We are regularly asked how our recognition works and what data we store. We are happy to
answer the most important questions in our FAQ.
1. How does your recognition work?
This is probably one of the most interesting questions we get asked. It is one of our most
important company secrets, how exactly the recognition works. But what we can say is that
we use modern techniques and algorithms that are able to show you exactly the pictures
you are looking at.
We look for specific features that show your race number or face. We then extract the race
number or certain features of the face - so-called face vectors, which allow us to search for
your personal images later by entering the race number or a selfie of you.
2. Face vectors vs. biometric data
Face vectors are covered by the definition of biometric data within the meaning of Art. 4 No.
14 DGSVO. In our case, a face vector is a list of reference points of a face, which, however,
alone does not allow for a clear identification of the natural person behind it. Thus, one face
vector can be compared with another. A similarity/probability in percent indicates how
much two face vectors are similar. Any data we process with regard to the classification of
biometric data is taken very seriously and we implement every possible recommendation of
the data protection authority.
3. Is the recognition compliant with the GDPR?
We are in continuous contact with our data protection officers every step of the way, as well
as with the data protection officers of many event organisers, to ensure that we are
collectively GDPR compliant.
The data collected during the face search is personal data. Therefore, it is subject to the
same standards as other personal data, such as your email address or telephone number.
This means that by participating at an event, you have also consented to the processing of
your personal data and, of course, have the option to revoke the further processing for the
future and to request the deletion of your data.
4. What data do you collect from the pictures?
In our race number recognition, we store your race number. With face recognition, we store
a hash of your face as a face vector. This data set is useless in itself and does not draw any
conclusions about you as long as you do not search for your pictures with a selfie.
5. What do you know about me from the pictures?
We do not collect any other data about you. Neither your name, age, gender nor other
characteristics that are not needed for our search.
6. Where will my images be processed?
All data relating to image processing is processed and stored in the EU. This ensures what
can and cannot happen to your data.
7. What happens to the data you extract?
In section 1, we explain what data we collect. We store all data with our cloud service within
the European Union. The data is therefore subject to European regulation. Face vectors are
stored by us as an anonymous data record - in the form of a sequence of numbers and
letters - (hash), which is searchable only by us. No third party has access to this data.
8. Do you have any other data about me?
Usually, no further data about you is available before an order is placed. However, if you
have already ordered the pictures in advance through your inscription at the event, the
organiser may provide us with all the necessary data to create an order for you in our
9. Do you link other data of mine?
We do not link (or associate) any of your data with different events. Each event is separated
in itself. This means that we are not able to find out which other events you have attended.
An exception is of course the linking of your orders under the same email address.
10. Why do you use face recognition?
Actually, bib number recognition is not as good as we would like it to be for you. Our system
is constantly being improved. But we still run into limitations like reflections or hidden bib
numbers. With face recognition, we can sometimes assign up to 120% more photos to you.
This means we can offer you more pictures. In addition, our photographers can work more
creatively, take pictures from the side or in situations where no bib is worn (e.g. portrait,
picking up the bib, water exit at the triathlon, etc.).
11. Why do I sometimes have pictures of other athletes in my Foto-Flat?
It happens that we do not recognise your race number correctly and therefore do not assign
your picture to your correct race number. We work with a heuristic search for face
recognition. It can happen that similar face vectors are found on which you cannot be seen.
In both cases, we can filter and remove the images for you. Please feel free to contact us via
our contact form.
Furthermore, we are constantly refining our system so that, in the best case, only your
personal images are displayed.
12. Can third parties do anything with the face vectors?
We are constantly working to keep your data as secure as possible. Here we rely on the
competence of our cloud service and the expertise of our developers. Without our system,
the data is worthless. It is not possible to draw any conclusions about the content and
therefore also not about your person.
13. How do I consent to data processing?
It is important for us that you are always informed about our actions and have the possibility
to contact us at any time. In the first step, you will be informed by the event that we are the
official photo service. This means that you always have the opportunity to view our general
terms and conditions and data protection regulations.
We take photos of every athlete on the running or cycling course and process these images.
In the process, we filter out only the area of the image in which the athletes are present.
During the processing, we store the bib numbers and/or face vectors that have already been
mentioned several times above - which initially do not represent any conclusion about your
person. In order for us to be able to find your personal images through the face search, you
will be asked to give your consent in accordance with Art. 9 Para. 2 lit. a GDPR before you
provide a selfie. We will not process your selfie until you submit the search. Your uploaded
image will not be stored or processed beyond that. The sole purpose of the processing is to
search for similar face vectors in the images of the corresponding event using the extracted
You have the possibility to revoke your consent at any time. To do so, please use our contact
form and get in touch with us. We will then remove all your data.
14. What can I do to avoid being found in your pictures?
Get in touch with us via the contact form and tell us which event you took part in and, if
applicable, your race number or send us a selfie. We will then remove all race numbers
and/or face vectors. If we need any further information from you, we will let you know.
15. Do third parties have access to my data?
We clearly do not pass on any data to third parties. Even our cloud service is not able to
access our data and process it for other purposes.
16. What if I have more questions?
Feel free to write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or get in touch with us via the
contact form. We will be happy to help you.