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Privacy Statement

The UCPKN Privacy Statement defines what personal information do we collect, for what purpose, and how do we safeguard your data. By reading the statement, you can also understand how you can update, manage, export, and delete your information.

The Union Civil Protection Knowledge Network (UCPKN) platform is a growing online community for civil protection and disaster risk management practitioners. Through the provision of innovative tools, the platform provides a forum for members to collaborate, share ideas and expertise.

Please read this statement carefully to understand how we collect, use, store and safeguard your personal data.

The European Commission (hereafter ‘the Commission’) is committed to protect your personal data and to respect your privacy. The Commission collects and further processes personal data pursuant to Regulation (EU) 2018/1725 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2018 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data by the Union institutions, bodies, offices and agencies and on the free movement of such data (and repealing Regulation (EC) No 45/2001).

This privacy statement explains the reason for the processing of your personal data, the way we collect, handle and ensure protection of all personal data provided, how that information is used and what rights you have in relation to your personal data. It also specifies the contact details of the responsible Data Controller with whom you may exercise your rights, the Data Protection Officer and the European Data Protection Supervisor.

The information found hereby relates to processing operation: Union Civil Protection Knowledge Network Collaborative Platform: Applied Knowledge for Action, undertaken by the Directorate General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations / Unit ECHO.B3 Knowledge Network and Evidence-Based Policy.

Purpose of the processing operation: the Directorate General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations / Unit ECHO.B3 Knowledge Network and Evidence-Based Policy collects and uses your personal information to allow for the provision of advanced services to registered users of the UCPKN platform, and facilitate community building, collaboration and exchange among peers.

The Union Civil Protection Knowledge Network was originally set up to bring together civil protection and disaster risk management actors to work together, collaborate and learn from each other with the objective of strengthening the EU’s overall ability and capacity to deal with disasters. It was also tasked to develop and maintain an online platform to support and facilitate the implementation of the Network’s activities. The platform was first launched in December 2021 and is gradually expanding, both in terms of technical features and userbase, as well as content and a host of topic areas relevant to the civil protection and disaster risk management community.

The purpose of the data processing:

  • To grant user access to certain sections of the UCPKN platform,
  • To maintain communication with users and community members,
  • To offer services to registered users: such as activity streams, suggested contents on the platform, and notifications of contents (subscribed by the user in their profile),
  • To cross-reference user email addresses with the UCPM Training Programme Registration Tool (DPR-EC-04371.5) to facilitate the validation process,
  • To improve the civil protection and disaster risk management sector through learning and knowledge sharing and facilitating community building,
  • To facilitate and enhance collaboration among peers in the civil protection and disaster risk management community by providing networking possibilities (events, storytelling, commenting, contributing contents, setting up groups/projects, etc.),
  • To report on trends for statistical purposes and to better understand the needs of the users (to enhance content, services, performance, and features).

User personal data will not be used for an automated decision-making including profiling.

We process your personal data, because processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest (Article 5(1)(a) of Regulation 2018/1725).

The basis for the processing is laid down by the following Union law: Article 11 of the European Treaty on the European Union states: “The institutions shall, by appropriate means, give citizens and representative associations the opportunity to make known and publicly exchange their views in all areas of Union action. The institutions shall maintain an open, transparent and regular dialogue with representative associations and civil society”.

Article 196 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) calls upon the Union to “encourage cooperation between Member States in order to improve the effectiveness of systems for preventing and protecting against natural or man-made disasters”. In particular, the Union shall aim to: “(a) support and complement Member States' action at national, regional and local level in risk prevention, in preparing their civil-protection personnel and in responding to natural or man-made disasters within the Union; (b) promote swift, effective operational cooperation within the Union between national civil-protection services; (c) promote consistency in international civil-protection work.” The Union Civil Protection Knowledge Network, introduced by Decision (EU) 2019/420 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 March 2019 amending Decision No 1313/2013/EU on a Union Civil Protection Mechanism, is an initiative supporting achievement of these objectives by aggregating, processing and disseminating knowledge and information relevant to the Union Mechanism. Art. 13(1) fourth subparagraph point (d) of Decision 1313/2013/EU as amended tasked the UCPKN to develop and maintain an online platform to support and facilitate the implementation of the Network’s activities.

As is apparent in section 4 below, some data may be uploaded on the platform on a purely voluntary basis. This data is processed on the basis of the consent of the persons concerned (Article 5(1)(d) of Regulation 2018/1725).

In order to carry out this processing the Directorate General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations / Unit ECHO.B3 Knowledge Network and Evidence-Based Policy collects the following categories of personal data:

Each data subject must provide some personal data to create a user account (* mandatory items are required to allow recognition from other members):

Public Profile Data (publicly available on user profiles)

  • First name *
  • Last name *
  • Country (you are based in) *
  • Name of organisation *
  • Profile picture

Public or Private Profile Data (based on user privacy settings)

  • Job title / position *
  • City (you are based in)
  • Nationality *
  • Working languages
  • Gender
  • About you (bio description)
  • Topic(s)/sub-topic(s) of expertise
  • Topic(s)/sub-topic(s) of interest

Account Data

  • EU Login Authentication System (EU Login) username (not publicly available)
  • E-mail address (public or private profile data, based on user privacy settings)

The EU Login Authentication System (EU Login) is the service allowing users to access most of the digital systems developed or used by the European Institutions.

Administrators of the site can view the e-mail and EU Login username through the back-end administration panel. Access to these details may be necessary to provide troubleshooting.

The password is never visible, and remains encrypted, even for those who manage the infrastructure and development of the platform.

The system collects additional data that is visible to administrators of the platform; this information includes:

  • Last time/date of login
  • Last time/date of access

This data provides an understanding of authenticated activity on the website and allows the identification of inactive accounts.

User files

Users can upload files on the platform. If they do so within private Groups, the content remains visible only to the administrators or members of these Groups and the site administrators. If the users add files as part of public Groups, the content is publicly available. If the files are submitted in a draft mode, only site administrators can view them in the back-end administration panel through a generic file interface. If not published, these files will be deleted automatically after 30 days.

Published contents

Users voluntarily contribute materials to the UCPKN platform by uploading files, inserting pictures or creating online posts. They are directly liable for the contents they post, as indicated in the Terms of Service of the platform.

Users can at all times edit, unpublish, or delete the contributions that are published automatically. If the publication is subject to the editorial and/or administration approval (e.g., within Groups/Projects), users can request Groups/Projects and/or site administrators to remove content in question.

When leaving the platform, the users can also request removal of user association from their contributions (removal of all data provided during registration process on the UCPKN platform that was previously associated with a given contribution). EU Login association will remain in place even after the UCPKN platform user association is removed.

Anonymous visitors

With the exception of registered users and specific application forms, all information collected on the UCPKN platform is anonymous. This is done when you visit the platform as a guest. During this process the following information can be recorded: the areas of the platform visited, the amount of time spent on the site, whether you are new to the site or have visited it before, how you came to visit the platform and what type of device and browser you use. All of the data for anonymous visitors will be provided by Europa Analytics, the corporate service that monitors and evaluates the effectiveness and efficiency of the European Commission's websites.

Collection and processing of personal data, including IP addresses, of visitors of the publicly available websites of the European Commission are governed by a dedicated Record and Privacy Statement (DPR-EC-00083.3).

The Directorate General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations / Unit ECHO.B3 Knowledge Network and Evidence-Based Policy only keeps your personal data for the time necessary to fulfil the purpose of collection or further processing, namely for advanced services on the UCPKN platform.

Personal data along with the user account will be kept on the site as long as the account is active and there was no request made by the user to remove him from the system.

Users can delete their account themselves. Otherwise, the account can be deleted by an email request that will be verified by the system administrators.

ECHO will implement an automatic feature to detect inactive user accounts. That way, your personal data will not be stored for longer than is needed by you. In case of inactive user accounts, after 2 years of continuous inactivity, the user account will be deleted, along with the profile and personal data provided.

All personal data in electronic format (e-mails, documents, databases, uploaded batches of data, etc.) are stored either on the servers of the European Commission. All processing operations are carried out pursuant to the Commission Decision (EU, Euratom) 2017/46 of 10 January 2017 on the security of communication and information systems in the European Commission.

In order to protect your personal data, the Commission has put in place a number of technical and organisational measures in place. Technical measures include appropriate actions to address online security, risk of data loss, alteration of data or unauthorised access, taking into consideration the risk presented by the processing and the nature of the personal data being processed. Organisational measures include restricting access to the personal data solely to authorised persons with a legitimate need to know for the purposes of this processing operation.

The UCPKN platform’s application is hosted within DIGIT's secure infrastructure with redundancy and fault tolerance mechanisms enabled.

Among measures, the Information Security Steering Board adopted the IT security strategy for the European Commission in November 2016.

The UCPKN platform is published via HTTPS ensuring data encryption and providing reassurance about the information source's authenticity.

Access to your personal data is provided to the Commission staff responsible for carrying out this processing operation and to authorised staff according to the “need to know” principle. Such staff abide by statutory, and when required, additional confidentiality agreements.

Within the EU organisation:

  1. UCPKN team: The team includes members of the European Commission Directorate General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations and the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre,
  2. DIGIT (The Directorate-General for Informatics) is responsible for the infrastructure where the UCPKN platform is hosted.

Outside the EU organisation:

Some of your personal data will be published on your personal user profile (section: Community Members) and will be visible to the public and other users of the platform. The only publicly visible information includes full name, organisation, profile picture (if uploaded) and location as provided during registration. All other data fields (as described in section 4 above) can be visible to all registered users only after your explicit consent through management of visibility settings of your profile.

You have specific rights as a ‘data subject’ under Chapter III (Articles 14-25) of Regulation (EU) 2018/1725, in particular the right to access your personal data and to rectify them in case your personal data are inaccurate or incomplete. Where applicable, you have the right to erase your personal data, to restrict the processing of your personal data, to object to the processing, and the right to data portability.

You have the right to object to the processing of your personal data, which is lawfully carried out pursuant to Article 5(1)(a) on grounds relating to your particular situation.

You have consented to provide your personal data to Directorate General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations / Unit ECHO.B3 Knowledge Network and Evidence-Based Policy for the present processing operation. You can withdraw your consent at any time by notifying the Data Controller. The withdrawal will not affect the lawfulness of the processing carried out before you have withdrawn the consent.

You can exercise your rights by contacting the Data Controller, or in case of conflict the Data Protection Officer. If necessary, you can also address the European Data Protection Supervisor. Their contact information is given under Heading 9 below.

Where you wish to exercise your rights in the context of one or several specific processing operations, please provide their description (i.e., their Record reference(s) as specified under Heading 10 below) in your request.

Each UCPKN platform user can edit their personal data and settings through their profile at any time. Data subjects can control membership access to Groups/Projects to join, request to join, leave and/or administer the Groups/Projects.

Group/Project administrators who wish to leave the platform shall delegate the function to another member or archive/delete the environment (each Group/Project must have an administrator who can decide further actions for the environment; the administrator can also archive or delete these spaces by editing the Group/Project’s form). In case the Group/Project administrator does not delegate the function upon leaving the platform, the site administrators can intervene in the process after 5 days.

When members contribute materials to a Group or Project, these contributions are subject to the Group, Project and/or platform moderation, and can be edited or deleted by the Group/Project and/or platform administration team. The Project/Group administrators (who are themselves UCPKN platform users) are never able to interfere with the personal data of other users, including those who belong to the Project/Group, which they administer.

UCPKN platform site administrators carrying out maintenance on the platform may edit another user’s contributions following the introduction of new developments that have not correctly migrated data (for example: updating a taxonomy label or editing the format of data for it to appear correctly when published). These interventions are limited to occasional manual fixes, without editing the actual content contributed by the user.

At times, some Groups may demonstrate prolonged inactivity and lack of leadership. As part of the maintenance of the platform, the UCPKN team may choose to contact the administrator of a group before taking further actions (e.g., archiving or merging contents to another relevant Group).

The Data Controller

If you would like to exercise your rights under Regulation (EU) 2018/1725, or if you have comments, questions or concerns, or if you would like to submit a complaint regarding the collection and use of your personal data, please feel free to contact the Data Controller, ECHO.B3,

The Data Protection Officer (DPO) of the Commission

You may contact the Data Protection Officer ( with regard to issues related to the processing of your personal data under Regulation (EU) 2018/1725.

The European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS)

You have the right to have recourse (i.e. you can lodge a complaint) to the European Data Protection Supervisor ( if you consider that your rights under Regulation (EU) 2018/1725 have been infringed as a result of the processing of your personal data by the Data Controller.

The Commission Data Protection Officer (DPO) publishes the register of all processing operations on personal data by the Commission, which have been documented and notified to him. You may access the register via the following link:

This specific processing operation has been included in the DPO’s public register with the following Record reference: DPR-EC-14970.2.

Collection and processing of personal data, including IP addresses, of visitors of the publicly available websites of the European Commission are governed by a dedicated Record and Privacy Statement (DPR-EC-00083.3)