Goethe-Institut e.V., Dachauer Str. 122, 80637 Munich (“Goethe-Institute” or “We”), as the operator of the website (“Website”) is the responsible body for the personal data or users (“You”) of the Website under German data protection law, in particular under the Federal Data Protection Act [German acronym:] “BDSG”) and is the service provider under the German Telemedia Act ([German acronym: “TMG”]).

Table of contents

  1. Your informational use of the Website
  2. Data collection and use for performance of contracts
  3. Registration and Goethe-ID
  4. Cookies
  5. Data collection and use for advertising purposes
  6. Web analysis
  7. Social Networks
  8. Data disclosure to third parties
  9. Data security
  10. Your rights and our contact person

Goethe Institute takes the protection of your data very seriously. In these data protection rules, We wish to inform You as to which of your personal data (“Your Data”) We collect, process and use when You seek information on our Website, communicate with us via the Website, request offers, leave comments or posts, communicate with other users, take part in online courses, use learning platforms, purchase products from our online shop, borrow digital media and book courses or tests. Storage of Your Data takes place at our data centre in Munich, Germany.

Whenever We ask You for consent under data protection law, You may download the substance of that consent at any time in highlighted form in these data protection rules. We will obtain your actual consent in each case separately, so that You are informed and are able to make conscious clear decisions. You may revoke any consent provided at any time with effect as to the future by sending an email to


1. Your informational use of the Website

You may visit our Website and use several of our offerings on the internet without any need to furnish personal details. In such cases, We do not collect any personal data from You, but rather merely store access data in so-called server log files which are automatically communicated to us by your browser, such as the name of the file requested, the website most recently visited, the date and time of your access, the browser used, the volume of data transmitted, the provider through which the query was directed etc. This data is stored only for a limited time. Such data is used exclusively to ensure fault free operations of our Website, to enable us to perform error analysis and to improve the products and services offered and do not enable us to identify You personally.


2. Data collection and use for performance of contracts

We collect personal data if You provide such data to us when initiating contact with us (e.g. by contact form or email), order our newsletter, register for a User account (“Goethe-ID”), or in connection with an order placed by You. The respective entry forms will show You which individual data are collected and which details are obligatory and which are voluntary.

We collect and use the data communicated by You in such cases for performing the individual contract in question and to deal with your enquiries. Following complete performance of the specific contract or deletion of your User account, Your Data are blocked for any further use, and will be deleted upon expiry of the retention periods prescribed under tax and commercial law if You have not expressly consented to our further use of Your Data or if We have reserved the right to use the data extending beyond such use, where this is permitted by law and We have informed You below.  


3. Registration and Goethe-ID

Where You leave comments or posts, communicate with other users, take part in online courses, use learning platforms, purchase products from our online shop, borrow digital media, book courses or tests or wish to use our online-services concerning the reference library (research or reserve books, extend etc.), You are required to register and create a “Goethe-ID”. The Goethe-ID consists of your registration data (email address and password) by which You access personalised goods and services from the Goethe Institute.  

a) Data in respect of your identity and content created by You

Where You leave comments or posts, communicate with other users, take part in online courses, use learning platforms, purchase products from our online shop, borrow digital media, book courses or tests or wish to use our online-services concerning the reference library (research or reserve books, extend etc.), You are required to register and create a “Goethe-ID”. The Goethe-ID consists of your registration data (email address and password) by which You access personalised goods and services from the Goethe Institute.

We collect and use and store (to the extent required), the data communicated by You in connection with contract performance in the following cases

  • to review your application for the generation of a Goethe-ID 
  • to render the free services in which You take part (blogs, forums, comment functions, personal introduction, communities, chats, etc.)
  • perform our obligations under contracts existing with You (provision of online courses, our Moodle learning platform and digital media in connection with Onleihe, the delivery of products from our webshop and the performance of courses and tests, library lending contracts).
b) Creation of personalised User profiles

You hereby agree that We may use the personal User profile data uploaded by You in your User account and may use such data in order to structure our Website and goods and services offered on the internet in a manner which is personally tailored to your requirements, e.g. to furnish You with a personal homepage and profile area in which We present You with appropriate goods and service offers. You may prevent the creation of User profiles at any time by setting your browser to reject cookies.

c) Data publication

You hereby agree that other users may see Your Data which You have uploaded by using your Goethe-ID, such as your name or User name, your postings including the date and time they were created, your membership in groups, your friends, your study lists, your files, your online status, your evaluations, the length of your membership, your gender and your guest book entries.

Data / Services Comments Wiki entries Moodle "Deutsch für Dich" Stadt der Wörter Mein Ort in Deutsch-
Title        x    
Name       (x)    
User name  x x   x x x
User image     x x x x
Gender       x    
Date of birth       (x)    
Online status       (x) x  
Country     x (x) x  
Email address     x      
Town       (x)    
Duration of membership       x    
Date and time of entry x x   x    
Your comments and postings x x x x    
Courses You are participating in     x      
Membership / moderator in groups       x    
Activities in your groups       x    
Your friends            
Your hobbies       (x)    
Personal learning lists            
Files uploaded by you            
Language / language level       (x)    
Further data*     If indicated by you      

* e.g., URL, ICQ, Skype, phone, AIM, Yahoo!, MSN, ID number institution, department, telephone, mobile number, address, I am learning German/I teach German, My interest in the German language, I am looking for learning partners, I have already completed a course at the Goethe Institute.

x = visibility may not be altered
(x) = visibility maybe altered.

d) Data sharing

You hereby agree that, if You have already indicated personal data in respect of another service provider by the Goethe Institute in the past, We may also use that data for the goods and services offered on this Website here as described, which require registration. The same applies in reverse: if, in future, You wish to use other services of the Goethe Institute’s web offerings, We would like to share this data with such services via our central Client database, so You are able to use such services conveniently, without the need to re-enter Your Data.

e) Deletion

If You should fail to log in for a specified period of time, We will normally delete Your Data for security reasons (provided there are no statutory or contractual retention obligations); re-registration is, of course, possible subsequently. You may delete your User account and of the data You have uploaded under your Goethe-ID at any time; this may either be done by sending a message to the contact described below or making use of the functionality designed for this purpose on your User account.


4. Cookies

In order to make visits to our Website more attractive and to enable You to use certain functions, We use so-called cookies on various pages. Cookies are short text files stored on your end device.

Several of the cookies used by us are deleted at the end of the browser session, i.e. when You close your browser (so-called session cookies). Other cookies remain on your end device and enable us to recognise your browser when You next visit the Website and to potentially enable You to automatically log in (persistent cookies). For example, if You have activated the “stay logged in” option when logging into ticking a box, this will set a cookie by which We recognise You when You access the Website of within a certain period of time. In addition, this will, for example, enable us to store information on your preferred activities on our Website and in this way to orient our Website to your individual interests, e.g. to display your personal homepage and your modified profile area.

You may review the duration of persistent cookies through your browser. You may set your browser so that You are informed whenever cookies are set and can decide on a case-by-case basis whether to accept them or wish to refuse to accept cookies in certain cases or on a general basis. Where You set your browser to reject cookies, this may limit the functionality of our Website.


5. Data collection and use for advertising purposes

a) Advertising by post

We reserve the right to store your surname and given name, your postal address and, if We have received such additional details in the course of our contract relations with You, your title, academic degree, your date of birth and your professional title, sector or business designation in summary lists and to use these for our own advertising purposes, e.g. to forward interesting offers of goods and services to You and information on our products by post. You may object at any time to storage and use of Your Data for such purposes by sending a message to

b) Personalised advertisements

For purposes of advertising, market research and tailoring our Website to your needs, We also make use of third party services which display advertisements containing links on our Website pages, specifically Google AdWords, Yandex, Bing/Yahoo. In connection with such advertising, it may occur that such third parties set and analyse cookies and, in connection with this, that third parties process such cookies, such as the so-called conversion tracking cookie of Google AdWords, where visitors click on an advertisement displayed by Google. These cookies are not for purposes of personally identifying visitors and they lose their validity after a particular period, which You (see above regarding cookies) may see in your browser. You can prevent third parties from tracing your use of advertisements at any time by setting your browser to reject cookies.

In order to facilitate personalised marketing on social networks, We link our Website pages to so-called remarketing pixels of service providers such as Facebook, Adroll or Twitter. If You have an account on one of the social networks included in this group and are logged in at the time of visiting our Website, this pixel will link your visit to our Website with your account. If You wish to avoid such links, please log out from your social media account before visiting the Website. You may adjust further settings on advertising via the User profile in the various social networks.

c) Email newsletter

If You expressly register for one of our newsletters, We will use the data required for this purpose or which You have separately communicated to us in order to regularly forward the email newsletter for which You have subscribed to You. For security reasons, We use the so-called double opt-in-procedure for this: We will only send a newsletter by email to You if You have previously confirmed your registration for the newsletter to us. For this purpose, We will send You an email to confirm your subscription via the link contained in the email. In doing this, We wish to ensure that only You yourself are able to register for the newsletter as the proprietor of the email address indicated. You may deregister from the newsletter at any time, and do this either using the form on our specific country Website or via a link for this purpose provided in the newsletter itself.


6. Web analysis

a) Google Analytics

This Website uses Google Analytics, a web analytics service provided by Google Inc. ( Google Analytics uses so-called “cookies”, which are text files placed on your computer to help the Website analyse how visitors use the site. The information generated by the cookie about your use of the Website in case of activation of IP anonymization on this Website, however, Google will truncate your IP address beforehand within member states of the European Union or other parties to the agreement on the European Economic Area. Only in exceptional cases will your full IP address be transmitted to a Google server in the United States and truncated there. IP anonymization is activated on this Website. Google will use this information on our behalf for purposes of evaluating your use of the Website, compiling reports on Website activity and providing us, as the operator of the Website, with other services relating to Website and internet use. The IP address transmitted by your browser in connection with Google Analytics will not be associated with any other data held by Google.  

You may refuse the use of cookies by selecting the appropriate settings on your browser; however, please note that if You do so, You may not be able to use the full functionalities of this Website.  

In addition, You may prevent the storage of data created by the cookie relating to your use of the Website (including your IP address) to Google and processing of such data by Google by downloading and installing the browser Plugin accessible under the following link: XX

As an alternative to the browser Plugin, You may click on this link in order to prevent collection of data by Google Analytics on this Website in future. This will place an opt-out cookie on your end device. If You delete your cookies, You will have to click again on the link.

b) Webtrekk

We use the services of Webtrekk GmbH (, to collect statistical data on the use of our Website, to improve it, to facilitate an analysis of the use of our Website and to compile reports on Website activities.  Webtrekk places and analyses cookies for purposes of recognition. You may also prevent storage of these cookies by making appropriate settings to your browser software; however, please note that in such case You may not be able to fully utilise all of the functions of this Website.

You may object to data collection and storage at any time with effect as to the future by clicking on this button

So that any objection You may have registered will be taken into account at the time of your next visit to the site, the objection is stored in a cookie on your browser.

After your registration of an objection, an opt-out cookie is stored on your end device. If You delete your cookies, You will have to click once again on the link.


7. Social Networks

This website uses so-called social Plugins (“Plugins”) of the social networks Facebook and Google+ and the microblogging service Twitter, and provides links to content from further third party providers. These services are offered by Facebook Inc., Google Inc, Vimeo LLC, SoundCloud Ltd., Livefyre Inc.(Storify)]. and Twitter Inc. (“Providers”).

Facebook is operated by Facebook Inc., 1601 S. California Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94304, USA (“Facebook”). You will find an overview of the Plugins of Facebook and their appearance here:

Google+ and YouTube are operated by Google Inc., 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA 94043, USA (“Google”). You will find an overview of the Plugins of Google and their appearance here:

Vimeo is operated by Vimeo LLC, 555 West 18th Street, New York, New York 10011, USA (“Vimeo”).

SoundCloud is operated by SoundCloud Limited, 33 St James Square, London SW1Y 4JS, United Kingdom (“SoundCloud”).

Storify is operated by Livefyre Inc., 360 3rd St, Suite 700, San Francisco, CA 94107, USA.

Twitter is operated by Twitter Inc., 1355 Market St, Suite 900, San Francisco, CA 94103. You will find an overview of the Twitter buttons and their appearance here:

In order to increase the protection of Your Data when visiting our Website, the Plugins are linked to our site by means of so-called „Shariff-Lösung“ from c‘t. This link ensures that when You access any page of our Website containing such Plugins this will not yet create any link to the servicers of those Providers. 

If You click on one of the buttons, this will open a new window in your browser and will launch the login page for the service providers, some of whom are located in the United States of America (USA). If You are already logged in, your browser will directly open a page from Google, Facebook or Twitter, on which You can then activate, for example, the like or share button.

In respect of YouTube videos which are linked to our Website, We have activated the extended data protection settings. What this means is that no information from Website users is collected and stored by YouTube, except where You view the video.

In respect of videos from Vimeo linked to our Website, the tracking tool Google Analytics is automatically integrated. We have no control over the results of the analysis performed in respect of this and are likewise unable to view them. In addition, as a result of the embedding of Vimeo videos, web beacons are set in respect of Website users. In order to prevent the setting of Google Analytics tracking cookies, You may undertake the usual precautions to deactivate Google Analytics. For more information on this, please see the section on web analytics.

The purpose and the extent of data collection and further processing and use of data by these providers and your rights in respect of this and options for settings to protect your privacy, please see the data protection notes of the providers in question.

Data protection notes from Facebook
Data protection notes from Google
Data protection notes from Twitter
Data protection notes from Vimeo
Data protection notes from SoundCloud
Data protection notes from Storify

If You do not wish these providers to directly associate the data collected regarding our Website with your profile on the service in question, then You must log out from the service in question prior to activating the Plugin. 

You may completely reject the loading of individual Plugins, including with add-ons for your browser, e.g. Facebook Plugins may be rejected using the “Facebook blocker”.


8. Data disclosure to third parties

a) Data disclosure for performance of the contract

For purposes of performing the contract, We furnish Your Data to technical service providers who provide us with support (hosting, webservers, etc.) and potentially to shipping and forwarding companies engaged to deliver goods to You wherever this is necessary in order to operate our Website/to deliver goods You have ordered. For purposes of handling payments, We will disclose the payment data required for this purpose to the bank engaged to settle the payment and, where applicable, to the payment service provider engaged by us and/or to the payment service selected by You in the course of the order process. We have carefully selected all service providers and engaged them in line with the requirements of law.

b) Data disclosure to Goethe Institutes

You hereby consent that, to the extent a Goethe Institute within Germany or abroad is responsible for You or You have registered via such an institute, Your Data may be transmitted to such Goethe Institute.

c) Disclosure of data to central testing archive

You hereby consent that, for purposes of authenticity checks and the issuance of substitute certificates, data with respect to tests You have undergone may be stored and used in our central test archive (for a maximum of 10 years).

d) Data disclosure to German embassies abroad

German embassies require proof of knowledge of German for certain visa processes (e.g. spousal reunification, university studies) from the party applying for the visa.

Where the Federal Republic of Germany requires this for the country from which the examinee comes, the examinee hereby confirms that he consents to the transmission to the competent German embassy of the following data regarding his identity and regarding the test he has undergone for purposes of a review in the visa process:

  • Identity data (name, date of birth) 
  • Copy/scans of passport 
  • Photo of examinee 
  • Data on test undertaken: certificate number, test results, test registration documents, test documentation. 

9. Data security

We secure our Website and other systems by means of technical and organisational measures against loss, destruction, access, modification or dissemination of Your Data by unauthorised persons, such as when You generate the Goethe-ID or subsequently log in via an SSL encryption.


10. Your rights and our contact person

You have a right to information free of charge with respect to the personal data stored with us and, where applicable, a right to have such data corrected, blocked or deleted. In the case of any questions regarding collection, processing or use of your personal data, where You require information, correction, blocking or deletion of data and where You wish to revoke any consents You may have previously given or object to a particular use of Your Data, please contact our corporate data protection officer: 

Dr. Robert Selk, Master of Laws (LL.M.)
dsb Consulting Dr. Selk
Ganghoferstr. 15 d, 85521 Ottobrunn