Privacy policy

The RBINS attaches a great deal of importance to the confidential processing of the data of users of the Website and to the protection of your personal data. The RBINS therefore treats and protects your personal data in a lawful, proper and transparent manner. When processing your personal data, the RBINS complies with the law, i.e. the European Regulation no 2016/679 of 27 April 2016 on data protection (better known as the General Data Protection Regulation or the 'GDPR') or any other legislative decree that amends it.

More information about the protection of personal data can be obtained from the Belgian Data Protection Authority: 

Data Protection Authority 

Rue de la Presse 35
1000 Brussel
Website : 

The RBINS invites you to read this statement carefully so that you know and understand the RBINS's policy in this area. This statement is updated regularly. The most recent version of the statement is available on the website.

Contact details of the data controller

The Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (RBINS), Vautier Street 29, Brussels is responsible for processing your data. The RBINS is represented by Mr Michel Van Camp, general manager of the institution.

The RBINS is the party that is accountable to the Data Protection Authority for the processing of personal data. The RBINS determines the purposes for which personal data are processed, the means used and the processing characteristics.

Contact details of the Data Protection Officer

For information about our data protection policy, please contact our data protection officer: 


Definition of 'personal data'

Personal data is any form of information that allows a person to be directly or indirectly identified as a natural person.


Definition of data processing

'Data processing' is interpreted as: any processing of personal data: The concept of 'processing' covers all aspects connected with the collection, recording, classification, keeping, updating, amending, retrieval, consultation, use or dissemination of data, or making them available, combining, archiving, deletion or ultimately destruction.


Personal data which may be processed by the RBINS

Below is an overview of situations in which the RBINS processes personal data. It is possible that other data may also be processed if necessary or useful for the continuation of the contractual relationship with the RBINS.

The RBINS collects personal data when, among other things:

·    you browse the pages of the website of the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (hereinafter referred to as the "RBINS"), the websites under the domain and the websites of scientific projects in which the RBINS participates and which are hosted on the RBINS server. These websites are hereinafter referred to as "the Website".
When a link takes you to another website, an online application or a social network, the conditions for the processing of personal data of these services apply.

·    you contact us via contact forms, for example.

·    you use our services, participate in our activities, visit the museum or the establishment. 

·    you enter into a contractual relationship with us.

For example, when you contact the RBINS, you may be asked to provide certain identity details, such as your surname, first name, title, address, place and date of birth, nationality, landline or mobile telephone number and e-mail address, so that we can process your question or request. When you have delivered a service or made a delivery to the RBINS, the RBINS will have to receive and process your invoicing data, such as an account number, in order to be able to pay for the services and/or deliveries. It is also possible that you may have to provide the RBINS with your professional data such as your job title, the name of the organisation for which you work and your professional fields of interest, in the context of participation in our activities and/or events, or to be kept informed by the RBINS of activities or events. It is also possible that images, such as photo or camera images, are made when you participate in our activities, visit the museum or the establishment.

The RBINS may also call upon specialised service providers to process personal data on behalf of the RBINS and according to the RBINS's instructions in accordance with this privacy policy. Only the personal data that are strictly necessary will be passed on to these service providers (hereinafter referred to as the RBINS's 'processors').

The RBINS undertakes to take the best protective measures so that third parties cannot misuse personal data communicated to them.


Purposes for which the RBINS processes your personal data

The RBINS collects and processes personal data, among other things, in order to:

·    be able to offer you various services

·    inform you and provide information to you

·    answer your questions

·    be able to carry out our statutory tasks of general interest

·    handle the files that concern you

·    prepare or execute contracts 

·    provide for the operation and security of the establishment and the museum

The RBINS also collects and processes data anonymously, for example:  

·    for statistical and qualitative purposes, to improve our services;

·    to give you an answer in your language.

The RBINS collects and processes your personal data solely for the purposes described below. The RBINS ensures that only the necessary and relevant data are processed for a specific purpose. The RBINS processes your data in the situations permitted by law, in particular:

·    in order to execute a contract with you or to take certain measures at your request before the conclusion of this contract;

·    to protect the legitimate interests of the RBINS, balancing those interests with your fundamental rights and freedoms.

·    in the public interest;

·    legal obligation;

·    in specific cases, with your consent, as a result of a specific and unambiguous request, preceded by clear and comprehensible information; you may withdraw this consent at any time in accordance with the law.

1. Contractual relationships

Before concluding contracts, the RBINS sometimes has to obtain and process certain data, in particular to respond to your request, or to assist you in providing information and concluding the contract.
In the context of current contracts or the management of contracts, the RBINS must process a number of data, in particular in order to meet administrative and accounting obligations. In this context, your data may be sent internally within the RBINS to various departments or employees, including employees who are not necessarily directly responsible for the relationship with you or for the execution of a particular contract. 
More specifically, the RBINS processes your data, for example, if you purchase admission tickets, make a booking for guided tours, workshops or other activities, purchase products and publications from the RBINS, if you register for our activities, if you book a meeting room with the RBINS, if you borrow a publication in our library, or if you borrow other materials from the RBINS. The RBINS will also have to process certain personal data if you provide services and/or deliveries to the RBINS. The RBINS may process your personal data for other additional purposes in the context of the relationship with you and the execution of contracts.

2. Justified interest of the RBINS

The RBINS also processes your data for the realisation of its legitimate interests. In doing so, the RBINS strives to strike a fair balance between the need to process data and respect for your rights and freedoms, including the protection of privacy. Personal data will be processed, among other things, for the purpose of:

·    ensuring and supporting the operation and security of the establishment and the museum

·    personalising the RBINS's services and communications.

·    improving the quality of the RBINS's services provided to you through: 

o  evaluation and improvement of processes, including campaigns and sales, through statistical analysis, satisfaction surveys and various other research methods.

o  improvement of existing (or developing) products, based on surveys, statistics, tests and customer feedback via social networks (e.g. Twitter, Facebook) linked to the RBINS.

·    monitoring and evaluation of the RBINS's activities, including the number of visits to the RBINS's website, the nature of the (advisory) questions asked, etc.

·    preparing studies and statistics using anonymisation and pseudonymisation.

·    the training of our staff by means of the use of practical examples for illustration, using anonymisation and pseudonymisation.

·    the use of cookies to improve the user-friendliness of visitors to our websites. More information about our cookie policy.

·    the storage of evidence, including in the context of establishing, exercising, defending and preserving the rights of the RBINS or all persons it represents, for example for recovery procedures or disputes.

3. Public interest

The RBINS also processes your data in the public interest. The RBINS carries out a public task in the public interest. These are tasks that are laid down by law and that are relevant to the RBINS. Personal data are processed in the general interest only to the extent that the processing of personal data is necessary for the proper performance of the public task.

The Royal Decree of 10 July 1869 establishing the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences as a scientific institution, thus replaced by Article 1 of the Royal Decree of 8 April 2002 (Belgian Official Gazette, 23 April 2002), stipulates that the RBINS is a federal scientific institution falling under the responsibility of the Minister for Science Policy, and that the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences' missions include: scientific research in the field of natural sciences, primarily focused on evolution, diversity, and ecosystems; scientifically based services to government and private institutions and organizations involved in the management of the natural heritage, particularly concerning regional, federal, European, and international agreements and legislation; the management and expansion, in the aforementioned domains, of collections, databases, specialized libraries, and archives that constitute a reference at the national and international levels; the dissemination of knowledge in the natural sciences through the organization of permanent exhibition rooms at the Museum of Natural Sciences, temporary exhibitions, and various educational activities.

In the context of its legal tasks, the RBINS may, for example, process personal data in connection with collection management, archive management and the library, but it may also process personal data in the context of historical, statistical and scientific research and development cooperation activities. Where possible, consideration shall be given to the use of anonymisation and pseudonymisation.

4. Legal obligation

In some cases, the RBINS is required by law to share your data with third parties, including:

·    public bodies or supervisory authorities where there is a legal obligation to provide information;

·    judicial investigative bodies at their express request. 

5. In specific cases, with your consent

Although most of the information on the site is available without the need to provide personal information, it is possible that personal information is requested from the user, for example when filling out a web form.
For certain applications on the Website, the user may be explicitly asked to register and provide certain personal data, such as name, address and work address. By communicating your personal data to the RBINS (including messages sent to us electronically, for example where the website permits), you agree that the RBINS may process them.

The RBINS may also, with your permission, use the personal data and personal electronic contact data provided by you (e.g. your e-mail address) for the processing and sending of electronic messages, to send you information and personalised invitations (e.g.):

·    in general, to keep you informed of our range of activities, promotions, exhibitions, events, services and products via newsletters, e-mails, social media channels, etc.

·    to be able to provide you, on the basis of your (professional) fields of interest in the RBINS's field of activity, more targeted information on activities and (professional) developments that may be of particular interest to you, via the channels mentioned above.

·    inform you as a donor, sponsor or partner of our establishment and involve you in our activities.

·    inform you and provide information to you

·    answer your questions

·    handle the files that concern you.

By accepting this privacy policy, you consent to the processing of your personal data for the purpose of sending electronic messages. 

These data will not be sold or passed on to third parties (with the exception of the RBINS processors). Neither will they be made public.

For some newsletters, the RBINS uses the services of Flexmail. By subscribing to these newsletters, you acknowledge that the data you provide will be transferred to Flexmail for processing in accordance with the Flexmail Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions.


Collection of data during website use whereby the visitor is not identified

During use of the Website of the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (hereinafter referred to as 'RBINS'), all websites falling under the domain and the websites of scientific projects in which the RBINS participates and which are hosted on the RBINS server (hereinafter referred to as the "Website"), certain information is collected when using the Website, for example for statistical and qualitative purposes, in order to improve our services, or to provide you with a reply in your language. 

Each time you visit the website, log files for web statistics are created on the RBINS's server. This involves the following data: the IP address of the user, the date of the visit, the URL of the request (e.g., the operating system and version (e.g. Windows 7), the browser and version (e.g. Internet Explorer 11). These data are anonymous, serve only for statistics and are not disclosed to third parties. An IP address cannot be associated by the RBINS with a specific person. In the case of project websites in cooperation with other partners, statistics can be communicated but without IP addresses.

For more information about cookies that may be placed when using the website, the RBINS invites you to consult the RBINS's cookie policy.

Processing of personal data and the persons who have access to the processed data

The data provided are included in the files of the RBINS. The data are only processed to the extent that processing is required for the above-mentioned purposes. Processing is carried out by the RBINS, or in certain cases by specific RBINS service providers, the 'processors'.

The personal details will never be sold or passed on to third parties, nor made public, and will under no circumstances be processed for commercial purposes.

If the user refuses to provide certain essential data it may be that the RBINS is unable to deal with or respond to the request, question or task.

These details may be passed on to persons outside the RBINS if deemed necessary in order to process the user’s question, message or request, and to the extent that the processing is required for the above-mentioned purposes.

The RBINS reserves the right to use the data or disclose them if necessary in order to safeguard the integrity of the Website, if the law requires it, if the processing is vital for the visitor, if the processing must occur to carry out a task in the public interest, or if the data processing is necessary to uphold a legitimate interest.

Right of access, rectification, objection and erasure in respect of the data collected

Any person whose details are processed by the RBINS has certain rights for the personal data used by the RBINS: the right of access, the right of rectification, the right to object and the right to have data deleted. Any person whose data are processed may consult their personal data, check their accuracy, have any errors corrected or, if they have reasons to do so, have them deleted. 

To exercise your rights, send an e-mail or a letter to the RBINS's Data Protection Officer, together with a scan or a copy of your identity document, including your signature, to the RBINS, Vautier Street 29, 1000 Brussels, Belgium or to:

The RBINS processes the application within 30 calendar days. Exceptionally, this may take longer (up to a maximum of 3 months in total), but we will let you know within 30 calendar days why this is the case. If the application is complex or our services have to deal with many applications, the period is extended by 60 days

User's obligations

The user warrants that the personal details that s/he is providing are accurate and complete. The imparting of false identities, incomplete or incorrect data can lead to the user being temporarily or permanently denied access to the Website or parts thereof.

A user who provides information to the RBINS is liable for the content and accuracy of that information. The user confirms that the information provided does not infringe (intellectual) property rights or other (personal) rights of third parties. The user shall also protect the RBINS from any claim that may be made against the RBINS by third parties for infringement of (intellectual) property rights or other (personal) rights. 

Links to other websites

Links included on the Website are purely informative. Despite careful checking of the content, the RBINS declines any liability for the content of external links or for the application of a privacy policy that is identical to the policy defined herein. The RBINS cannot guarantee that these websites comply with a privacy policy in accordance with the Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 April 2016 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, in relation to personal data. We advise users to verify this for themselves, by consulting the privacy clauses that must be displayed on every website.


If you believe that the RBINS has not processed your personal data in accordance with the applicable regulations, you are entitled to lodge a complaint to the Data Protection Authority:

Rue de la presse 35, 1000 Brussel
Web adress :  


This declaration is updated regularly.