(1) Preamble

The responsible handling of your person-related data in accordance with the relevant data protection regulations in Germany is of considerable importance to us: as charitable organisations or as corporations that are directly accountable to the Federal Government, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH, Goethe-Institut e.V., DAAD e.V. and Alexander von Humboldt Foundation are running the platform Alumniportal Deutschland for the purpose of networking alumni among themselves, with the afore-mentioned organisations and with associated partners in industry, politics, science, etc. in the Internet under the URL "http://www.alumniportal-deutschland.org/"
Under the leadership of Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH, the organisations involved, Goethe-Institut e.V., DAAD e.V. and Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, have signed a co-operation agreement on the project Alumniportal Deutschland. In the following, this alliance will be referred to as "Alumniportal-Deutschland-Cooperation" (Anbietergruppe A - service-providing group A).
Alumniportal-Deutschland-Cooperation collaborates with further partners, especially with organisations and institutions in international co-operation. In the following, this group will be referred to as "associated partners" (Anbietergruppe B - service-providing group B).
Further organisations, firms and institutions may register at the Alumniportal Deutschland in order to establish links with alumni. In the following, this group will be referred to as "interested parties" (Anbietergruppe C - service-providing group C).

The target group of the Alumniportal Deutschland is the "Deutschland-Alumni". These are non-German persons who have been trained or upgraded in Germany and have stayed in Germany for at least three months. The term Deutschland-Alumni also refers to those non-Germans who have worked as employees in Germany for at least two years and have been supported by the Federal Government's "Rückkehrende Fachkräfte" programme.

Person-related data is only established, processed and used by Alumniportal-Deutschland-Cooperation to the extent that the data protection regulations in Germany explicitly allow or, should it reach beyond this, provided that an effective approval of the person affected or the user is on hand. Approval is via acceptance of this data protection declaration.

With your approval, you declare that you approve (with the proviso of a possible revocation at any time) of your person-related data (obligatory and voluntary statements explained as in the following) - and subsequent updating of them - may be established, processed and used in the context of Alumniportal-Deutschland-Cooperation. The address details may be forwarded to printers and agencies, but exclusively for the purpose of mailing Alumniportal Deutschland publications by post. This comprises, for example, invitations to events.

Generally, only such images are used in our publications and Internet presentations that may be disseminated and presented without the approval that § 22 KunstUrhRG [Copyright for Works of Art] prescribes, in accordance with § 23 Section 1 sub-paragraphs 1 - 4 KunstUrhRG.

Here, we will inform you about the details of how Alumniportal-Deutschland-Cooperation handles your person-related data. In the following, the term "user" refers to everyone registered in the Alumniportal Deutschland.

If you have any queries beyond the information below, regarding the establishing, processing or use of your person-related data, please contact our data protection officer (Alumniportal-Deutschland-Cooperation c/o GIZ GmbH, Friedrich-Ebert-Allee 40, 53113 Bonn, Germany / privacy{at}alumniportal-deutschland.org ), who will also serve you as a contact in the event of requests for information, ideas that you might have or complaints.

(2) Person-related data

(a) Obligatory personal details

To a very limited extent, the Alumniportal Deutschland is accessible to all Internet users for information purposes.
The Alumniportal Deutschland has been designed to allow as little person-related data as necessary to be established, processed or used. As a social network, the Alumniportal Deutschland will only work if the users make a minimum of person-related data accessible to other users.

In the course of the first log-in, the following person-related data will be requested from you that are required to show you the services of the Alumniportal Deutschland:

  • User name (nickname),
  • email address,
  • password,
  • continent of nationality,
  • nationality,
  • approval of the data protection principles cited here,
  • approval of receiving notification of registration via email.

These data will be established and transmitted via a secure site link (https / SSL Certificate). Once you have provided this information, you will receive an email to the address you have given together with a confirmation link. Pursue this link, thus confirming your registration. You will then arrive at the portal welcome page.

Having been initially registered on their profile, this information is accessible to users themselves and can be released individually for other registered users.
This initial registration will allow you to use a large amount of services and information of the Alumniportal Deutschland, especially in the column "Keep up (Dran bleiben)".

In order to be able to enjoy unrestricted use of all services and information in the Alumniportal Deutschland, you are required to supplement your registration, for which the following person-related data is needed:

  • title,
  • first name,
  • surname,
  • date of birth,
  • stay in Germany,
  • address,
  • town,
  • continent,
  • country,
  • chief area of professional activity,
  • training or education institution (highest degree),
  • degree,
  • subject area (possibly also specialisation),
  • graduation year,
  • funding or contact organisation.

Just like all the above-mentioned statements, calling up the chief areas of professional activity serves informing the alumni / users among one another, the organisations of Alumniportal-Deutschland-Cooperation (Anbietergruppe A) as well as the associated partners (Anbietergruppe B) and the interested parties (Anbietergruppe C), solely within the portal. The parties referred to may access the data provided exclusively for establishing contacts in conformity with the goals of the portal, for example to find experts in a certain specialist area and, should this be required, to contact them. The data may not be used for further purposes, in particular not for commercial inquiries or mailings.

In addition, statements on the following are required for representatives of organisations / firms or interested parties (Anbietergruppe C):

  • position,
  • department,
  • company address,
  • phone (business number).


(b) Voluntary statements

In addition, on a voluntary basis, you can make further personal details statements accessible to other users.

It is not possible to find your data via an Internet search machine.

Setting up a personal profile is voluntary, too. Here, you have the choice of making it visible to all users or only for your contacts. Just like with all contents and services of the section "Community", via contact confirmation, you are in charge of which of the registered users may view your profile data and other contents such as blogs, files (see below), etc.

A search will enable you to look for other users and have them find you. With the exception of the contact data email, you can do searches for all data. Of course the search results depend on what the other users have selected visible.

Every user can send messages to, and receive messages from, other users. Messages sent / received are stored under "Correspondence", but you may delete them at any time, and only you can view them.

In this section, it is also possible for all users to join existing network groups (communities) or set up their own network groups. Every group has one (or several) moderator(s) up to whom it is to decide whether the group is public or is only accessible to certain people who have been invited.
Please note: once a group has been designated public by the moderator, contributions can be read by all registered Alumniportal-Deutschland users.

As a registered Alumniportal-Deutschland user, you can dispatch invitations to become an Alumniportal-Deutschland member. We will use the person-related data established in this context exclusively for inviting the respective persons.
As the inviting party, please remember to send along your following personal data:

  • user name (nickname)
  • email address
  • ...


(c) Type, extent and purpose of the processing and use of your data

Handling of all person-related data is subject to the legal regulations in force, especially the TMG [Telemediengesetz Tele-media Act] and the BDSG [Bundesdatenschutzgesetz Federal Act on Data Protection].
As already mentioned, in addition to confirming contacts, the users have the option to choose which group of persons the information referred to under item (2) is to be made accessible to.
For contacts in general, no profile information (incl. videos, photos and groups, contact data, etc.) is accessible. If users determine that only the contacts may see the profile, other users will only be able to see the user name (nickname).
Additionally, in the settings on the private sphere, a user A may determine:

  • whether another user B is informed when user A has seen his profile data,
  • whether other users may see who user A's contacts are and
  • whether user A's contacts may automatically receive news about user A. Such news includes user A entering images or video links in his profile, in groups or in discussion forums, updates of personal details, joining groups or networks or participating in discussions in groups or networks that are headed by one of his contacts. His contacts (and of course other users) are never informed when A receives/sends a private message.

(3) Usage data

The user's attention is drawn to the fact that the operator may compile user profiles if pseudonyms are used for the purpose of tailoring his services to requirements. These usage profiles will not be combined with the data of the pseudonym's bearer. The user has the right to reject the compilation of a usage profile. In this case, the respective data will not be used for this purpose.

(4) No forwarding of person-related data to third parties

We will not forward your person-related data to third parties. The only exception is such cases in which a legal obligation to pass on data exists (e.g. in accordance with § 14 Section 1 TMG [Telemediengesetz] in the case of inquiries by criminal prosecution authorities and other state institutions with the corresponding powers). A further exception is the forwarding of your data to the partners already mentioned in the introductory section for the purposes referred to. In no circumstances will we hand on person-related data to third parties for advertising, marketing or other commercial purposes.
Except for the user name, the users themselves determine what data is accessible to other users.

(5) Cookies

Cookies are small text files that we use for the duration of a session and serve the purpose of identifying the user when logging in, choosing the right menu language and ensuring smooth operating. Cookies may be deactivated within the browser, although this may restrict the portal's functionality.

(6) Protocol files

When calling up the page, we can store

  • the IP address (via which your computer can be unambiguously identified),
  • product information and information about the version of the browser used (user agent),
  • the remote host (name and IP address of the computer from which you are requesting the respective page) and
  • the time, the status, the amount of data transmitted and the Internet page from which you have accessed the page requested (referrer).

This data is only used in the context of § 15 Section 3 TMG [Telemediengesetz], i.e. for the compilation of usage profiles for the purpose of advertising, market research and tailoring our services to requirements in a pseudonym mode. Item (3) of these data protection principles applies.

(7) Persons under the age of 18 years

The use of the services provided by the Alumniportal Deutschland is intended for persons of full age. Parents or other guardians are responsible for the protection of their children's sphere of privacy. We recommend that in all cases, minors ask their parents for permission to disseminate information about themselves via the Internet.

(8) Deactivating the account

Accounts that have been opened may be deleted together with the data they contain. The data may subsequently no longer be called up. Owing to the data stored in the cache, this user data may still be accessible for a short period after deactivating the account.
When your have deleted your account, your person-related data will be irretrievably deleted, and forum entries and personal messages will be made anonymous so that they can no longer be assigned to you. This is done, for example, to prevent the course of a discussion from being interrupted.

(9) Amendments to the data protection principles

The contents and functions of the Alumniportal-Deutschland are constantly being developed and improved. This can cause the need to arise for an amendment of these data. Registered users will be informed about changes when logging in. A respective updated version can always be viewed and printed at the URL www.alumniportal-deutschland.org/services/privacy.html. Additionally, there is the option of downloading and storing these data protection principles.

(10) Right to information and contact

In accordance with § 13 Section 7 TMG and § 34 BDSG [Bundesdatenschutzgesetz - Federal Data Protection Act], every registered user of the Alumniportal Deutschland has the right to obtain, at any time and free of charge, information on the person-related data via Alumniportal-Deutschland-Cooperation. Requests for information are to be addressed in writing to Alumniportal-Deutschland-Cooperation / Alumni-Koordination, c/o Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH, Friedrich-Ebert-Allee 40, 53113 Bonn. A certified copy of the identity card is required to be attached to the request for information. Since we cannot ensure complete data security in communication via email, information will always be sent by post to the address given in the identity card. On the user's request, information can also be provided electronically.

This Privacy Policy is available both in German and English language. In the event of any inconsistency between the German version and the English version, the German version shall prevail.

(11) Webanalysis technology

This website uses etracker technology (www.etracker.com) to collect visitor behavior data. This data is collected anonymously to be used for marketing and optimization purposes. All visitor data is saved using an anonymous user ID and can be aggregated to a usage profile. Cookies may be used to collect and save this data, but the data remains strictly anonymous. Cookies are small bits of text to be stored in the internet browser of the visitor. They enable reidentification of the individual browser.
The data will not be used to identify a visitor personally and are not aggregated with any personal data. The collection and storage of data may be refused at any time with respect to subsequent services.

II. Terms of Use

(1) Operators and users

The non-profit organisations involved, Goethe-Institut e.V., DAAD e.V. and Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung, have, under the leadership of Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH, signed a co-operation agreement on the project Alumniportal Deutschland. In the following, the latter will be referred to as "Alumniportal Deutschland-Cooperation". These conditions of use apply between the operators - the Alumniportal Deutschland-Cooperation, Alumniportal Deutschland c/o Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH, 53113 Bonn - and the registered user - persons registered in the Alumniportal Deutschland. The registered users are

  • mainly "Deutschland-Alumni", i.e. persons who have stayed in Germany for at least 3 months for training purposes or who have been employed in Germany for several years
  • and organisations / companies wishing to get in touch with "Deutschland-Alumni".

These conditions of use may be subject to changes. Under the URL www.alumniportal-deutschland.de/services/privacy.html, you will find the respective latest version of these conditions of use which you can view and print.
Please carefully read the conditions of use. They contain important information, mutual rights and duties, etc.

(2) Subject of the contract

The central content of the Alumniportal Deutschland programme is an Internet platform under the URL "http://www.alumniportal-deutschland.org/" with which Deutschland-Alumni can, for example, link up in a network, find one another (again), exchange views and experience and communicate via messages, discussion forums and other channels.
As operators, we undertake to ensure that the operating of the platform is free of any disturbances, although we cannot guarantee this. Circumstances may result in system availability being restricted by maintenance work or other influence.

(3) Establishing contact

As registered users, you declare that you agree that your data, e.g. your email, is used for the purpose of establishing contact and for statistical purposes by the organisations GIZ, Goethe-Institut, DAAD and AvH. Establishing contact may be both in the form of messages personally addressed to the users and in the form of general information / newsletters.
Users give their consent (with the proviso of a possible revocation at any time) to their person-related data - as well as updates of the latter - being established, processed and used in the context of Internet presentations by the Alumniportal Deutschland-Cooperation. The address data may be forwarded to printers and agencies, but solely for the purpose of mailing by post of publications by the Alumniportal Deutschland. This includes, for example, invitations to events.
The relevant regulations of the German Data Protection Act (also see Data protection) are complied with.

(4) Inadmissible user names

We reserve the right to reject user names that are unlawful, insulting, glorify violence, are of a discriminatory nature or pornographic or are in any other way irreconcilable with the following user conditions and may be suitable to blemish the reputation of the Alumniportal Deutschland-Cooperation or its co-operation partners.

(5) Rights and duties of the user

Users of the Alumniportal Deutschland commit themselves to observing copyrights. Only such contents and statements may be published in the Alumniportal Deutschland that do not violate the rights of others (in particular copyrights and generally with regard to the law of industrial property and copyright protection).

Users of the Alumniportal Deutschland are responsible for their activities within the entire platform. In all circumstances, the personal password to activate and use the user's account has to be kept secret from third parties. If you should have any cause to assume that third parties have learnt of your password, it is your duty to immediately change it. (You can change your password in your personal profile area.)

User activities aimed at complicating the functionality of the platform or making the portal unusable are forbidden and may result in civil or criminal prosecution. In particular, measures are also forbidden that may influence the portal's physical and logical structure.
You may not use the Alumniportal Deutschland for commercial purposes. This also means that advertising via the mailing of contents that the recipients obtain without having requested them (spamming) is not permitted.

On the Alumniportal Deutschland , it is generally not permissible to register for more than one user account, register for a user account in the name of another person, register in the name of a group or a legal person for a user account or present oneself as another person and disseminate false statements on oneself and other people.

Furthermore, all Alumniportal Deutschland users are obliged not to violate any legal regulations with their contents and activities (valid law of the German Federal Republic). For example, the platform may not be used for illegal purposes.

It is also forbidden to publish, transmit or disseminate contents / statements that are illegal, especially those that are insulting, glorify violence or are of a discriminatory or pornographic nature or have other contents that are contrary to morality. This also comprises contents that are accessible via links set by the users. Furthermore, the use of offensive contents, ambiguous terms and other representations is forbidden whose illegality is suspected but cannot be conclusively determined.

For example, the following are forbidden activities:

  • contents that are morally harmful for adolescents,
  • any presentation of violence against human beings or animals,
  • contents violating human dignity,
  • religiously or politically extreme contents and racist contents or contents inciting the people for religious, national or racial reasons or those glorifying violence,
  • gambling,
  • obscene contents,
  • entering photos and videos without permission by the photographer and the person shown on them.

If it suspects such contents or references, the Alumniportal Deutschland-Cooperation reserves the right to remove them without any prior announcement or explanation.

(6) Rights and duties of the operator

With the Alumniportal Deutschland, the Alumniportal Deutschland-Cooperation is merely providing the users a platform with which they can communicate with other alumni and further third parties.
To this end, it provides the technical applications for a general establishing of contacts. This service does not give rise to any claims to the substantiating of contacts, and the Alumniportal Deutschland-Cooperation and its co-operation partners are not responsible for the development of contacts.

Furthermore, claims to compensation for damage in the event of technical disturbances are ruled out. Our technical administration undertakes to ensure the frictionless operating of the platform, but as already mentioned in the Security notes, no guarantee is given for this.

The operators of the Alumniportal Deutschland do not carry out any checks on the publicly disseminated contents and statements of the users prior to their dissemination, transmittal or publication.

In the event of the conditions of use not being observed or a reasonable suspicion of a user having violated them, we are entitled to expel the respective user and, should this seem appropriate, immediately delete the contents that he has used or that have been addressed to him. In this case, the user is sent a warning fixing a time-limit, unless the violation is of such severe nature that a continuation of the owner and user relationship is unacceptable.

Users relieve the operators of the Alumniportal Deutschland of all claims, including damage claims, that other users or other third parties may make owing to a violation of their rights by the contents published on the Alumniportal Deutschland by the user.

The user covers all reasonable and proportionate costs arising for the operator owing to a violation of the rights of third parties, including the reasonable and proportionate costs arising from defence in court. These duties of the user do not apply if the user does not have to account for the violation of law.

(7) Closing the accounts

You may close your account at any time, and without giving any reasons. Once the account has been deactivated, the user's data can no longer be called up. Owing to the data retained in the cache, the member's data may still be accessible for a short period for technical reasons. Should the need arise, the Alumniportal Deutschland-Cooperation will reserve the right to keep the data stored for the time being (e.g. to assert damage compensation claims in the case of a violation).

Note: Once you have closed your account, your data will be completely and irretrievably deleted. Entries in discussion forums, personal messages and other contributions will be made anonymous. The latter can then no longer be assigned to you, but they will not be deleted, for example in order to retain the comprehensibility of a discussion.

(8) Liability

The Internet programme of the Alumniportal Deutschland has been compiled with the greatest possible care. No liability is assumed for the correctness, accuracy and flawlessness of the information on the part of the operator. Neither do we as operators assume any liability for the contents published by the users. Furthermore, any liability for damages is ruled out that arise directly from the use of the pages.
We are not responsible as operators for the contents of websites that have been referred to via external hyperlinks, and we can assume no guarantee or liability for the appropriateness and legality of these contents.

As users, you relieve the Alumniportal Deutschland-Cooperation of all claims made by third parties owing to a violation of the above-mentioned duties and / or damaging activities of the users vis-à-vis the Alumniportal Deutschland-Cooperation. As far as this is legally possible, the Alumniportal Deutschland-Cooperation cannot be held liable. (The German version of the conditions of use applies as the legally binding version.)

(9) Amendments to the conditions of usage

Alumniportal Deutschland-Cooperation reserves the right to amend these conditions of usage at any time and without stating any reasons. Registered users are informed about changes in the course of logging in.
If there are no objections to the amended version within two weeks of this notice being given, it is regarded as accepted.

These Terms of Use are available both in German and English language. In the event of any inconsistency between the German version and the English version, the German version shall prevail.

III. Security advice

As a social network for alumni of the organisations Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH, Goethe-Institut e.V., DAAD e.V. and Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, we provide a platform with which anyone interested can get in touch with other alumni and interested parties, be contacted by them, present oneself, etc.

We undertake to protect person-related data in accordance with the relevant laws and according to these data protection regulations and will make all technical and organisational arrangements that handling of person-related data observing data protection requires.

However, we would explicitly like to draw attention to the fact that we cannot protect the data made accessible to all users against misuse.

Generally, any Internet user can register with the Alumniportal Deutschland. This also means that we have no way to check whether users are always alumni entitled to use the system. We cannot guarantee a user's true identity. It is up to users themselves to get information about another user's identity, and it is their responsibility to choose whom they wish to confirm as a contact.
Please above all note the following:
Only make data public that you feel make sense regarding the Alumniportal Deutschland. Please take care to choose such data according to what you really wish to reveal about yourself. Data like your private telephone number, address, etc. should only be accessible to the contacts that you have confirmed, and not to all users.