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

Data Protection Statement for the Use of the Web Pages and Internet Services of Goethe-Institut e.V. (called "the Goethe-Institut" in the following)


Declaration of Consent under Data Protection Law

The Goethe-Institut takes the protection of your data very seriously and would therefore like to inform you comprehensively in the following Data Protection Statement (see Section A.) whether and, if applicable, which personal data about you is collected, processed or used when you visit our web pages and use our internet services.

The term "Goethe ID" is used in the following text. This is your log-in data (e-mail address and password) which provides you with access to personalised services provided by the Goethe-Institut. Using your Goethe ID, you can in particular comment on articles on our pages, exchange views with other people learning German, use the learning platform as a course participant, borrow digital media or order materials from our shop.

If we ask you for consent under data protection law, this Data Protection Statement also contains information about it. You will find the actual text of the consent separately at the end (see Section B.).

Table of Contents


A. Data Protection Statement

  1. Object of the Data Protection Statement 

    This Data Protection Statement informs you about the collection, processing or use of your personal data (called "data" for short) when you visit our web pages or use our internet services. It applies for every visit to our web pages or use of our internet services.

    If you have given us a Declaration of Consent under Data Protection Law, this Data Protection Statement also contains detailed information about the contents and scope of your Declaration of Consent and the possibilities you have for cancelling it.

  2. Responsible Body and Service Provider 

    The responsible body under the terms of the data protection legislation and the service provider pursuant to the TMG [German Telemedia Act] is Goethe-Institut e.V. based in Munich (Dachauer Str. 122, 80637 Munich).

    If you have any questions or comments about this Data Protection Statement or generally about data protection, please contact the following office specifically: Goethe Institut e.V., Head Office – Dept. Central Services - Law, recht@goethe.de.

  3. Use of Our Web Pages Purely for Information Purposes 

    You can use most of our web pages and some of our internet services purely for information purposes and without creating a Goethe ID.

    In this case, we do not collect any of your data unless such data is provided to us automatically by you or your browser when using our web pages or internet services: IP address, date, time of visit, browser used with various settings, most recently visited web page, etc. This data is generated automatically when an internet page is accessed. Generally, this data is not related to any particular person. The exception here may be your IP address.

    We only use this data to operate our internet services, for fault analysis and repair and for statistical evaluations.

  4. Requesting Services 

    You can also use some of our services, such as our e-mail newsletters, without creating a Goethe ID.

    In this case, in addition to the data listed in Figure 3, we also collect and use the data necessary for processing the service desired and requested by you, such as your e-mail address in the case of an e-mail newsletter. Such data is collected and used solely for the purpose of providing the service in question.

    Any other information in this context is provided by you voluntarily. Such information is used so that we can address you personally with these services and adapt these services accordingly.

    When you request a service of this type, you also give your agreement to the associated collection and use of your data.

    For security reasons, we sometimes use what is known as the "double opt-in" process: We only send you a newsletter by e-mail if you have previously confirmed your newsletter registration. For this purpose, we send you an e-mail to confirm the subscription via the link contained in it. With this, we would like to ensure that only you yourself, as the owner of the given e-mail address, can register for the newsletter.

  5. Your Registration and Your Goethe ID 

    In order to be able to use our personalised services or the services that we offer you in connection with an agreement concluded with you, you will, on the other hand, need to register beforehand and create a Goethe ID, for example, if you would like to comment on an article in our editorial section, or if you are taking part in an online course, making a purchase in the webshop or exchanging views with other participants via our learning platform or community.

    If you make use of our internet services using your Goethe ID, we collect, process and use personal data as follows:


    a. What data are we talking about?

    Data about you personally:
    The only mandatory information required as part of creating the Goethe ID is the data that we absolutely need to provide services on a personalised basis or to fulfil any contractual relationship we have with you.

    In addition, you can provide further information about you personally as you see fit on a voluntary basis.

    Content generated by you:
    If you add content (known as "user generated content"), such as a photo of yourself, texts in the form of blog or forum contributions, discussion contributions, etc., this is also data that relates to you, which is thus classed as personal data.


    b. Nature, scope and purposes of data collection and use

    The data is collected and used – in so far as this is permitted by law or further to a declaration of consent – for the following purposes:

    • To check your application for the creation of your Goethe ID and, if applicable, to carry this out.
    • To verify your identity in the event of a subsequent login.
    • To provide services in which you participate (blogs, forums, comment functions, self-presentation, communities, chats, etc.).
    • To provide services through the internet under agreements that exist with you (e.g. taking part in a German course with online course rooms / Moodle learning platform, buying an item in the webshop).
    • To provide services requested by you for which you must be registered using your Goethe ID, e.g. the Onleihe digital library system.
    • To create personal usage profiles and to use these for the purpose of advertising, market research or configuration of our web pages and internet services to meet particular needs, in the form of tailoring our web pages and internet services to suit your personal requirements (e.g. a personal start page and a profile area through which you can change your personal data and profile settings and cancel newsletters, etc.).

    We save your data in so far as this is necessary for the purposes listed above.

    Your data is stored in our Head Office in Munich / Germany.


    c. Visibility of your data and published content for others

    Depending on which service you are using with your Goethe ID, other users can see data belonging to you, such as your name or user name, your contributions including the date and time submitted, your membership of groups, your friends, your learning lists, your files, your online status, your assessments, the length of your membership, your gender and your guest book entries.

    Further information on our individual services is provided in the following:

    Entries and comments in weblogs on goethe.de
    The following information can be seen by other users:

    • The name given by you
    • The name given by you
    • The date and time of submission
    • E-mail address (if provided by you)
    • URL for your website (if provided by you)
    • Other information provided

    Published content for Wikis
    Non-registered users see, in the standard setting

    • User name
    • Data and time of contribution
    • The contribution itself

    Published content on the learning platform
    When using the Moodle learning platform, other course participants can see:

    • Your e-mail address (visibility can be modified in the learning platform profile)
    • Your country
    • User image
    • Other courses in which you are participating or have participated
    • Comments you have written
    • Optional entries can be seen if provided (website, ICQ, Skype, AIM, Yahoo!, MSN, ID number, institution, department, telephone, mobile telephone, address)

    Published content in the "Deutsch für dich" community
    Non-registered users see, in the standard setting

    • Depending on visibility settings, the real name or user name given by you
    • Your comments/contributions/media
    • The data and time of your entry
    • County and town if applicable

    You can control the extent to which other members can see your profile information individually in your profile. Registered members can see:

    • Title
    • Depending on visibility settings, the real name or user name given by you
    • Profile image
    • Country
    • Town
    • The groups of which you are a member and/or moderator and your activities in the group
    • Your friends
    • Comments you have submitted
    • Personal learning lists
    • Files that you have uploaded to the community
    • Forum contributions you have submitted
    • Your leisure activities
    • Language/language level
    • I am learning German/I teach German
    • My interest in the German language
    • I'm looking for learning partners
    • I have already completed a course at the Goethe-Institut

    Published content in comments on goethe.de
    Non-registered users see, in the standard setting

    • The name given by you
    • Country and town if applicable
    • The comment itself

    You can control the extent to which other members can see your profile information individually in your profile.

    Published content in communities
    If you use communities, all website visitors can see:

    • Your nickname
    • Your profile photo, if uploaded
    • Your country
    • Your gender
    • Special profile fields which vary for each community
    • Files that you have uploaded to the community, incl. date and time
    • Comments that you have provided on media
    • Forum contributions you have made
    • Your friends
    • The groups of which you are a member and/or moderator
    • Entries you have made in guestbooks
    • Your online status
    • Length of your membership

    d. Location of data storage and access by Goethe Institutes

    If you are using the services of a Goethe-Institut on its premises in Germany or abroad (e.g. attending a German course), this Goethe-Institut has access to your data. Your data is always stored in our Head Office in Munich.


    e. Exchange of data

    If you have already provided personal data in the past for any other Goethe-Institut service requiring registration (mailing lists, language course administration systems, etc.), we would also like to use it for the above purposes for the internet services described here that require registration. The same applies in reverse: If, in the future, you wish to use other Goethe-Institut internet services (forum, shop, learning platform, etc.), we want to be able to provide your data, as covered by this Data Protection Statement, to those services so that you can also use these services easily without having to re-enter your data. This interchange of data will only take place within the scope of a consent given by you (see below, Section B.)..


    f. Deletion of your registration and data

    If you do not log in again for a certain time, we generally delete your data – if there are no statutory retention obligations – for security reasons; naturally, you can re-register after this.

  6. The use of cookies 

    On our web pages, we use technology known as "cookies". Cookies are small text files which are sent to you when you visit our web pages and which are kept on your computer for later accessing.

    Cookies are used by us to identify you when you change from one page to the next (known as "session recognition") and to detect the end of an internet session (called "session timeout").

    In addition, we use cookies to recognise you as a registered user when you visit us again and to allow you to log in automatically if applicable.

    Most of our cookies are what are called "session cookies", which are deleted when you end your browser session. Recognition cookies, on the other hand, have a longer working life; you can check this via your browser. Generally, you can view and delete all cookies used by us via your browser.

    If, when you are logging in to goethe.de, you activate the option "Stay logged in" by adding a tick, a cookie is downloaded which allows us to recognise you when you call up the page at goethe.de within a specified period of time.

    We do not collect or store personal data in cookies.

    You yourself can determine whether cookies can be placed and accessed using the settings in your browser. You will generally find help on this by going to the Help function in the browser you use.

    To use the full range of functions of our web pages and to make use of our personalised services, however, it is essential for technical reasons that you allow cookies, for automatic login, for example.

  7. Advertising, market research and adapting our web pages and internet services to meet your needs 

    For advertising and market research and to allow us to adapt our web pages and internet services to suit your interests, we create usage profiles, which is done through the use of cookies. These usage profiles are created either without any personal reference or only using pseudonyms. If pseudonyms are used, you can object at any time.

    For the above purposes of advertising, market research and adaptation to your needs, and within the scope described above, we also make use of the services of third parties who place advertisements on our internet pages, such as Google, in the form of Google AdWords, or Yahoo. In connection with these advertisements, it may happen that the third parties add and read cookies and that cookies are processed within this framework by the third parties, for example, with Google AdWords the "conversion tracking cookie" when the visitor clicks on an advertisement placed there by Google.

    These cookies are not intended to personally identify visitors and become invalid after a specified time which you can see in your browser – see above, regarding cookies – e.g. the conversion tracking cookie expires after 30 days.

    You can prevent the creation of usage profiles and the placing of advertisements by third parties at any time by setting your browser so that it does not accept cookies. Please send any objection you may have to pseudonymous usage profiles to recht@goethe.de.

  8. The Use of Analysis Tools 

    We would like to configure our internet pages in the best possible way. For this, we need to know how our visitors perceive various parts of our website. The following therefore applies, in addition to the above notes on cookies:

    a. Webtrekk

    We use the services of a statistics service provider (Webtrekk GmbH in Berlin) to collect statistical data about the use of our web services, to improve them, to allow an analysis of the use of our web services to be carried out and to compile reports about web page activities. Technically, this is done using a pixel which is integrated into our pages. The data transmitted to us automatically by your browser (see 3., above) is collected via the pixel; here, the IP address is anonymised by deleting the last two octets and only saved and used in this form.

    The statistics service provider also places and evaluates cookies. You can block the saving of these cookies too using one of the settings in your browser software; however, we would like to point out that if you do this you may not be able to make full use of all the functions of this website.

    In addition, you can prevent the collection of statistical usage data as a whole by stating your objection to this by clicking on the following button. To be able to take any stated objection into account the next time you visit the page, this is saved in a cookie in your browser.
    Note: The objection to data collection applies as long as you do not delete these opt-out cookies.


    With the Opt-Out-Cookie you contradict the data storage of your anonymized user data and the visitor data will no longer be stored in the future.

    b. Google Analytics

    In addition, we sometimes use Google Analytics, a web analysis service of Google Inc. ("Google"). Google Analytics also uses cookies, i.e. text files that are saved on your computer and which allow the use of the website by you to be analysed. The information produced by the cookie about your use of this website is generally transmitted to a Google server in the USA and saved there. Because we activate IP anonymisation on this website, however, your IP address is shortened beforehand by Google in states that are members of the European Union or signatories to the Agreement on the European Economic Area. Only in exceptional cases is the full IP address transmitted to a Google server in the USA and shortened there. Google will use this information on our behalf to evaluate your use of the website, to compile reports on the website activities and to provide further services associated with the use of the website and the internet to us as the website operator. The IP address transmitted by your browser within Google Analytics is not combined with any other data by Google.

    You can block the storage of these cookies too by changing the appropriate setting in your browser software; however, we would like to point out that if you do this you may not be able to make full use of all the functions of this website.

    In addition, you can prevent the capture of the data produced by the cookie and relating to your use of the website (incl. your IP address) to Google and the processing of such data by Google by downloading and installing the browser plugin provided at the following link, currently accessible at http://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout?hl=de.

  9. Incorporation of Social Networks 

    We regard the social networks (e.g. Facebook, Google+ etc.) as an important and valuable communication platform, and our web pages therefore contain corresponding links (or "plugins") supplied by the social network providers. In addition, some of the content from the social networks is integrated into our web pages.

    The logo tells you which is the provider in question.

    If you call up a web page containing one of these plugins, your internet browser builds up a direct link to the server of the relevant social network provider. The content of the plugin is forwarded directly from the provider to your browser and integrated by it into the web page.

    Through this link, the social network provider in question is given your IP address along with other technical data – usually the kind of data that is described above in Figure 3. of this Data Protection Statement in general.

    It may also happen that the social network provider places a cookie on your computer and can then read it.

    The plugins are covered by the conditions of use and the data protection provisions of the relevant plugin provider.

    We too can only see the plugin information that is made publicly available by the provider in question.

    As far as we are technically able, however, we use the plugins in such a way that, in the first step, we do not show the plugin itself, but only a placeholder, and you have to decide whether you want to activate the plugin or not. Only if you click to give your agreement is the plugin integrated and the connection to the social network in question established (and with a second click, you can then trigger the plugin function); if you do not give your agreement, on the other hand, the plugin is not incorporated and there is no direct connection to the provider of the social network in question.

    We show a 2-click solution message for plugins, as follows, for example:


    c. Facebook, Google+ & others

    We can provide you with the following information about the most important social network providers and their plugins:

    Through a plugin, Facebook receives the information that a visitor with a particular IP address is currently visiting a page on the Goethe-Institut website. If you are also logged into Facebook at the same time, your visit can be matched to your Facebook account. In this way, for example, you friends can also be shown in the plugin.

    If you use the plugins, the corresponding information is forwarded via the plugin directly from your browser to Facebook.

    This also basically applies for Google+.

    If you do not want data forwarding as a Facebook or Google+ member, you must log out of Facebook or Google+ before you activate the plugin.

    The nature, purpose and extent of data collection and use by the social network providers and your rights and settings options in this respect are described in the data protection statements of the relevant providers, such as:

    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/about/privacy/
    Google+: https://developers.google.com/+/web/buttons-policy
    Twitter:  https://twitter.com/privacy

    c. Facebook Connect

    We also offer the visitors to our web pages and internet services the Facebook service "Facebook Connect", which is also – like the plugins – governed by the conditions of use and data protection provisions of Facebook. So if you register with us under your Facebook account, you allow your Facebook profile data and your public information on Facebook to be transmitted to us from your Facebook profile, just as, in reverse, data can be transmitted from us to your Facebook profile. Your data that has been transmitted to us is saved and used by us for registration purposes.

  10. Involvement of Service Providers 

    It may be necessary for the purposes listed in this Data Protection Statement for us to forward your data to technical service providers that support us (e.g. hosting, webservers, etc.). We have selected these service providers with great care and commissioned in accordance with the legal requirements.

    Apart from that, we do not forward your data to third parties, unless this is allowed by law or through a declaration of consent or we are legally obliged to do so.

  11. Data Collection or Use for Other Purposes 

    If we collect or use your data for purposes other than those described here, we will tell you about it separately. Notifications to this effect apply in addition to this Data Protection Statement.

  12. Your Data Protection Consent 

    We would like to use the data occurring through your use of our web pages and internet services and the data provided by you also on a personal rather than a pseudonymous basis so that we can offer you web pages and internet services that are tailored to you personally. This includes sending you particular offers from the Goethe-Institut by e-mail, sending you any newsletters selected by you or showing you particular offers on our internet pages which might interest you. To be able to configure our internet services in this way, it is essential, additionally, that we are allowed to save and use your data in usage profiles in a way that is personally related to you.

    This is only done following your Data Protection Consent; we ask you for this elsewhere separately.

  13. Newsletter Cancellation, Objection and Revocation 

    If you no longer wish to receive newsletters to which you have subscribed, you can see to this by clicking on the "Unsubscribe" link at the end of the newsletter. If you have registered with us, you can unsubscribe the newsletter within your profile.

    You can object at any time to the creation of usage profiles for advertising and market research purposes and to the needs-based configuration of our web pages.

    You can also revoke a Declaration of Consent under Data Protection Law given to us in this respect at any time with effect for the future.

    You can do any of the above by sending an e-mail to recht@goethe.de.

  14. Data Security 

    To protect your data we use technical and organisational security measures such as the steps taken when creating the Goethe ID or SSL encryption with a later login.

  15. Forwarding 

    Our web pages contain various links to web pages of other service providers. If you activate a link of this type, you will be forwarded to another service provider. We are not liable or responsible for the content and data protection guidelines on their web pages.

    Goethe-Institut e.V.

B. Declaration of Consent under Data Protection Law

If you create a Goethe ID, the following applies for the Declaration of Consent under Data Protection Law provided when you registered:


Declaration of Consent

I herewith agree that the Goethe-Institut, as described in the above Data Protection Statement in detail,

  • may also collect, process or use the data provided by me and occurring during the use of the web pages and internet services on a personal basis for the individual configuration of internet services to suit my own needs (creating a personal start page, sending selected newsletters / information (including advertising) tailored to my interests by e-mail, offering services tailored to my personal interests, etc.), where the above purposes also include the creation and use of personal usage profiles;
  • may combine the data created by the use of various Goethe-Institut internet services, including services provided in the past, and use such data for the above purposes.

If within Germany or abroad, a Goethe-Institut is responsible for me and/or I registered through a Goethe-Institut, I also agree that my data may be forwarded to this Goethe-Institut.

I know that I can revoke my Declaration of Consent at any time with effect for the future.