Privacy Statement for Babbel

"Babbel" is a service offered by Lesson Nine GmbH, Bergmannstr. 5, 10961 Berlin, Germany. Through this privacy statement, Lesson Nine wishes to inform you of how your personal data are processed and in what form some of these data are made accessible for other users. All personal data are treated with the utmost care at Lesson Nine. All the necessary steps are taken to guarantee the security of these data. This privacy statement supplements the General Terms and Conditions of Business of Babbel. Please write to info@babbel.com if you have any queries relating to this document.

1. Which data are stored?

1.1. Personal data

When you register with us, we record and save your basic data such as name and e-mail address together with other contact information such as user name and password. We may receive further information from you via the website (e.g. if you fill in your personal profile) or if you communicate with us.

The following registration data are accessible for other Babbel users:

  • selected language combinations

Other data provided voluntarily are also generally accessible for other users of Babbel; however, you can disable such access at http://www.babbel.com/users/profile/edit. This concerns first name, surname, gender, age and any other voluntary details that you can save in your profile.

1.2. Cookies

After you have logged in (with user name and password), Babbel uses cookies with which you can be identified for the duration of your visit. Cookies are small files stored on your computer or mobile device which identify the device to our server and also provide additional data. Other technologies such as pixel tags, web bugs, web storage and similar files fulfil the same purpose. A cookie is saved on your computer.

One type of cookie automatically expires after your session has ended. This is called a session cookie. Your user settings, in particular, are saved as session cookies so that Babbel can always be used in the form you require. Another permanently stored anonymous cookie contains the version number of your Flash player. When you log in, you also have the option of saving you user name and password locally in encrypted form on your computer. You can save this cookie permanently for automatic log in with the function "Log me in automatically on this computer". In addition to this, user settings, such as language selection, language recognition settings, user IDs for various applications, are saved in both session cookies and permanent cookies by Babbel in order to facilitate the use of Babbel.

You switch off the use of cookies for our website or in general in the settings of your Internet browser. You can find out how this functions from the website of your Internet browser supplier. For the Internet Explorer you can find the relevant instructions at http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-vista/Block-or-allow-cookies, for Firefox at https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/enable-and-disable-cookies-website-preferences, for Apple Safari at http://support.apple.com/kb/index?page=search&fac=all&q=cookies%20safari and for Google Chrome at https://support.google.com/chrome/answer/95647?hl=en.

However, deactivating cookies will mean that a number of functionalities, e.g. automatically logging in to the website, will no longer operate as intended.

1.3. Log files

Each time a page is called up, access data are saved in a protocol file, the server log. The data record thus saved contains the following data:

  • your IP address (by means of which your computer can be unambiguously identified)
  • the remote host (name and IP address of the computer requesting the page)
  • the time, the status, the quantity of data transferred and the Internet page from which you accessed the requested page (referrer)
  • The product and version information of the browser used (user agent)

Lesson Nine uses a standardized webserver logfile format for this purpose. Provided these data are not urgently required for the technical maintenance of the system or for the system security, they are anonymized instantly and the original protocols are deleted. Anonymization takes place by removal or truncation of the IP address by allocating a code not assigned to a user. Any allocation to an identified or identifiable person is therefore no longer possible. Lesson Nine therefore uses the protocol data (logs) exclusively in anonymized form for statistical evaluations, hence without any allocation or references to your personal details. In this way, Lesson Nine determines, for instance, on which days and at which times Babbel is particularly popular and what volume of data is generated on the Babbel web servers. Furthermore, Lesson Nine can detect possible errors through the log files, e.g. faulty links or program errors, and thus use the log files for the ongoing development and refinement of Babbel. Lesson Nine does not link the page requests and usage information to individual persons.

1.4. Google Analytics

This website uses Google Analytics, a web analytics service provided by Google, Inc. ("Google"). Google Analytics uses "cookies", which are text files placed on your computer, to help the website analyse how you use the site. As anonymization is activated for the data we collect, your IP address is truncated by Google within member states of the European Union or in other signatory countries to the Treaty creating the European Economic Area and only then is it transferred to the USA.

Only in exceptional cases will the full IP address be transferred to a Google server in the USA and truncated there. On behalf of the operator of this website, Google will use this information for the purpose of evaluating your use of the website in order to compile reports on website activity for the website operator and to provide other services relating to website activity and Internet usage. The IP address transferred by your browser within the scope of Google Analytics will not be combined with other data from Google.

You may prevent the saving of cookies by selecting the appropriate settings on your browser; however, please note that if you do this, you may not be able to use the full functionality of this website. Furthermore, you can prevent the data captured by the cookie and relating to your use of the website (incl. your IP address) from being captured and processed by Google by downloading and installing the browser plugin available at the following link : http://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout?hl=en.

Further information on the use of the data and privacy policy at Google Analytics is available at http://www.google.com/analytics/terms/us.html or https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/6004245?hl=en. Babbel uses Google Analytics exclusively in connection with the gat._anonymizeIp(); extension so that IP addresses are only recorded in truncated, i.e. anonymized form.

1.5. Exchange of data with Facebook (Only applies to registered Facebook users)

We are taking part in a statistical program of the company Facebook, 1601 South California Avenue, Palo Alto, CA 94304, USA, via which Facebook users who display a similar usage profile to our existing customers are detected (“Facebook Custom Audiences – Statistical Twins”).

As part of this program, email addresses of customers are transferred in an anonymized form (known as a “hash”) to Facebook. The email addresses cannot be derived from the data transmitted. Using the same method, Facebook itself produces a hash of its users’ email addresses, correlates these with the anonymized data and determines whether one of our users with the same email address is registered with Facebook.

Facebook guarantees that it does not store this correlation or use it outside of the program. This is then employed as the basis on which to determine any third parties who use Facebook in a similar way to the customer, and we obtain an opportunity to address these people directly. You do not receive any additional advertising or messages from us or from Facebook as a result.

If you are not registered at Facebook with the same email address as you use for us, Facebook will not receive any information about you. Under no circumstances do we find out whether you are registered with Facebook and do not otherwise receive any data about you.

You hereby give your consent to the anonymized transfer of your email address in the form described previously. Although we do have every reason to trust the assurances provided by Facebook, we wish to point out that Facebook is not subject to German data protection law.

You will find further information on the purpose and scope of the data capture and the further processing and use of the data by Facebook as well as optional settings for protecting your privacy in the Facebook data protection guidelines at: https://www.facebook.com/about/privacy/.

1.6. Personal vocabulary

To enable Babbel users to conveniently revise their vocabulary, all practised words and sentences together with all results of exercises are saved in the user’s personal vocabulary. These data can be viewed by other users only in the form of high scores, which do not indicate which specific words or sentences are being practised but merely reveal how many exercises have been successfully completed.

1.7. Image uploads and image scores

Babbel users can upload images for general use in areas such as the forum.

1.8. Messages

All private messages between Babbel users via the Babbel website are saved on the Babbel servers. These private data are not made accessible to other users under any circumstances. The messages are deleted as soon as both communicating parties have deleted them from their mailboxes. Public messages in discussion forums are saved permanently provided you do not delete them yourself. The files remain saved even after you have terminated the service. Other users are able to recognize whether you take part in any activities within the discussion forum. Users with whom you are friends may also receive a message about your activities.

1.9. Newsletter & e-mails

We send you e-mails for a variety of reasons. These may include confirmations of an order or of a registration. However, communication may also concern information about our services, provided you have not revoked your consent for such usage, which you can of course do at any time at http://www.babbel.com/users/settings/edit. Any e-mail messages we send are saved by us and any e-mails that may be regarded as business letters will not be deleted during the statutory retention period. We also record any e-mail addresses to which a message could not be delivered in order to request an updated e-mail address. Furthermore, our e-mails contain graphics which, when called up, allow us to determine whether an e-mail message has been opened. This takes place anonymously and without any allocation to a specific person or user. The same applies if you click on a link in our e-mail messages.

2. Purpose of storing the data

The purpose of gathering, saving, processing and using the data is solely to facilitate, maintain and develop the "Babbel" service provided by Lesson Nine. In particular, part of the ongoing development involves the use of anonymous statistics on the usage of the services. Movement profiles of individual users on the website are not created. The data are not used for any other purposes.

3. No forwarding of data to third parties

Lesson Nine does not forward the personal data of its users to third parties unless the user has given his/her explicit consent or there is a legal requirement to forward the data. In the case of payment processing, the data for processing the payment transaction are forwarded to the payment services provider if you do not supply the data directly. If you send your payment data directly to the payment services provider, we receive only very limited data. In such cases, we are merely informed whether or not the transaction relating to a specific transaction number has actually taken place. In such cases we do not receive your account data. If any third-party rights have been violated (in particular rights relating to copyright, trademarks, names and symbols) by the user, the user data will not be forwarded to the rights holder unless the latter conclusively demonstrates his/her claims to Lesson Nine.

4. Minors

As a matter of principle, Babbel is directed towards users who have reached the age of majority. Any use by minors without the consent of their legal guardians is prohibited. Lesson Nine therefore reserves the right to delete all data relating to underage users if no consent from the legal guardians is available.

5. Data security

Lesson Nine employs safety precautions to guarantee that your data are protected against loss, modification or misuse. To this end, Lesson Nine works with constantly updated firewalls meeting the industry standard as well as other security systems. At the same time, the user should be aware of the fact that one hundred per cent protection against attacks cannot be guaranteed because of the continual appearance of new viruses and other means of attacking the protected data systems of Internet services. Lesson Nine will instigate civil and criminal proceedings against any attack by hackers and the like and will inform the users of any cases in which their data have been compromised.

6. Information, correction and deletion

6.1. Right to information on stored data

Every user has the right to obtain information from Lesson Nine on the personal data that has been saved in relation to him/her. If the request for information is not conveyed to Lesson Nine in writing, hence particularly in the case of enquiries by telephone or e-mail, the user must provide a postal address to which the information can then be sent. In the request for information, the user must additionally provide the following details for identification purposes: user name, first name and surname, maiden name (if appropriate), e-mail address, postal address and date of birth. The information is sent by post to the address provided by the user.

6.2. Corrections

If the user alters or corrects the details that he/she has provided and deletes old entries, the data previously entered by the user will be completely deleted automatically. An application for correction or deletion is not required. You can edit your personal data at any time at http://www.babbel.com/users/about/edit. This notwithstanding, the user has the right at all times to demand the correction of any inaccurate data concerning him/her stored with Babbel. However, the easiest option is for users to correct any such entries themselves.

6.3. Deletion of data

Should the user demand any alteration, correction or deletion of his/her personal data, this may take place by e-mail or letter. To ensure correct identification of the user, the request must at least contain the following details:

  • User name
  • First name and surname
  • E-mail address
  • Postal address

Please note that due to caching systems, search engines, the interposition of proxy servers and the like, deleted data may continue to remain accessible even though they are no longer present within our systems.

7. Contact

The trust of our users is important to us. Lesson Nine therefore wishes to provide its users with full information on the processing of their personal data at all times. If any queries remain unanswered by this privacy statement or if more detailed information is required on any point, please contact the following address at any time:

Lesson Nine GmbH · Bergmannstr. 5 · 10961 Berlin · Germany · E-mail: privacy@babbel.com