Privacy Policy

Thank you for your willingness to contribute to LACO-Wiki. This document aims to provide you with adequate information on the data we receive from you, how we process it, and what we make available to the public in order to comply with the requirements of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Our platform

The app you are using has been developed by the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), Schlossplatz 1, 2361 Laxenburg, Austria, and GeoVille GmbH, Sparkassenpl. 2, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria. The project was initially funded by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) under the Austrian Space Applications Programme (ASAP) with further funding from the European Environment Agency (EEA).

What are personal data?

“Personal data” means any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person, such as their name, contact information, their location at a certain time or IP address.

Data processed by us

We are a scientific institute and process personal data for scientific purposes. We process personal data:
  • for which you have given us consent for a specific purpose (Art. 6 para 1 lit a GDPR), namely for carrying out this scientific study;
  • that is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest (Art. 6 para 1 lit e GDPR), namely for carrying out this scientific study; that is necessary for the purpose of the legitimate interests pursued by us or by a third party (Art. 6 para 1 lit f GDPR), e.g., avoiding legal disputes about rights in the contributions. If possible, we seek the explicit consent to the processing of data, in particular the disclosure to third parties (Art. 6 para. 1 lit. a GDPR). Below is a list of types of data the app collects. Please note that a copy of the data might be briefly stored in the server's memory for a short period. These data are temporarily stored apart from the database, managed and deleted automatically by the server's operating system and will not be accessed by us for processing, archiving, or any other reason, with the exception of email addresses and additional attributes as outlined for the specific purposes below. It is also possible through logging errors or general requests that submitted data be stored in one of the server's log files. These files are not publicly accessible and are not used for any processing, storage or data publication other than for resolving a possible software problem. These are technical necessities over which we have no control.

Registration/Login/Profile Update

There are three ways to register/login to the app: using a Geo-Wiki, Google or facebook account. In the case of Geo-Wiki, we process the following data for registration, login and profile updates for a given user, all of which are stored on the Geo-Wiki.org platform:
  • Email address
  • User password (encrypted)
  • User name
  • First name
  • Last name
  • Hometown
  • Additional attributes provided by the user (biological gender, profession, experience).
In the case of Google or Facebook, we store only a User ID and user email address.

Use of email addresses (all accounts) and additional attributes (Geo-Wiki account)

Email addresses will be added to our newsletter mailing list. However, you can unsubscribe from the mailing list at any time. Otherwise we will only use the email address to contact you if it is related to your activities in the LACO-Wiki app.

None of this information (email address or additional attributes) will be published, e.g., with the data product. For publications, a technical procedure (hash) will be applied to the user's id to preserve data regarding which contributions were made by the same person. This hash does not allow for the calculation or retrieval of the original user id.

Log Data

Whenever you use our service, we collect Log Data to identify errors in the app. Log Data may include information such as your device Internet Protocol (“IP”) address, device name, operating system version, the configuration of the app when utilizing our service, the time and date of your use of the service, and other statistics. These data are used for identifying problems with our software and will not be published as part of the resulting data product.


We use first party cookies to provide essential site functionality. Cookies are small text files that are saved by your browser and temporarily stored on your device.

Provided that you have consented to the use of cookies, our website uses Google Analytics, a web analysis service of Google LLC. (“Google”). Google Analytics uses cookies to help understand how the website is being used. In order to do so, information about your visit, including parts of your IP Address, may be transmitted, stored and processed on a Google server in the USA or another non-EU state.

You can also prevent the placement of cookies through the settings of your browser or by downloading and installing the browser plug-in available at the following link: Google Analytics Opt-out Browser Add-on.

Submitting your contribution

When you submit your contribution, the app accesses and processes the data you collected, and some additional information we use for assessing the quality of your contribution and for reproducing technical problems in case of an error. The following data are sent to the server and stored:
  • User ID
  • User display name
  • User e-mail address
  • Only for Geo-Wiki accounts:
    • First name
    • Last name
    • Hometown
    • Additional attributes provided by the user (biological gender, profession, experience).
  • User language preferences
  • Data sets uploaded to the system as shapefiles or GeoTiffs
  • Legend information created by the user
  • Sample data sets generated by the user
  • Validation sessions generated by the user, including layer selections
  • Validation data sets
  • Geo-tagged photographs (uploaded from the mobile app)
  • Accuracy assessment reports generated by the user.

Information on contributions made with the LACO-Wiki mobile app

The mobile app has a map view. Since this usually shows your current location, it implicitly uses your current location (latitude and longitude). For this purpose, we access the following data:
  • User ID
  • Location (Latitude, Longitude)
  • Bounding coordinates for the part of the map currently shown in the app
However, we do not permanently store this information except for your user ID and location when submitting a validation.

Data storage

The data in LACO-Wiki are stored and maintained on state-of-the-art web service environments hosted on rented servers at Hetzner Online GmbH, Industriestrasse 25, 91710 Gunzenhausen, Germany. We do not provide any means to access data for the hosting company other than the ways intended for every user. The environment is set up such that we restrict access to the database strictly to our trusted network and through APIs that let us choose exactly which data are accessible to which users.

Regarding the use of cookies, please see above. Information about your visit, including parts of your IP address, may be transmitted, stored and processed on a Google server in the USA or another non-EU state.

Data contributions

Please be aware that we rely on you to contribute data, which does not infringe on the rights of others. Make sure you follow the instructions and do not submit data that could violate especially personal rights, copyright or other legislation.

By contributing data, you provide us with the information requested in the app/website, but we usually also collect additional data that allows us to trace technical problems and verify the quality of the contribution. Please see the details above.

By contributing data, you grant IIASA a license to use these data. Please refer to our Terms of Use.

Third parties

Please note that we may employ the following third-party companies to facilitate our service:
  • Google LLC;
  • Hetzner Online GmbH.

These companies will have access to your data in order to perform the tasks we assign to them, as described above. However, they are obliged to not disclose or use the information for any other purpose.

Should you consent to the use of your username in our social media platforms, it will be visible in connection with the photos you submitted on

  • Facebook (www.facebook.com/, operated by Facebook, Inc.,1601 Willow Road, Menlo Park, California 94025; and Facebook Ireland Ltd., 4 Grand Canal Square, Grand Canal Harbour, Dublin 2 Ireland)
  • Twitter (www.twitter.com/, operated by Twitter International Company, One Cumberland Place, Fenian Street Dublin 2, D02 AX07 Ireland; and 1355 Market Street, Suite 900, San Francisco, CA 94103, United States)

Google LLC, Facebook and Twitter have their seat in the US and comply with “Privacy Shield”. According to a decision by the European Commission this guarantees an adequate level of data protection.

Rights of the user

At any time, you have the right
  • to request information as to which of your data we process (Art. 15 GDPR),
  • to request the rectification or erasure of your data (Art. 16 and Art. 17 GDPR),
  • to restrict the processing of your data (Art. 18 GDPR),
  • to request the transmission of your data (Art. 20 GDPR);
  • to file a complaint with a supervisory authority, in particular, the Austrian data protection authority (www.dsb.gv.at) or the data protection authority at your place of residence.

You can instruct us to stop processing your data at any time using the contact data below. Even if you have agreed to the processing of data in the past, you can revoke such consent at any time (Art. 21 GDPR).

Should you have questions concerning your personal data, please contact us using the contact information below.

Third party apps and websites

Our app and/or website may contain links to other websites. If you click on a third-party link, you will be directed to that site. Please note that these external sites are not operated by us and we do not have any control, nor assume any responsibility for their content, privacy policies or practices.

We therefore strongly advise you to review the Privacy Policy of those websites.

Contact us

If you have any questions about our Privacy Policy, do not hesitate to contact us at info@laco-wiki.net.

International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis
Schlossplatz 1
A-2361 Laxenburg
Tel: + 43 2236 807 0
Last updated: 22 July 2019