurich Airport, caroline.lehner@meteoschweiz.ch).

2. What is "personal data" and what does "processing" mean?

Data protection law regulates the way personal data is processed. Personal data means any information which may be associated with a particular individual. This can include the following information, for example:

  • Contact information, e.g. name, postal address, e-mail address or telephone number;
  • Personal details such as gender, date of birth and age, marital status or nationality;
  • Records of your visits to websites and use of apps.

"Processing" thus means any handling of your personal data. This includes the following actions, for example:

  • Collection and storage;
  • Adaptation and change;
  • Use;
  • Linking with other data;
  • Disclosure;
  • Deletion and destruction.

3. Which personal data do we process?

We process different kinds of personal data, depending on the occasion and purpose. This section provides more detailed information on this.

When accessing our website and apps, the following data in particular is stored in log files: IP address or mobile ID, date, time, browser request and general information about the operating system and browser.

When you contact us, we collect and process in particular the following information about you, which you provide when registering with us: first name, last name and e-mail address.

If you visit or use our website and apps, we process technical data, e.g. information about the time you access our website or apps, the duration of your visit, the pages and apps accessed as well information about the end device used.

For "Weather on-site" to work in the MeteoSwiss app, you need to allow and enable location services on your mobile device. Information about your exact position will not be transmitted or made available to MeteoSwiss. Your position is only transmitted to MeteoSwiss with an accuracy of 1 km if "Weather on-site push messages" are enabled. MeteoSwiss cannot access users' contact details.

4. For what purposes do we process personal data?

We process personal data in particular for the following purposes:

  • To conduct statistical, pseudonymous or anonymous evaluations in order to better understand the behaviour of our users and identify trends. This enables us to continuously improve the information and services on offer;
  • To administer and manage our IT and other resources;
  • To provide, manage, secure and personalise websites, apps, and online offerings;
  • To transmit targeted information through electronic channels (unless the recipient has objected to the receipt of such information);
  • To communicate with you;
  • For archiving and other administrative purposes;
  • To review and comply with legal obligations, including orders issued by a court or authority.

5. To whom do we pass on your personal data?

Personal data is treated confidentially. Our employees have access to your personal data insofar as this is necessary for the purposes described and the work of the employees concerned. This includes employees in customer support areas such as IT. They are obliged to maintain confidentiality when handling your personal data. We may also pass on your personal data to third parties whose services we use (e.g. IT service providers).

In special cases, we may pass on personal data to other parties for their own purposes, e.g. to law enforcement agencies in the event of suspected misuse. In these cases, the recipient of the data is a controller in their own right under data protection law.

6. When do we disclose your personal data abroad?

The recipients of your personal data may also be located abroad, including outside the EU or EEA. The countries concerned may not have laws that protect your personal data to the same extent as in Switzerland, the EU or the EEA. If we transfer your personal data to such a country, we will take the necessary measures to protect your personal data, e.g. by concluding an agreement to that effect.

7. How do we process personal information in connection with websites and apps?

If you visit or use our website and apps, we process your personal data (see point 3) in order to operate the website or app, for IT security reasons, and to improve the user experience. We also use "cookies", which are files stored on your end device, and similar technologies when you visit our website or use our apps. Some cookies are necessary in order for the website to function properly. We use other cookies to store settings (e.g. your chosen location for local forecasting) for a later visit, for anonymous statistical analyses on the use of our website, and to personalise certain content on our website. These cookies are deleted within one year of visiting the website.

We also use third-party cookies so that these parties can collect the information necessary for their services. We do not provide personal information to such third-party providers. However, the third-party providers collect information about your use of our website in order to provide their services. This primarily involves statistical analyses of the use of our website. Third-party providers may combine the information collected about you with data from other websites you may have visited that collaborate with those third parties and may use that information for their own purposes (e.g. to control advertising on partner sites of those providers). If you have registered with the provider in question, that provider will be able to identify you. The provider is solely responsible for the processing of your personal data in this manner in accordance with its own data privacy policy.

One example of an analysis service is Google Analytics, a service provided by Google LLC in the USA and Google Ireland Limited in Ireland (collectively "Google"). Google uses cookies to collect information about your use of our website or apps and the type of end device (tablet, PC, smartphone, etc.) you use to view them, such as information about your browser, the website from which you accessed our website, the name of your provider, your IP address, the date and time you accessed the website, pages you visited and how long you stayed on the website, and, if applicable, visits to other websites and apps. Based on this information we receive analyses from Google. Google stores this information in the USA; however, your IP address will be shortened in the EU or EEA beforehand. You can prevent the use of Google Analytics by using a browser add-on, which you can install at https://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout.

We also use the Google Firebase service, another Google service, and the notification service of Apple Inc., USA, to send push messages. A pseudonymised ID is assigned to your end device, i.e. a unique, non-descriptive connection number by means of which we can address the push messages to you. You can change the notification by push messages at any time in the apps' settings. We also use Google Firebase Crash Reporting to improve our apps and make them more stable. We collect data about the end device you are using as well as the use of our apps (e.g. the time stamp, when the respective app was started and when a malfunction occurred), which enables us to diagnose and fix errors. When using Firebase Crash Report, your data will only be collected in anonymous form, so that neither Google Inc. nor we can draw conclusions about your person. For more information about this and about the privacy practices of Google products, please see Google's privacy policy.

You may reject the use of the above technologies provided they are not required for the proper functioning of the website or app: You can configure your browser to prevent cookies from being accepted and to delete stored cookies (however, we would like to point out that if you do so not all of the functions of this website will then be available), and you can uninstall apps or configure them so that certain (tracking) functions (e.g. the location service) are not used or are rejected.

We also include social networking features such as Facebook and Twitter on our websites. Instead of the usual "Share" buttons associated with social media, we use "Shariff", protecting your online activity from curious onlookers. Our "Share" buttons establish direct contact between social networks and users only when you actively click on the "Share" button. Information submitted after clicking the "Share" button may be used by these providers for their own purposes, at their own responsibility, and in accordance with their own data privacy policy. Further information about Shariff can be found here (german).

8. How long do we store your personal data?

We store your personal data in identifiable form for as long as it is necessary for the specific purpose for which we have collected it; in the case of registrations, this is generally at least for the duration of the registration. You can cancel your registration at any time.

We also store personal data if we have a legitimate interest in doing so, e.g. for documentation and evidence preservation purposes and to protect and defend legal claims. In addition, we store your personal data as long as it is subject to a statutory retention period.

9. How do we protect your personal data?

In close collaboration with our internal and external hosting providers and other IT service providers, we take appropriate technical (e.g. encryption, pseudonymisation, logging, access restriction, data security, etc.) and organisational (e.g. instructions to our employees, confidentiality agreements, checks, etc.) security measures to safeguard the security of your personal data, to protect it against unauthorised or unlawful processing and to counter the risk of loss, accidental alteration, unintentional disclosure or unauthorised access. However, security risks cannot be completely ruled out; certain residual risks are usually unavoidable.

10. What rights do you have in connection with the processing of your personal data?

You can object to data processing at any time. Under the law applicable to you, you also have the right to access, correct and delete data, limit data processing, object to our data processing and the right to receive from us, free of charge and in a readable format, the personal data you have provided to us. Furthermore, you have the right to revoke your consent without this affecting the legality of the data processing carried out until the revocation. You can also lodge a complaint with the relevant data protection authority.

11. Miscellaneous

The processing of your personal data is particularly necessary in order to enter into or perform a contract with you and/or to process personal data with your consent. Furthermore, processing is necessary to protect our legitimate interests, such as: communication with users not governed by a contract; information activities; getting to know our users better; improving and developing new services; protecting users and data; ensuring IT security, especially in connection with the use of websites, apps and other IT infrastructure; ensuring and organising business operations, including the operation and further development of websites and other systems; enforcing or defending legal claims; compliance with Swiss law and internal regulations. As a rule, you are not obliged to provide your personal data. You are only required to enter certain data (e.g. your e-mail address or your name) when registering. It is also necessary to process log data and certain other data when using websites and apps. And when communicating with us, we must at the very least process the personal data that you provide to us or that we provide to you.

Further information