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Privacy notice


1. About this Privacy Notice

At MSF we make sure we protect the information you give us. References to “we” or “us” are to the UREPH (Unité de Recherche sur les Enjeux et Pratiques Humanitaires), MSF Switzerland, route de Ferney 140, Case Postale 1224, 1211 Geneva 1, Switzerland.

This privacy notice is written in accordance with relevant data protection legislation including the Swiss Federal Act on Data Protection and the General Data Protection Regulation.
This privacy notice sets out how the UREPH collects, uses and stores personal data via its website
If you have any questions, please contact us using the details above or contact our Data Protection Officer at

2. When do we collect information about you?

We collect information:

  • when you give it to us directly
  • when you give it to us indirectly
  • when you give it to us via social media
  • when you use our website, through cookies


You may give us personal information when you send us a message via the contact form or when you leave a comment on our social media accounts.


We may get your personal information via a fundraising organisation or platform if you’ve told them that you’re supporting MSF and with your consent. Please check their privacy policies when you give them your information.


We use “cookies” to identify you when you visit our website.

What are cookies?

Cookies are small text files that are transferred from the website to your computer, phone or tablet. Websites store cookies on your internet browser (Chrome, Firefox or Internet Explorer, for example) when you visit. Every time you return to the site and navigate, it picks up these bits of information. There are several types of cookies and they each have different functions and uses. Some cookies can be very helpful, and most websites rely on them in order to work properly and to understand what their users do when they visit.

Types of cookies

The four categories, from the least to the most intrusive, are:

  1. Strictly necessary. These cookies let you move around the website and use areas like the donate form, log in and e-news sign up. They don’t gather information about you that could be used for marketing or remember where you’ve been on the internet. These cookies only last until you close your browser.
  2. Performance. These cookies help us understand how you use our website and if users have had any problems. They also let us know if you see one of our adverts online or click on our banners. The information they gather is anonymous. We only use the information to improve the way the website works.
  3. Functionality. These cookies remember any choices you’ve made on a website. This could be changing the text size, preferences or colour. They can also remember if you’ve already completed a survey. They can’t track you on other websites.
  4. Targeting. These cookies collect info for third parties and remember what you looked at on a website. They’re used for things including ‘Like’ and ‘Share’ buttons, as well as online advertising. Do you see ads for things you’ve looked at online appear on random websites? It’s because of targeting cookies.

What cookies do we use?

We use Matomo to analyse the performance of our website, to know which articles are read and where our users come from.

Controlling cookies
You can control and/or delete cookies at any time. You can also get rid of all the cookies already on your computer. Most web browsers automatically accept cookies, but you should be able to change your browser’s settings to prevent that. If you want to know how to do this, please look at the help menu on your web browser. Further information is available on the following websites:

Microsoft Internet Explorer™:
Microsoft Edge:
Mozilla Firefox:
Google Chrome:

Furthermore, most third-party providers offer modules or procedures that allow you to opt out from data collection.

3. What information do we collect?

If you contact us, we will collect your:

  • First name/Family name
  • Email address
4. How do we use your information?

As a general rule, your personal data will not be used for any other purpose than those for which it was voluntarily provided to us. Your personal data is shared or transferred to third parties if such sharing or transfer is authorised by you or required to achieve the purposes for which you have provided them to us. This means that we may share your personal data with service providers, who help us fulfil our purposes. Personal data may also be shared with third parties when required by law or by a court order.
We use your data to:

  • deal with your questions and requests
  • understand how we can improve our services and information

How we use your data depends on why you’re providing it:

We’ll use your personal information to answer your questions, requests or register you for events.
Check your social media accounts if you want to change the information you make public. Our website uses sharing buttons which share our web pages to social media platforms. Use these buttons at your own discretion. Social media platforms may track these shares through your accounts.

5. Who has access to your data?

Your information is only accessible by trained staff. We regularly review who has access to your information. As a general rule, your personal data will only be accessible insofar as it is necessary to fulfil the purpose for which it was collected.

We use other companies to help us manage and store personal data and to carry out certain activities on our behalf. Our main data processors are listed below, but we may enlist the services of others from time to time:

6. How do we keep your information safe?

We use appropriate technical and organisational measures and precautions in order to protect your personal data and to prevent the loss, misuse or alteration of your personal data. We use a SSL certificate with SHA-2 and 2048 bits encryption.

7. How long do we keep your information FOR?

We keep your information for 12 months in connection with the purposes defined above in “How do we use your information?”. Upon request, we can delete this information (see “How can you change your information and what are your rights?”).

8. Our legal basis for processing personal data

Organisations need a lawful basis to collect and use personal data under data protection law. The law allows for six ways to process personal data (and additional ways for sensitive personal data). One of them is relevant to the types of processing that MSF carries out:

  • Our legitimate interests. The UREPH uses your personal data to ensure proper administration and operational management, including responding to enquiries, providing information and services, research and events management.

If you wish to change our use of your personal data in this manner, please get in touch with us using the details below.

9. How can you change your information and what are your rights?

Contact us at if you’d like to change or update your personal information.

You have a number of rights under data protection legislation:

  • You can request any information we hold on you. Email us at and ask for it in writing. You may be asked for proof of identity.
  • You have the right to ask us to stop using or to restrict the processing of your personal data.
  • If you believe our records are inaccurate, you have the right to ask for those records concerning you to be updated. To update your records, please get in touch with us using the details above.
  • In accordance with the provisions of the General Data Protection Regulation, you have a right to erase (“to be forgotten” i.e. to have your personal data deleted from our database) or transfer your data to another organisation (“data portability”).
  • If you have any concerns about the way your data is being used, please contact us using the details above. You are also entitled to make a complaint to the Préposé fédéral à la Protection des Données et à la Transparence (PFPDT), Feldeggweg 1, 3003 Bern, Switzerland (telephone number: +41 (0)58 462 43 95).
10. When do we update this notice?

We change this Privacy Notice when we need to. If we make any significant changes in the way we treat your personal information, we’ll make this clear on our website.
Last updated on 30/08/2022

Any all rights on this document belong to MSF. Any reproduction, without written consent, is strictly forbidden.

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