Cosmos Portal Privacy Policy


This privacy statement sets out the privacy policy of and all other services within the subdomains of provides a web portal, or gateway, to the science related services offered by the Science Directorate (D/SCI) of the European Space Agency (ESA). The Portal is owned by the Science Directorate of ESA. The main activities of D/SCI take place at two ESA locations within the Agency; ESTEC (Noordwijk, Netherlands) and ESAC (Madrid, Spain).

We are committed to protecting and respecting your privacy. This policy (together with the Terms and Conditions and any other documents referred to in it) sets out the basis on which any personal data we collect from you, or that you provide to us, will be processed by us. Please read the following carefully to understand our views and practices regarding your personal data and how we will treat it.

To be compliant with the Agency's Resolution on "Personal Data Protection Policy" the data controller is ESA (

In the following privacy policy:

  • 'Portal' means the web portal and its content
  • ‘Content’ means all pages, screens, information and materials included in or accessible throughout the Portal (including any content available on any e-mail service)
  • ‘you’, ‘your’ and ‘yours’ means you, the person(s) accessing our Portal and related services, and the party on whose behalf you are doing so
  • ‘we’, ‘us’ and ‘our’ means the European Space Agency (ESA).


1. Privacy

We know that you are concerned with how we deal with your personal information. This privacy statement sets out our current policies and demonstrates our commitment to your privacy. Our privacy policy may change at any time in the future. You agree to revisit this page regularly and your continued access to or use of our Portal and related services will mean that you agree to the changes. The European Space Agency provides services that deal with personal information, via the portal and related services, throughout several establishments located across Europe. Privacy and personal data protection principles vary from one country to another. The ESA Personal Data Protection Policy should be applicable for all ESA establishments.


2. Information we may collect from you

We may collect and process the following data about you:

  • Information that you provide by filling in forms on the Portal and/or related services
  • Up-to-date data about yourself, if you register your personal details for the Notification Service
  • Details of your visits to our Portal (including, but not limited to, traffic data, location data, weblogs and other communication data, and the resources that you access)
  • We may ask you for information when you report a problem with our Portal. If you contact us, we may keep a record of that correspondence
  • We may ask you to complete surveys that we use for research purposes, although you do not have to respond to them.


3. IP addresses

We may collect information about your computer (or mobile device) including, where available, your IP address, operating system and browser type, for system administration or for our own error resolution purposes (also known as debug information). This is statistical data about our users’ browsing actions and patterns, and does not identify any individual.


4. Cookies

Our Portal and related services use cookies to distinguish you from other users of our Portal. This helps us to provide you with a good experience when you browse our Portal and related services and also allows us to improve our Portal. For detailed information on the cookies we use and the purposes for which we use them see our Cookie Policy.


5. Where we store your personal data

The data that we collect from you will only be stored on servers within the Agency, unless pages use items that are provisioned by third-party service providers. Examples of such providers are Twitter feeds or Google's reCAPTCHA service, which is used to avoid automated abuse of our Portal and related services. The data will only be processed by staff operating within the Agency. Such staff may be engaged in, among other things, the fulfilment of your requirements, the processing of your personal details and the provision of support services. By submitting your data, you agree to this transfer, storing and/or processing. We will take all reasonable steps necessary to ensure that your data is treated securely and in accordance with this Privacy Policy. We maintain strict security standards and procedures with a view to preventing unauthorised access to your data by anyone, including our staff. We use leading technologies such as (but not limited to) data encryption, firewalls and server authentication to protect the security of your data. All staff, contractors and third parties, whenever we hire them to provide support services, are required to observe our privacy standards and to allow us to audit them for compliance.


6. How long do we store your personal data

We should not retain your personal information for longer than required. In many cases users become a member of other projects or require access to data from other missions, therefore we cannot set a fixed number of years for how long we keep your data. We will keep your personal information:

  • For as long as required by law
  • Until we no longer have a valid reason for keeping it
  • Until you request us to stop using it.
We may keep some of your personal information to ensure that we comply with your requests not to use your personal information or comply with your right to erasure. For example, we must keep your request to be erased even if it includes some of your personal data, like name and email address.


7. Use made of the information

We use information held about you in the following ways:

  • To ensure that content within our Portal is presented in the most effective manner for you and for your computer (or mobile device)
  • To provide you with information, data products or services that you request from us or which we feel may interest you, where you have consented to be contacted for such purposes
  • To carry out our obligations arising from any contracts entered into between affiliated institutes or contracted companies and us
  • To allow you to participate in any interactive features of our Portal, when you choose to do so
  • To notify you about changes or additional services in our Portal, we may use your data to provide you with information about services of the Science Directorate which may be of interest to you and either we or any Cosmos staff member may contact you about these by post, telephone or email.


8. Disclosure of your information

We will not share your personal information with entities outside of ESA. We may disclose your personal information to third parties in the following situations:

  • In the event that the Agency is closed down, in which case we may disclose your personal data to the organization taking over the duties of the Agency
  • If we are under a duty to disclose or share your personal data in order to comply with any legal obligation, or in order to enforce or apply our Portal Terms and Conditions and other agreements or to protect the rights, property, or safety of the Agency, our customers, or others. This includes exchanging information with other companies and organisations for the purposes of fraud protection and security risk reduction.


9. Your rights

You have the right to ask us not to process your personal data for notifications not directly related to your work. We will usually inform you (before collecting your data) if we intend to use your data for such purposes or if we intend to disclose your information to any third party within our Agency for such purposes. You can exercise your right to prevent such processing by checking certain boxes on the forms we use to collect your data. You can also exercise the right at any time by contacting us. Our Portal may contain links to and from the websites of our partner networks and affiliates (‘Third Party Sites’). If you follow a link to any of these Third Party Sites, please note that these Third Party Sites have their own privacy policies and that we do not accept any responsibility or liability for these policies. Please check these policies before you submit any personal data to these Third Party Sites.


10. Social media

We work with trusted third party social networks and with application developers who specialise in social media so we can connect to your social networks. Social networks we use include Twitter and YouTube. All of these companies operate Third Party Sites. We provide access to our Site by third parties so we can generate interest in our services, services among members of your social networks and to allow you to share information and service interests with friends in your network. We cannot control how your data is collected, stored, used or shared by these Third Party Sites or to whom it is disclosed. Please be sure to review the privacy policies and privacy settings on your social networking sites to make sure you understand the information they are sharing. If you do not want a Third Party Site to share information about you, you must contact that site and determine whether it gives you the opportunity to opt-out of sharing such information. ESA is not responsible for how these Third Party Sites may use information collected from or about you.


11. Access to information

The Privacy Policy gives you the right to access information held about you. Your right of access can be exercised in accordance with the Policy.


12. Changes to our Privacy Policy

Any changes we may make to our Privacy Policy in the future will be posted on this page and, where appropriate, notified to you by e-mail.


13. Contact

Questions, comments and requests regarding this Privacy Policy are welcomed and should be addressed via the Cosmos Helpdesk page or directly via e-mail.


Data protection

Please note that pursuant to any applicable data protection laws in each jurisdiction, we are obliged to inform you that any personal information (for the purposes of the Directive this shall mean ‘Personal Data’ as that term is defined in the Directive) (hereinafter ‘Personal Data’) may be disclosed, processed and transferred by us for the purposes of providing services outside Cosmos in relationship with projects where you are a member.

We will not disclose or transfer Personal Data to third parties for the purposes of marketing. However, Personal Data may be disclosed or transferred to projects within the Agency for the purposes of providing the designated services.


Related Privacy Publications

Please note that alongside this Privacy Policy, we also publish our Cosmos Portal Cookie Policy and our Cosmos Portal Terms & Conditions