Data Protection Declaration by and Declaration of Consent for Goethe-Institut e.V.

Goethe-Institut e.V., Dachauer Str. 122, 80637 Munich (“Goethe-Institute” or “We”), as the operator of the  www.goethe.de 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 Contens

  1. Your informational use of the Website
  2. Data collection and use for performance of contracts
  3. Registration and Goethe-ID
    a) Data in respect of your identity and content created by You
    b) Creation of personalised User profiles
    c) Data publication
    d) Data sharing
    e) Deletion
  4. Cookies
  5. Data collection and use for advertising purposes
    a) Advertising by post
    b) Personalised advertisements
    c) Email newsletter
  6. Web analysis
    a) Google Analytics
    b) Webtrekk
  7. Social Networks
  8. Data disclosure to third parties
    a) Data disclosure for performance of the contract
    b) Data disclosure to Goethe Institutes
    c) Disclosure of data to central testing archive
    d) Data disclosure to German embassies abroad
  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 recht@goethe.de.

 

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 or wish to book courses or tests, 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

In connection with generation of a Goethe-ID, the only data which are mandatory data are the data We require on a mandatory basis in order to carry out personalised provision of goods and services or which We require based on any contract relations existing with You. In addition, You may voluntarily provide further details regarding your identity and You may upload content (so-called User generated content), such as a photo of yourself, texts in the form of blog or forum posts, discussions posts, etc. 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 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).
 
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-
land
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 goethe.de ticking a box, this will set a cookie by which We recognise You when You access the Website of goethe.de 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  recht@goethe.de.

 
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, and Plista. 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. (www.google.com). 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: http://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout?hl=de.

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 (www.webtrekk.com), 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: https://developers.facebook.com/docs/plugins.

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:   https://developers.google.com/+/plugins.

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: https://twitter.com/about/resources/buttons.

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
recht@goethe.de

Terms of Use

of Goethe-Institut e.V. (“Goethe Institute”) for the use of the goethe.de (“Website”)

Table of contents

  1. Scope and subject-matter of contract
  2. Registration and formation of contract
  3. Services of Goethe Institute
  4. Duties of User and code of conduct
  5. Sanctions in the event of violations; bans from the platform
  6. Concession of rights of use
  7. Warranty and liability
  8. Term and termination of contract
  9. Amendment of the terms of use
  10. Choice of law
 

1. Scope and subject-matter of contract

With respect to the use of this Website, in relations between the “User” and Goethe Institute (as the operator of the Website) the following Terms of Use apply. The User accepts these Terms of Use upon registration.

The subject-matter of this contract is the use of the Website, free of charge, as an information and communication platform (“Service”). The fee-based distance learning courses are exclusively the subject-matter of the General Terms and Conditions of Business.

 

2. Registration and formation of contract

The prerequisite to the use of the Website’s personalised services is prior registration. At the time of registration, the User must provide truthful details and is informed of the data protection rules and asked to provide consents under data protection law. Following registration, the User receives an email containing a confirmation link. At such time as the Goethe Institute activates the User’s User account, the gratuitous Website User agreement is formed.

The User has no claim of right to activation of an account. The unlimited proprietary and domiciliary rights of Goethe Institute shall apply. In particular, Goethe Institute and its administrators and moderators shall have the right to exclude certain users.

The User may not permit third parties to utilise his access to the Website and, as the holder of the Website account, is responsible for protecting that account from misuse. For this reason, the User bears a duty to keep his access data secret and to protect them from third party interference. The use of protected brand names or names of other natural persons or legal entities as User names is not permitted.

The User may discontinue his use of the Service at any time, and may delete his registration and registration data for any reason whatsoever.

 

3. Services of Goethe Institute

Within the scope of these Terms of Service, the Goethe Institute permits the User to read and publish postings on the Website and to communicate with other users. For this purpose, the Goethe Institute provides the User with a platform offering various community functions, free of charge, so far as it is technically and commercially able to do so.

Goethe Institute shall endeavour to keep its Service available without interruptions to the extent possible. Goethe Institute does not assume any Service obligations beyond the foregoing. In particular, the User has no claim of right to constant availability or undisrupted operation of the service. 

Goethe Institute reserves the right to modify, extend, interrupt or cease at any time all or individual components of its Service, with or without notification to the User, temporarily or permanently, which may also entail deletion of existing User accounts and/or User content.

 

4. Duties of User and code of conduct

Upon registration, the User is deemed to undertake that he shall at all times furnish truthful, current and complete details regarding his identity in line with the requirements of the registration form and at no time deceive the Goethe Institute or other users regarding his identity. 

By publishing content on the Website, the User is deemed to warrant that he is the proprietor of all rights required for this purpose. The User undertakes that he shall not publish any postings on the Website which violate public morals or applicable law. The User, in particular, hereby undertakes that he shall not publish any postings,

  • the publication of which would constitute the elements of a crime or a civil violation,
  • which infringe on copyright, trademark law or competition law,
  • which infringe on third party data protection rights (e.g. publication of private messages without the consent of the sender),
  • the contents of which are defamatory, untrue, racist, discriminatory, harmful to youth or pornographic,
  • containing advertising, which also includes graphics or links with or without accompanying text in a digital signature or within postings.
In addition to the foregoing, users shall at all times adhere to general rules of propriety and treat one another with mutual respect, and may not use the Service to threaten, harass, injure in some other way, deceive or harm other users or third parties’ reputations or businesses. 

Where a User is a witness to any violation of these Terms of Use by another User, he must inform the administrators by email at kdf@goethe.de.

 

5. Sanctions in the event of violations; bans from the platform

In the event of a violation or where sufficient suspicions of a violation of the duties referenced in sec. 4 above exist, Goethe Institute may, in its own discretion, impose the following sanctions on users:

  • deletion or modification of content uploaded by the User, including where, in the discretion of Goethe Institute, such might contain a violation of law or a violation of public morals,
  • the issuance of warning or a formal warning,
  • limitations on the use of the service,
  • temporary or permanent block of access,
  • termination of the User agreement and deletion of all data and content of that User, including with immediate effect and without prior notification.

The User shall indemnify the Goethe Institute and hold it harmless against all third party claims asserted by such third parties based on culpable breaches by the User of the duties referenced in sec. 4 above. The User undertakes that he shall support Goethe Institute in good faith by providing information and documents to assist in defending against any such claims. The User shall also bear the costs of Goethe Institute’s necessary legal defence. The Goethe Institute’s further rights and claims for compensatory damages shall remain unaffected by the foregoing.

 

6. Concession of rights of use 

Copyright with respect to postings uploaded, to the extent they are capable of copyright protection, remains vested in the respective User. By posting contributions to goethe.de, however, the User grants the Goethe Institute the right to

  • make postings publicly accessible on a permanent basis on the Website (including in translated form),
  • to duplicate and disseminate postings in published works (including in translated form),
  • to relocate postings within the Website and to link them to other content,
  • to modify or partially delete postings where appropriate pursuant to sec. 5.

The User shall have no entitlement to deletion or correction of postings created by him.

 

7. Warranty and liability

Goethe Institute assumes no warranty for the correctness, completeness, reliability, timeliness and serviceability of the content it makes available free of charge or of content uploaded by users, nor does such content reflect the opinion of the Goethe Institute. User content which is in breach of the law shall be deleted promptly whenever Goethe Institute learns of the violation of law.

The User shall have no claims for compensatory damages against Goethe Institute, its legal representatives and vicarious agents, unless otherwise provided below. Excepted herefrom are claims for damages based on a warranty or undertaking given by Goethe Institute, claims based on harm to life, limb or health, claims based on the Product Liability Act, and claims for compensatory damages based on a violation of material contract obligations. Material contract obligations are obligations the performance of which is required in order to achieve the aims of the contract. This disclaimer of liability similarly does not include liability for losses based on an intentional or a grossly negligent breach by the provider, its legal representatives or vicarious agents.

 

8. Term and termination of contract

This Agreement is made for an unlimited term and maybe terminated by either party without the need to comply with any deadline in text form (e.g. by email). 

Following the end of this contract, the Goethe Institute shall be entitled but not obliged to delete content created by the User. The User shall have no claim for provision to him of content created by him.

Where good cause is present, in particular based on any breach of the duties in section 4, Goethe Institute shall be entitled to immediately block the User’s access and terminate the contract without advance notice. In such case, the User in question may only register again after obtaining Goethe Institute’s prior written consent.

 

9. Amendment of the terms of use

The Goethe Institute reserves the right to amend these Terms of Use without the need to state grounds for such changes. The Goethe Institute shall inform the User in a timely manner regarding such amendments at the time of the User’s visit following such amendment, and shall request the User’s consent to the amended Terms of Use. Where the User fails to object, the Terms of Use shall be deemed accepted. Where the User objects, the User’s membership shall be terminated.

 

10. Choice of law 

With respect to the contract relations between the Goethe Institute and the User, the law of the Federal Republic of Germany shall apply. In respect of consumers, this choice of law shall only apply to the extent that it does not deprive the consumer of the protections afforded to him by the mandatory consumer protection laws of the country in which he is ordinarily resident.

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