Privacy Policy

Privacy Policy 2018

Spark Networks Services GmbH cares about your personal data, which is why we have drafted this Privacy Policy for you. This Privacy Policy is meant to help you understand what data we collect, why we collect it, what we do with it and how we safeguard it. We encourage you to read this Privacy Policy carefully when using our websites or services or transacting business with us.

All personal data collected from you will be processed in accordance with this Privacy Policy. If you have any further questions please contact us, our contact information can be found at the bottom of this Privacy Policy.

Clarification

From now on in this Privacy Policy “Spark Networks Services GmbH” all, its subsidiaries and brands will be referred to, as “We” and Data Subjects will be referred to as “You”

Contents

Your Personal Information

Tools used to Process Data

Tools used to safeguard your Data

User Rights

Further Information

EliteSingles is an internet-based service which brings people together who are looking for a long-lasting relationship. To successfully provide this service, we collect and use your personal information.

Please note that this Privacy Policy applies to all our services, including the Website and the Apps (together, the “Services”). When using our Services, you may find links to other websites, apps and services, or tools that enable you to share information with other websites, apps and services. We are not responsible for the privacy practices of these other websites, apps and services and we recommend that you review the privacy policies of each of these websites, apps or services before sharing any personal data.

If you do not agree to any of the provisions of this Privacy Policy, you should not use our Services.

Your Personal Information

All the personal information we collect is related to providing and improving our Services and its features and falls into three general categories:

  • Information you provide to us
  • Information collected automatically
  • Information we obtain from third parties

In many cases, personal information is only used in pseudonym form or anonymously.

What Personal Information we collect:

  1. Without Registration

When you visit our websites, we store the following data by default:

  • IP address (Internet Protocol address) of the accessing computer
  • The website from which you visit us (referrer)
  • The sites that you visit from our website
  • The date and time of your visit
  • The type of browser settings
  • Operating System

This data is used by us for statistical purposes without reference to individuals.

  1. With Registration

We only use the personal information that you actively provide us (e.g. contact information for registration, profile information or photos). In many cases, you can decide what personal information you reveal about yourself in your profile and / or in your search activity. Personal information that is strictly necessary for the provision of the contract is always marked separately as required (e.g. email address) so that you know what information you need to enter for the use of the Services and what you can do without.

We provide Free Memberships and Paid Memberships.

  1. Free Membership

With the Free Membership you will be prompted to provide the following details, without which registration cannot be completed:

  • Gender
  • Gender of the partner you are seeking
  • E-mail address
  • Password

Our personality test follows your registration. First, we ask for the following information to identify suitable partners:

  • Postal code
  • Date of birth
  • Height
  • Marital Status
  • Education
  • Occupation
  • Income

During the personality test, you will be asked to answer a series of personal questions (e.g. partner preferences, personal characteristics and desired traits in a partner). Information such as ethnicity or religion is considered sensitive personal data, which is subject to increased legal protection and protected by us with increased technological care. We collect this data and other profile information (e.g. interests and preferences), because they are the basis of our matching service and the basis of your EliteSingles profile. Direct contact information (e.g. e-mail address, postal code) does not appear on your profile and is therefore not visible to other members.

  1. Paid Membership

If you purchase a Paid Membership, the following personal information is collected during the payment process:

  • First and Last Name
  • Bank account details or credit card information, which are collected by our trusted third-party services provider
  • Home address
  1. Cookies

We use "cookies" to make your interaction with the platforms individually identifiable and optimized. A cookie is a text file that is either stored temporarily in the computer's memory ("session cookies") or saved on the hard drive ("permanent cookie"). Cookies may contain information about your previous requests to the appropriate server or information on what offerings have been made to you so far. Cookies are not used to run programs or deliver viruses to your computer. The main purpose of cookies is to provide tailor-made offerings and make the use of the Services as comfortable as possible.

Most browsers are initially set to accept cookies. However, you can configure your browser so that it rejects cookies or requests you to confirm the acceptance of cookies. If you choose to decline cookies, however, this may have the consequence that not all our offerings are available to you.

We use session cookies, partner and affiliate cookies and permanent cookies.

  • Session Cookies: we mostly use "session cookies", which are not stored on your hard drive and are deleted when the browser is closed. Session cookies are used for login authentication and to balance the system load.
  • Partner and Affiliate Cookies: we use these cookies if you access our Services via an external advertising space. These cookies are used to settle accounts with our cooperation partners and do not contain personal information from you.
  • Permanent cookies: we use "permanent cookies" to save your personal use settings. This allows for personalization and improves the we service, because you can find your personal settings again on subsequent visits.
  1. Lawfulness of Processing and Consent

We only use your personal information where we have a lawful basis (in other words, a legal right). Lawful bases, according to Art. 6, 9 GDPR, include

  • consent (where you have given consent, e.g. regarding newsletter subscriptions),
  • contract (where processing is necessary for the performance of a contract with you, e.g. the Terms of Use and/or a Paid Membership),
  • compliance with a legal obligation (e.g. tax retention obligations and money laundering audits, which may make it necessary to store or otherwise process your data)
  • protection of the vital interests of you or another natural person (e.g. if we receive indications of a possible self-endangerment of a user), and
  • “legitimate interests pursued by us or by a third party, except where such interests are overridden by the interests of fundamental rights and freedoms of our users which require protection of personal data”.  Legitimate interests include:
  • ensuring the security and operability of our IT systems;
  • improving and personalizing our Services, including by analyzing usage behavior;
  • using third-party services for analytic and remarketing purposes, as set out below; and
  • using personal data for the examination, assertion, exercise and defense of legal claims.

If we use personal information for a purpose which by law requires your consent, we will always ask for your explicit agreement and record your consent.

You can revoke your given consent and thus opt-out at any time and/or object to future use of your personal information.

You can always object to the processing of your data on the basis of a legitimate interest.

To opt-out or make an objection a simple message to us is sufficient. You can do this by sending us an e-mail at dataprotection@elitesingles.co.uk

If you have any other questions about the lawful bases upon which we collect and use your personal data, please contact us using the contact details as set out below.

  1. Children

The Services offered by us are not directed to children under the age of 16. We do not knowingly collect personally identifiable information from anyone under 16 years of age. If we identify that we have collected information from users under the age of 16, we will take immediate measures to delete their data.

Tools used to Process Data

a) Use of Analysis Programs and Remarketing

EliteSingles analyses members’ online behavior. We create anonymous user profiles to improve our service to you. For this we use Google Analytics (with, among other things, the feature Universal Analytics), a web analytics service provided by Google Inc., 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA 94043, USA ("Google"), but with the extension "anonymizeIp".  Only the shortened IP addresses are processed, excluding direct reference to individuals.

The information generated by the cookie about your use of the websites - including your IP address- will be transmitted to a Google server in the USA and stored there. Google will use this information to evaluate your use of the websites, compiling reports on website activity for operators and providing others with website- and internet-related services. Reports created by Google contain demographic and interests data that have been based on your interaction with advertisements, or your visits to sites of advertisements. Google may also transfer this information to third parties, unless prohibited by law, or third parties may already process the information on Google's behalf. Google will not associate your IP address with any other data held by Google. You may refuse the use of cookies by selecting the appropriate settings on your browser. We point out, however, that you may not be able to use all features of our Services in this case. By using our website, you agree to the processing of data about you by Google in the manner described above and for the aforementioned purpose.

You can object to the collection and analysis of your use of the Google Analytics service. Please use the browser add-on to disable Google Universal Analytics. You can also use the cookie settings in Google's privacy policy to prevent Google from using cookies for advertising purposes: https://adssettings.google.com/

For more information on Terms of Use and Privacy Policy can be found at: www.google.com/analytics/terms/gb.html

http://www.google.com/intl/en/analytics/privacyoverview.html 

b) Use of Google DoubleClick

EliteSingles uses the remarketing technology of Google (Google DoubleClick). Through this technology, users who have already visited the EliteSingles site and have shown interest in the service are again targeted with advertising on the pages owned by the Google partner network. These advertisements are different to those aimed at users who have not shown interest in the EliteSingles services. This ad overlay is done through the use of cookies, which are small text files that are stored on the user's computer. With the help of text files, your user behavior can be analyzed when you visit the site.  This analysis can then be used for targeted product recommendations and interest-based advertising.

If you prefer not to receive interest-based advertising, you can disable the use of cookies by Google for these purposes by configuring the deactivation settings at:

https://www.google.com/settings/ads/onweb/ or install the plugin available there.

As an alternative to the browser plug-in or within browsers on mobile devices, you can disable the "Personalized Advertising" button in Google Advertising Settings: https://www.google.com/settings/ads

c) Facebook Plugins

We use social plugins ("plugins") provided by the social network Facebook.com, operated by Facebook Inc., 1601 S. California Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94304, USA ("Facebook"). These plugins are identified by a Facebook logo. If you use a social plugin on an EliteSingles site, your browser establishes a direct connection with the Facebook servers. Facebook then transmits the plugin content to your browser, and then integrates it into the websites.

In this way, Facebook obtains the information that you have accessed on the corresponding EliteSingles page. If you are logged in to Facebook, Facebook can assign the EliteSingles visit to your Facebook account. If you interact with the Facebook plugins (e.g. press the "Like" button), the corresponding information is transmitted from your browser to Facebook and stored there.

For more information about the purpose and scope of personal information collected by Facebook, and Facebook’s processing and use of personal information, as well as your rights and options for protecting your privacy, please refer to the privacy policies of Facebook.

If you do not want Facebook to collect personal information of this kind, we recommend that you log out of Facebook before you visit EliteSingles.

d) Use Google+ Social Plugins

We use the "+1" the social network Google Plus, which is operated by Google Inc., 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA 94043, USA button ("Google+").

When you visit a page of our websites that contains a social plugin, your browser establishes a direct connection to the servers of Google. The contents of the "+1" button is transmitted from Google directly to your browser which embeds the latter into the websites.

We therefore have no control over the amount of data that is collected with the Google+ button.

According to Google, no personal information is collected without clicking on the button.  IP addresses are only collected from members who are logged in.

For more information about the purpose and scope of personal information collection by Google, and Google’s processing and use of personal information, as well as your rights and options for protecting your privacy, please refer to the privacy policies of Google.

Click on the "+1" button and the corresponding FAQ (e.g. https://support. google.com/plus/answer/1319578).

If you do not want Google+ to collect data about you, we advise you to log out of Google+ before you visit EliteSingles.

e) Use of Twitter Social Plugins

We use social plugins ("plugins") from the social network Twitter.com, operated by Twitter Inc., 795 Folsom St., Suite 600, San Francisco, CA 94107, USA. The plugins are marked with a Twitter logo. When you select an EliteSingles website that contains a social plugin, your browser establishes a direct connection with Twitter’s servers. Twitter transmits the contents of the plugin directly to your browser, which integrates it into the websites. This gives Twitter the information that you have accessed on the corresponding EliteSingles page. If you are currently logged into Twitter, Twitter can assign your visit to your Twitter account. If you are using the Twitter plugins to interact (e.g. a tweet to an article post), the corresponding information is transmitted from your browser directly to Twitter and stored there.

For more information about the purpose and scope of personal information collection by Google, and Google’s processing and use of personal information, as well as your rights and options for protecting your privacy, please refer to the Twitter Privacy Policy at https://twitter.com/privacy.

If you do not want Twitter to collect data about you, we advise you to log out of Twitter before your EliteSingles visit.

f) Zendesk

We use the chat program Zendesk Chat, a service of Zendesk, Inc. 1019 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94103, USA ("Zendesk") to improve communication with visitors. If you have general or specific questions or problems about our products, our website and other Services or our company, you can send us a message via Zendesk. You will be shown whether someone is currently online to answer you immediately. If not, we will answer your request during our business hours. In this context we process data exclusively for the purpose of communication with you.

When using Zendesk, the IP address of the device and the address of the subpage from which you access Zendesk are recorded. The IP address is anonymized. Zendesk also uses cookies and similar technologies. The data collected in this connection may be transferred to a Zendesk server in the USA and stored there. Completed chats are logged and saved. If personal data is transferred to Zendesk in the USA, Zendesk has submitted to the EU-US Privacy Shield.

You may refuse the use of cookies by selecting the appropriate settings on your browser, however please note that if you do this you may not be able to enjoy the full functionality of this website.

For more information, please refer to Zendesk's privacy policy: https://www.zendesk.de/company/customers-partners/privacy-policy/

g) Use of payment processors

Stripe is a technology company. Its software allows individuals and businesses to receive payments over the Internet. Stripe provides the technical, fraud prevention, and banking infrastructure required to operate online payment systems. Stripe processes payment data. Please find more information about Stripe - as well as their privacy policy -  on https://stripe.com/.

Adyen is a global payment company that allows us to accept e-commerce, mobile, and point-of-sale payments. Payment data is also being processed by Adyen. Please find more information about Stripe - as well as their privacy policy -  on https://www.adyen.com/policies-and-disclaimer/privacy-policy.

h) Other tracking and marketing tools

Trakken is a company offering technology and services in the areas of Digital Analytics and Conversion Optimization. It helps clients implement e-commerce, media, finance, travel, telecoms, and consumer products projects. We use Trakken for marketing purposes. Personal data of our users (such as gender) is processed by Trakken. To find out more about Trakken please visit https://www.trakken.de/.

Accengage develops and provides Push Notification Technology for Mobile Apps, Websites and Facebook Messenger. Accengage is used by us to guarantee our customers the use of and access to push notifications. To find out more about Accengage please visit https://www.accengage.com/.

Adjust is a mobile attribution and analytics company that provides app marketers with a comprehensive business intelligence platform. Adjust combines attribution for advertising sources with advanced analytics and store statistics such as rankings, ratings and reviews. Adjust is used by us for marketing purposes. To find out more about Adjust please visit https://www.adjust.com/.

Experian sells decision analytic and marketing assistance to businesses. We use Experian for marketing purposes only. Personal data (such as gender and age) is processed. To find out more about Experian please visit http://www.experian.com/marketing-services/about.html.

IoSquare offers automated content moderation services. IoSquare processes data in connection to user messages. IoSquare has recenty merged with Swedish company Besedo. To find our more about IoSquare please visit https://besedo.com

 Transfer to third countries and other recipients of personal data

In part, we use external service providers to process your data. These companies have been carefully selected and commissioned by us, are bound by our instructions, and are regularly inspected. If your data is being processed by these companies outside the European Union, it may mean that your data will be processed in a country which has a lower data protection standard than in the European Union.

Information collected within the European Economic Area (“EEA”) may, for example, be transferred to countries outside of the EEA for the purposes as described in this Privacy Policy. We utilize appropriate safeguards such as Standard Contractual Clauses approved by the European Commission, or another legally approved mechanism, to ensure the lawful transfer of your personal data outside of the EEA.

Personal data will only be passed on to external service providers if necessary to provide the service offered e.g. marketing companies, payment processors for fee-based memberships, debt-collection agencies, etc. In these cases, we will make sure that these service providers are contractually obliged - or through other measures compelled – to meet an equivalent data protection standard.

Storing and retention period

We will only store your personal data for as long as is necessary to fulfill our contractual and legal obligations, or for longer periods only where permitted by applicable law (for example, the defense of legal claims).

When you close your account, we will delete all information we hold about you. If a complete deletion of your data is not possible or not necessary for legal reasons, the data concerned will be blocked for further processing. Your data will be blocked rather than deleted, for example, in the following cases:

- Your payment data and, if applicable, other data are generally subject to various legal storage obligations, for example from the German Commercial Code (HGB) and the German Tax Code (AO). The law obliges us to keep this data for up to ten years for tax and auditing purposes. Only then may we finally delete the relevant data.

- Even if your data is not subject to any legal storage obligation, we can refrain from immediate deletion in legally permitted cases and instead initially block it. This applies in cases where we may still need the relevant data for further contract processing or legal claims (e.g. in the case of complaints). The decisive factor for the duration of the blocking are the statutory limitation periods. After expiry of the relevant limitation periods, the relevant data will be deleted.

Tools used to safeguard your Data

We use technological, organizational, and physical protection measures designed to protect against unauthorized use, disclosure or access of the personal information we collect. All information you submit to us at registration or login (e.g. contact information, profile information, or payment information when ordering a paid membership) is encrypted. This encryption helps protect the confidentiality of personal information exchange between you and our web server, and helps to prevent misuse of personal information, e.g. by interception. The encryption technique we use is SSL (Secure Socket Layer). It is an accepted and widely used technology. In view of our personal information collection, technical precautions have been taken to store your personal information in a secure environment. Access to your information is limited to only a few selected employees and service providers and will be granted only for carrying out the purposes identified in this policy, quality control and review of complaints, and for thwarting fraud. Personal information we collect is stored in the EU.

Some or all of the personal information we collect may be stored on servers located outside your jurisdiction of residence, where data protection laws may differ from the laws in the jurisdiction in which you live. As a result, your personal information may be subject to access requests from governments, courts, or law enforcement according to the laws in those jurisdictions. Subject to applicable laws in such other jurisdictions, we will use reasonable efforts to ensure that appropriate protection measures  are in place to require the data processor in that country to maintain protection measures on the personal information that are equivalent to those that apply in the EU.

User Rights

According to the GDPR you have the following rights in relation to your information, which you may exercise at any time in written form. 

  • The right to be informed

The right to be informed encompasses the data controller’s obligation to provide ‘fair processing information’, typically through a privacy notice. It emphasizes the need for transparency over how we use our customers’ personal data.

  • The right of access

The right of access gives the data subject the right to request information regarding his/her personal data. from the data controller. The data subject can :

  1. request to obtain information whether his/her personal data is being processed;
  2. in case it is, the data subject can request to access the data and obtain a copy;
  3. request to obtain supplementary information about the processing.
  • The right to rectification

It gives data subjects the right to require the controller to rectify inaccuracies about their personal data. If the data that the controller possesses is not up to date or is incomplete, the data subject can require the controller to rectify the data.

  • The right to erasure/right to be forgotten

The right to erasure allows the data subject to require the controller to remove or delete their personal data from their system, so that their data cannot be found by third parties

  • The right to restrict processing

The right to restriction of processing allows data subjects to demand from controllers to stop processing their personal data. However, controllers will still be able to store the data.

  • The right to data portability

The right to data portability gives the data subject the right to require the controller to provide information in a structured, commonly used and machine -readable form so that it may be transferred by the data subject to another data controller without hindrance.

  • The right to object

The right to object allows data subjects to prevent controllers from further processing of their personal data if there are no legitimate grounds for the processing of the data.

  • The right to withdraw consent at any time

You have the right to withdraw your consent at any time. Withdrawing consent will be made easy by us. Withdrawal of consent shall not affect the lawfulness of processing based on consent before its withdrawal.

  • The right to lodge a complaint with a supervisory authority

If we do not respond to your request within a month, you have the right to lodge a complaint at the supervisory authority, and seek a judicial remedy.

Further Information

For more information you can contact us at any time at:

Sparks Networks Services GmbH

Kohlfurter Strasse 41/43

10999 Berlin

Deutschland (Germany)

EliteSingles has its own Data Protection Officer, who is responsible for all matters related to privacy and data protection. This Data Protection Officer can be reached at dataprotection@elitesingles.co.uk or the postal address stated above.

  

Berlin, May 2018