It is Not Prudent to be a Member of the 'Facebook' Website
Duolingo requires you to join the
Facebook website. It has been
shown by Congressional investigations
that Facebook sells private and
personal details regarding not
only members of their site, but
people who are not members of
I do not think it is prudent to be
involved with Facebook. I refuse.
Duolingo links to that website on
the 'drills' language tree page.
Now Duolingo's Esperanto forum has
shifted its support system to the
Facebook website. Announcements,
questions and answers, and also
presentations require any user
of Duolingo to give up their private
information to the Facebook web
Since I refuse to join a membership
that sells and steals personal data
on my and other people's lives, I am
not able to benefit from Duolingo's
Esperanto support team.
This is objectionable. Duolingo's
policy is to keep user information
private. To require us to make that
information public by providing it
to a company that sells it on the
open market seems bizarre.
Duolingo is a great website.
Facebook is an unethical website.
Duolingo requires you to join the Facebook website.
I don't have a Facebook account, yet I joined Duolingo. I don't like Facebook and do not plan on joining.
Duolingo also sells your personal information to third parties. You agreed to this when you joined: https://www.duolingo.com/privacy . Unfortunately, by supporting Duolingo, you are indirectly supporting Facebook and possibly other unethical websites.
Information Obtained by Third Parties
To support and enhance the Service, we work with a variety of third party advertising networks, marketing analytics service providers and website analysis firms, such as Google, Facebook, Oath, and Unity (collectively, “Third Party Advertising Service Providers”). These Third Party Advertising Service Providers collect and use personal data about your visits to and use of the Website and mobile Application, as well as other websites in order to serve you with advertisements and content tailored to meet your preferences and likely interests or better understand ad effectiveness. Aggregate demographic and interest data will also be used for market research purposes.
One truism about the internet - if you are not paying for the product, you are the product.
(and in some cases even if you are paying for the product, you are still being sold to advertisers)
More accurately your online behaviour is the raw material from which the product is made. Shoshana Zuboff's 2019 book 'Surveillance Capitalism' is recommended if you'd like to learn more.
You opt in to having your account private by opting out of the 21st century and living like the Amish, off the grid
It seems like wanting your account to be private would be like requesting water to be less wet.
Takes effort like vpn, incognito mode, fake names and email addresses.
Yes, the Big Data corporations want you to believe that it is inevitable, but it is not. They have caught most of us off guard before we knew what was happening. But it is not inevitable. There are alternatives. Ask yourself: Who decides? If you leave it to them you are forfeiting your agency and free will. There are alternatives and things are starting to happen.
by opting out of the 21st century and living like the Amish, off the grid
proceeds to offer a reasonable modern solution to keep our privacy without opting out of technology
Amish are too modern for my taste, I'm always saying how I long that joyful and carefree Neolitic period where we were free to ourselves to enjoy the pure state of nature.
Backpacking in the High Sierras of the Sequoia National Park, I was hoping for 2 weeks of being free to enjoy the pure state of nature. But I had to get a pass from the ranger and specify where I would be camping and hang the tag on my tent. On the way to a high altitude lake to camp, I had to pass a stream that had spread out knee deep across a rock face and down over a 1,000 foot cliff. Upstream it was narrow and very fast and too dangerous to cross. I went back to the cliff area where the trail was and weighed my risks. On the other side was a guy with a camera who shouted it was the safest way to cross so I chanced it and crossed it slowly. Making it to the other side, he introduced himself as a writer for Backpacking Magazine and was doing the "Do's and Don't's" of backpacking in the wilderness. I was the subject of the "Don'ts".
All I wanted was a couple of weeks of solitude and a vacation away from all prying eyes and electronics. First I had to get the license and then I became a subject of a magazine article. But it was worth it. On the return trip my old Army boots gave out and walked the remaining couple of miles with my backup foot wear, a pair of Ho Chi Minh's. And then into Visalia to get me a pair of awesome Red Wing boots.
With satellites and spy stuff all over the world, it is a tad difficult to really have any kind of privacy. But it does not mean one cannot enjoy life.
But I had to get a pass from the ranger and specify where I would be camping and hang the tag on my tent.
Welcome to the Peoples Republic of California. It's a lovely state, but the nanny bureaucrats control everything.
First I had to get the license and then I became a subject of a magazine article. But it was worth it.
Sounds like quite the adventure. The Sequoia area is so beautiful. I'm glad you had a good time and thanks for sharing this story.
The Amish had my respect until I discovered they stopped educating their children after the eighth grade. Without education, those wishing to live with the English, discover they cannot cope with this intricate world and retreat back home. We are missing out on many a bright mind that has no where to go. It’s sad. I thought that it was a life of dedication, but I discovered, it’s a life of rules and feminine suppression. I’m sad.
What is the incognito mode on duo? Or do you mean incognito mode on the web browser?
... is the incognito mode on duo ...
They are two different things.
Incognito on a web browser keeps
your browsing history private.
I was suggesting that if Duolingo
wanted users to keep from giving
personal information, then we users
should have the option to set Duolingo
for 'incognito' mode. They presently
collect personal information, and they
do not have an incognito mode.
Thanks for the question, and thanks
for allowing me to clarify what I was
trying to impart!
Incognito on a web browser keeps your browsing history private.
...From other people using your computer. Not from your ISP, not from the sites you visit, not from their ISP, and especially not from any third-party services they have embeds from.
As for TOR, it may well prevent some nosy companies gathering your data, but I'd bet a good few quid that everything you do through it would in fact be monitored much more closely by cleverer people and agencies.
Not my life savings, but a good few quid. :)
Kelikaku - Tor and the like simply put your browsing traffic through a hard-to-followable series of extra steps.
Think of it as the internet equivalent of driving down lots of back streets, constantly turning around and doubling-back on yourself, rather than just driving straight to work.
You still need to give the same details to register with DL. DL still know when you're logged on to and using this site, and what you're studying - because, obviously, DL need to know to show you which lessons you have and haven't done...
It just means that the shadowy THEY can't easily see when you're using DL... Unless, of course, they look at DuoMe
(The obviously follow-on question is "Why would they care?")
Mw. I imagine that most of our personal details are known the minute we log onto the web. The main trouble with FB is that everyone looks so darned happy because everything is celebratory. So if you're having a down-day or feeling unloved, avoid FB at all costs, know what I'm saying;-)
hahah, that is true! so many people out there on fb and ig with their picture perfect lives that are, of course, not really picture perfect.
Wait, you guys don't use Facebook to stir up controversy that wouldn't be allowed in moderated forums? Almost none of my closer internet friends have escaped the zuccs (the ones who did have mysteriously unzuccable accounts).
I personally couldn't care less about this. I have nothing to hide, and do not care one single bit about any of that, and I am happy to have facebook and don't care what duo does with my info. If it's a concern for you, fair enough, because everyone has the right to feel however they wish about this, but I don't care at all, and I personally think the whole issue is over-blown.
If you've nothing to hide you've nothing to fear, right? https://www.openrightsgroup.org/blog/2015/responding-to-nothing-to-hide-nothing-to-fear
also, you're getting a service - in the case of fb - for free. weather it's twitter or fb or ig or any site, if you're not paying cash, you're paying with your data. again, i personally don't care at all. better than paying cash. some people don't want to pay cash but are then also not wanting to pay with their data...doesn't work like that. nothings free.
With the ads they put their users through there's probably no need to sell our data.
I don't think you know the risk of data transparency for ppl with political activity, and I think you care less because you don't understand how privacy's become an massive ethical issue, intruding in the daily life of people invading virtual spaces that otherwhise would amount to our personal freedom.
I care about privacy I think the internet could be used more wisely instead of being an extension of the consumerist society. I consider shoving up our minds with images, audios and videos trying to appeal feelings and generate needs, as a form of pollution.
They sell advertising so well because they can target them, hence collecting the data. It benefits the users because they see relevant ads, and it benefits the advertisers by showing their ads to more likely purchasers. Facebook is free... because you are the product ;) (Nothing wrong with that to me personally, it's not identifying you to the advertisers, you're likely just a statistic with an ID code assigned for targetting).
From your link:
Some of the other contributors are a bit more responsive on the Duolingo Esperanto Learners Facebook group, which I highly recommend joining anyway for lots of great discussion, many expert speakers, and tons of resources. I tend to be more active here in the forums.
So, some contributors are more responsive on the Duo Fecesbook page,
But the one that writes the posts is more active on the regular Duolingo forums.
This hardly sounds like Duolingo requires you to join Fecesbook.
Having said that, If you feel you would like to gain access to that extra resource without giving away too much privacy, you can try the following:
- Create a Fecesbook account using a new email you reserve solely for that.
- Do not use your real name to create that email or Fecesbook account.
- When on that Duolingo Fecesbook page, do not click "like" on anything else or go to any other Fecesbook pages. Use it solely for that purpose.
- If you are even more concerned about your privacy, you can use browser containers so that Fecesbook will have its cookies locked in a container and not share info with cookies from other containers.
- Concerned even more than that?
Use a VPN and log to that Fecesbook page only, while on VPN.
Also, afterwards, delete the cookies and close the browser and VPN before connecting to any other site.
(There are even extensions that will automatically delete those cookies for you.)
- Add browser extensions that enable you to control trackers and scripts.
Plenty to choose from. (e.g., Privacy Badger, Ghostery, uMatrix , NoScript, ...)
There are even greater privacy measures you can take, but I think the above ideas are more than enough.
My accounts are unlinked too, but whenever I open the Duolingo app on Android, it tries to connect to graph.facebook.com. This domain is one of the major points of contact for apps and sites to share data with FB. Even if you don't use FB, Duolingo tells it that you have opened the app and other stuff. It's pretty trivial for FB to connect you to a Duolingo account at that point. Duolingo told Privacy International in March that it planned to remove FB app events from the app SDK. It apparently hasn't yet.
This site shows you what the traffic at the time of testing contained. That advertising ID value is unique for each device. If you use Android, it can be changed in Google Settings.
... are you being forced to join ...
... just an option ...
Yes, truly it is optional. Just "highly
recommended." The Esperanto group
is posting exclusive items on the
Facebook website. Here is a screen-
shot from the forum post. There is a
link to the forum item on my original
post - (in the end, on the update).
Thanks for allowing me to clarify.
No one is forcing users to do anything.
It is optional, except the forum indicated
it is "highly recommended." For example,
expert speakers and other resources will
only be provided on the other website.
"highly recommended." The Esperanto group is posting exclusive items on the Facebook website.
If they're doing that, instead of also on the Duolingo website, they are diverting Duolingo user traffic away from the Duolingo website.
Therefor, they are taking away advertisement income from Duolingo.
Report this to Duolingo.
Nothing like a financial incentive in order to make a business do what you want...
Good luck if I have the time to learn Esperanto I would be grateful that got rid of that mess.
No Duolingo does not require anyone to join Facebook or to link their account if they have one.
I haven't seen that on any other language course, and hope it doesn't spread. I am no fan of Facebook either.
Janet. Me too. Not a FB fan by any means. That's why we have a non FB Italian Forum/Club that works well. Cheers to you.
Everyone seems to ignore that Kelikaku is a PLUS user. So he pays for the service and should not have to deal with external advertising sites. I am surprised the Esperanto group even wants to deal with Facebook.
There are several browser extensions that can block most of these tracking scripts on sites. I use uMatrix and my rules for Duolingo look like this (forum pages):
Aleksey (FieryCat), I always enjoy your posts. I'm curious about the uMatrix, but when I went to add it to chrome, it said it wanted permission to change my privacy related settings. Isn't that a bad thing?
I do not use Chorome at all, sorry. It seems a little strange to me to take care of personal data by using a proprietary browser from Google. This is one of the links I have found by using DDG: https://www.reddit.com/r/chrome/comments/382esu/umatrix_permissions/
Do you use Opera? I don't recall uMatrix for Firefox, but then again, when I last used Firefox, we still had NoScript and RequestPolicy, and ScriptSafe was still ScriptNo - eras ago! The web developer responsible for uMatrix and uBlock was still unheard of.
I mainly use FireFox on Debian GNU/Linux and the screenshot above is taken on it.
... no requirement to join ...
I used the anonymizer browser (TOR)
to log onto Duolingo. The site blocks
you from using it without allowing
cookies. There are about six or seven
cookies (from websites) that are set
when you use Duolingo.
The site would not load until I unblocked
the cookie for the facebook.com website.
Just pointing this out. You may actually BE
joining Facebook when you use Duolingo,
maybe without even enrolling in it.
Thanks for pointing this out, since I
learning something from looking into
what you posted.
There's some hidden irony here...
- fire up your favorite Tor-enabled browser;
- go to your favorite non-evil search engine;
- type "Esperanto conspiracy";
- press Enter;
- OH SH--
Kelikaku.Just out of interest, why do you use this strange format instead of the regular format. It would be much easier to read. Hope you don't mind me asking.
My guess is that it's text written with other software and then cut and pasted here. Formatting can be effected. It's happened to me in other places.
your text formatting (with hard line "double space" forward feeds) is really VERY difficult to read on browsers with 100 / 120-130% zooming factors.
Every line breaks way too early.
Have you seen my comment about your unique text formatting in the other thread?
You had not answered it, so I did not delete it yet.
may I ask you why do you write in rhymes all the time in every comment / thread?
Do you write comments on a browser / computer?
Why don't you simply use the normal text layout without hard returns (two "__" spaces used to make a carriage return) and let the Duolingo system create texts / paragraphs?
These paragraphs would be then IMHO so much easier to read, especially when your comments get longer (not in this but other threads like your new thread id 35298222).
I have seen it in other threads where it becomes - for me - almost not handable that you intentionally cut the maximum line length for EVERY line so the browser cannot resize your text (with 120-130% zoom) appropriately.
There is a reason why the underlying forum software supports formatting texts properly.
If a single text (of multiple sentences) gets too long, use two empty lines to build paragraphs (with one empty line in between; you are also using this layout trick).
If multiple sentences get too long and you want to visually break it, add that double empty "__" space trick after the "." dot from the previous line to make it easier readable (like you are doing it already for every single line), like here.
This is only a suggestion and I guess other users might feel the same (for longer comments where text with that layout is definitely not that easy readable).
No offense intended.
Duolingo forum text formatting guide: https://www.google.com/search?q=duolingo+formatting+guide
Thank you for being an active forum member.
Our community depends on people like you.
I will delete this comment in about 24-48 hours.
Best regards / Viele Grüße aus Deutschland"
Tomas, as always, I am grateful for and improved by sight of your comments. My vintage wetware is able to understand but not yet construct such observations/queries.
I'm not a great fan of Facebook, but I'm sure there are worse offenders out there. Facebook is so well-known that it's an easy target. If you're at all worried about your online privacy, Facebook, and such sites should be avoided at all costs.
It takes someone who knows what they're doing (a hacker) seconds to break into a Facebook account. Facebook's security is especially poor. I speak from experience 3 years ago.
If you're so worried about ethics and security, you can take advice from people (not me) who know what they're talking about on this subject.
Edward Snowden says, for example:
1) Avoid popular services like Google, Facebook and Dropbox
2) Encrypt your hard drive
3) Use "do-not-track" settings in your browser, and add specialised "plug-ins" to your browser which beef-up this function.
4) Encrypt online chat and email.
5) Use "The Onion Router" (Tor) for anonymous browsing and communication.
But even Tor has been cracked previously.
But I think the general rule for most people is just to be sensible about which websites you visit, what applications you allow to be installed in your device, what information/trace you give out, and having a decent security system to protect you online.
Personally, I think the best approach is just to use common sense.
If there's a particular house on your street, with cameras, a very tall security fence, and a secure gate, I think most people won't think "Wow! That places looks secure!"
The reaction is more likely to be "Why have they got such security, and what is in that house that needs such protection?"
Possibly you'll receive a similar reaction from "those that need to know" if you go to the extremes of online protection.
There is only one way I am aware of to stop all snooping when you are using a computer on the Internet. Get a thumb drive with an operating system. Get a used laptop and throw the hard drive away. Drive around the neighborhood and log into a WIFI that has weak to nonexistent passwords. Conduct your business and destroy thumb drive after use.
Yup. I'm sorry but posting to this forum (or any other online forum) to complain about internet privacy is ridiculous, doubly so the stern admonishments on how to protect yourselves.
Yes? And then you have someone who has full logging set on his WIFI router and hi-res CCTV cameras monitoring the area. And "The Law of Universal Cussedness" says that's the WIFI you connect through.
Prove it. I would go pro se in court and ask for formal discovery of evidence. The thumb drive was melted down. The laptop has no hard drive so not one byte of data on that.
That's if I was in US with full Constitution in effect. Nowadays, I would disappear and "rendered" is some god forsaken place and water boarded til I fessed up using the radical Duolingo to learn communist languages. Yeah, I joke, but US has really done some nasty stuff, so far out it seems like it has to be an urban legend or fake news. Look up MKUltra and the Unabomber.
There's illegal non consented snooping and then there's massive privacy infringements that are becoming a legal practice comming at the expense of users' liberties.
I think the facebook app is the insecure one. I think the web is secure. But, you have to use fake names and fake email addresses to keep that from them.
And eventually Facebook often detects fake names and starts insisting on things like mobile numbers. Unless you want to buy a new mobile sim just to access facebook, google or elsewhere, it's easier to just accept that we are co-existing in the age of technology. We want to access their service? We allow them access to our information in return.
It sucks but the alternative is to live like a hermit off-grid (which would suck even more for most people).
And, yes, you agreed to being bound by their Ts & Cs when you set your account up... https://www.facebook.com/help/112146705538576
"Duolingo requires you to join the Facebook website."
Google ad on duolingoforum requires... (not duolingo)
Okay. So I am using Duolingo. I have not
joined Facebook. So that was really an
exaggeration. Facebook do collect all
sorts of information on users of Duolingo
that are not users of Facebook though.
Just try blocking all cookies from Facebook
before you log onto Duolingo. If you block
Facebook, Duolingo will block YOU.
If you click that "FIND FRIENDS ON FACEBOOK" button, what happens?
It asks you to connect your DL and FB accounts. Without doing that, how does DL know who you are on FB? How does FB know you're on DL?
Sensible precautions about your personal information are one thing. Paranoia without understanding the realities is another entirely.
And, FWIW, since I'm not a US national and I'm outside the US, I don't give a toss about the US Congress. But the US government's international tentacles over their non-resident nationals through FATCA and the like are a far worse abuse of power.
Thanks for posting this Kelikaku.
I think it's a relevant thread and it's worth discussing if data collection vulnerates privacy or not and how does it affects our individual liberty.
There was a comment that considers people who worry about privacy egotistic but I think that's far from it, it is a claim for human dignity. Data collection is particularly bad if they are not only covering expenses but profiting with our privacy. And I think there should be non-privacy vulnerating alternatives to cover free sites expenses.
You say "non-privacy", but what does DL actually know about you?
It knows your email address. It knows the username you gave yourself, and it knows what display name/bio/location you gave for yourself. It knows when you spend time learning languages, which languages you're learning, and how far you've got in them - but only in the context of the learning you do on DL.
It knows nothing else. NOTHING.
Third party ad sites may know more - through their tracking. But that's not DL. And you have the opportunity to block those.
IF you choose to have an FB account, and IF you choose to link your DL account with your FB account, then there may be more information flow. But you don't have to do that. I have an FB account. It's not linked to my DL profile.
If you read carefully what Kelikaku has said in his comments on the discussion, you can then understand that what bothers him is mainly that:
The Esperanto contributors are posting exclusive items on the Facebook website. Yes, truly it is optional. Just "highly recommended."
"Highly recommended to join.
No other place to get those resources."
If contributors of that Duolingo course are saying so on the Esperanto forum, they are encouraging user traffic away from Duolingo and into Facebook...
(Said resources could be shared on the Esperanto forum as well. So choosing not to do so and saying it on the Duolingo forum as a contributor, is also stealing some of Duolingo's advertisement income.)
Indeed. But my post was in reply to SmashCookie.
I'm not learning Esperanto, and this isn't in the Esperanto discussion forum, so I'm talking more generally than whether some DL Esperanto learners prefer to share resources outside the (more than somewhat limited) DL forum and encourage others to join them there.
...some DL Esperanto learners prefer to share resources outside.
Not learners. Course contributors. Big difference.
That's the people who create the course on behalf of Duolingo, even if they get no money for it.
They could, at the very least, post links to the content they also post on Facebook if it's video. If it's images or text, it can be posted here directly.
Imagine you go to a private school,
(Kelikaku is a paying Plus user)
and the teacher is saying they'll give highly recommended extra resources at a competing institution even though they can give it where you pay.
They say it is highly recommended and do so on the teaching premises of your private school.
Do you really expect students that pay full tuition not to be upset?
Do you expect them to only complain about this in the same class and not in the general school assembly?
I've read SmashCookie's comment in the context of Kelikaku's complaints.
If you interpret his comment solely as a general Duolingo privacy complaint that does not also include it,
Well, that's something else.
OK, contribs. Not a big difference - it's additional to the DL course itself either way.
And there's a myriad of additional extra-DL learning resources for every language. Some on FB, some not. Perhaps the same people that contribute to the DL courses contribute elsewhere, too. It doesn't change what's in the DL course itself one bit.
The point stands. DL knows minimal info about you. Apart from your email address, everything else is voluntary and could easily be false. And you do not have to link your FB and DL accounts.
contribs. Not a big difference
On this we disagree.
The point stands. DL knows minimal info about you. Apart from your email address, everything else is voluntary and could easily be false. And you do not have to link your FB and DL accounts.
On this we agree.
Third party ad sites may know more - through their tracking. But that's not DL
It knows nothing else. NOTHING.
They know how we engage with the services, I think the time we spend here, our IP's, browser info, etc. That is not disclosed ofc unless they ... will be required to access and disclose personal data in response to lawful requests, such as subpoenas or court orders, or in compliance with applicable laws.
Also by defeault they use: Aggregate demographic and interest data (that) will also be used for market research purposes.
but only in the context of the learning you do on DL.
Oh, I sure hope so. Duolingo policy's fair with the current laws but I wonder if such laws are truly respectful of our right to privacy.
@AdrianC602 But Duo is allowing both Google Adsense, an advertising tracker, and Google TagManager to track me on this page. I know this because I use Ghostery, which is blocking both of them. It isn't what DL knows about each of us, but the whole picture that can be constructed by all the trackers, many of which operate on many, many other sites. Amazon is another big one. They are everywhere.
So what will they do with this info? At best, use it to manipulate us to buy things: items, political positions, moral stances. At worst, I shudder to think...
Yes, they are. And that feeds into what Google know about you, not what DL knows about you. And that information is anonymised - to a certain extent, largely dependent on whether you log into a google account from the same machine or not. If you do, they can put two and two together easily. If you don't, they're really looking at you as simply generalised statistics about which sites you use that use their services.
So use an adblocker.
Do I feel bad about denying them the fractions of a cent revenue from my traffic? A tad. Roughly in proportion with that revenue, tbh.
That ball is entirely in their court. They choose to merely nag gently with a box that says "Using an adblocker? Support free education with DL Plus and we'll remove ads for you."
They could choose to block my traffic, along with that of anybody else they detect using an adblocker, like quite a few sites (especially local media) do. Then I have to decide if I want to jump through a few more hoops to fool them, or whether I want to simply disable the blocker for DL. Or even... pay!
As it is, I'm still part of their product, in that they can boast about the number of users, amount of page impressions etc, without mentioning how many of them are adblocker users.
If you want to regard ad trackers as evil, and refuse to use any site that uses them, then you're simply going to have to accept using paywall-only sites. DL (et al) simply can't manage their own ads in-house.
Really, we're talking about three different things: 1. DL's own information about you 2. The ad-delivery partners' information about you 3. FB's information about you
1 is fairly minimal, and pretty much only what's needed to run the site. 2 is a simple fact of life on the internet 3 is entirely in your hands
Wrong. You do not have to join facebook to do Duo. And this is not the place to be complaining about Facebook and weather or not it is ethical.
No - you don'r need to use facebook - I dont't have an account at faceboo nor at google ... and I can post here
Well, from the beginning at least he did not lie like that other gentleman about the apple. Not even the first two people were off the grid, being monitored all the time. When they realized that, they realized they had to put on some clothes to prevent gawking.
Facebook wise I have always used a fake name, fake email, and fake friends. None of my information linked to facebook is linked to any of my other accounts. That being said my facebook account is mostly inactive and I very rarely comment, like or post anything.
Selling information to advertisers keeps sites free, including Duolingo. Imagine an internet without advertising where every site sells subscriptions to keep the data flowing. That would be costly, indeed. We pay the sites by allowing targeted ads. If people think a Duolingo plus membership is expensive, multiply that by the number of websites you visit in a given month.
Have I missed something? Is it true that if I buy the plus subscription, the duolingo and its partners will stop collecting my personal data? I don't think so.
Imagine an internet without advertising where every site sells subscriptions to keep the data flowing.
Yeah, just imagine if TV didn't run ads, then you'd have to pay for it! Oh wait...
We pay the sites by allowing targeted ads.
You're focusing on the advertising aspect. What other data do we give to Duo every day, and who might want it? What would they be willing to pay for it?
Most of Duolingo's content is supplied by volunteers FOR FREE.
Because there are still in the world many people who like to share knowledge with others without making a profit out of it. It's called being human.
Yes, I know. They made that revenue partly by selling the volunteers' work, which they got FOR FREE.
Exactly. Finally, a voice of reason. People would go BALISTIC if they suddenly had to pay for FB, but they also don't want their data sold. Can't have it both ways.
I simply do not put anything on Facebook that cannot be public. I don't know if there is a WhatsApp group for Duolingo.
In this Brave New World, all your info is out there anyway. You must know how to protect yourself and not be angry at a company that is doing what the modern age demands. Do you think other companies are hiding your information?? No way....So, I suggest you stop decrying something that cannot be changed. It’s ok for you not to be. FB user! But it’s not fair for you to put down a company that DOES WARN. It’s users in it’s privacy statement.
You don’t have to join or link the two. It’s merely suggested, so if you don’t feel comfortable about doing it, dont.
Secondly, if that worries you, I’m surprised that you’re not equally as worried about how your info is handled or collected here.
Without suggesting anything in particular or making allegations, Duolingo collects user data all the time to improve their teaching methods.... don’t they? Maybe I’m a little undereducated in that regard...
Either way, I don’t give a damn and I refuse to live in a bubble of fear.
What are they going to do if they don’t like the way I learn or my personal habits? Throw me into a re-education camp? Lol.
I’m not that important to anyone and in spite of the fact that I’m learning Mandarin, I’m not selling state secrets to China.
I’m just a mum of three kids, keeping my nose clean and minding my own business. I think the most I have to ‘worry’ about here (or on Facebook) is annoying ads. If people bother me, I block them.
If you are an employee, worker or contractor of Duolingo, the information about how we handle your personal information is available in the Duolingo internal knowledge base. With respect to employees based in Europe, we are committed to cooperating with EU data protection authorities (DPAs) and comply with the advice given by such authorities with regard to human resources data transferred from the EU in the context of the employment relationship.
Information you provide Through the registration process, you will provide us with your name, e-mail address (or parent’s e-mail address), and age or date of birth. You will also provide us with your payment transaction information if you choose to pay for Duolingo services.
Activity Data When you use the Service, you will submit information and content to your profile. We will also generate data about your use of our Services including your engagement in educational activities on the Service, or your sending of messages and otherwise transmitting information to other users (“Activity Data”). We also collect technical data about how you interact with our Services; for more information, see Cookies.
Live Speaking Practice When you take a Live Speaking Lesson, we will use your computer's microphone throughout the lesson to speak to your tutor. You also have the option of using your camera to share your video with your tutor. Duolingo records these audio and video lessons and retains them until you close your Duolingo account. Duolingo uses this data to help improve the quality of the lessons and for internal research purposes.
Duolingo does not share any of your personal data with your tutor. You are completely anonymous to them by default, and you can freely choose whether you show them your video or tell them any personal details such as your name during the conversation. Duolingo only shares some basic skill level information with the tutor, prior to your lesson, so they understand how best to speak to you.
Test Data If you register for the Duolingo English Test, you will also provide us with your gender, native language, secondary school, and self-reported test scores for other exams. Each time you take a test you must also provide a photo of a current, valid driver’s license, passport, or other government issued ID and a take a photo of your face to verify your identity (“Testing ID”).
When you use the Service to take an examination in the Duolingo English Test you must provide access to your computer’s webcam and microphone. We will use them to record you and your screen during the entire examination period (“Testing Video”). While using the Duolingo English Test, you will submit answers to questions and other information as part of the testing and evaluation process.
Third Party Data We also collect information about you from third parties. For more information, see Information obtained by Third Parties.
Product Research and Development We may contact you to participate in product research activities. These may include surveys, interviews, and other types of feedback sessions. When you participate in these research activities, the information you provide will be used to test, improve, and develop our products. We will record the video, audio and text transcriptions of this feedback together with any additional contact information you provide and will retain this data for two years.
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to:
Request more information about the research activities you have volunteered for. Opt out of being contacted for research activities. Request a copy of any research related data you have provided to us. Cookies When you enter the Website, we collect your browser type and your IP address (a unique address that identifies your computer on the Internet). When you use our mobile Application, we collect your device type, your device ID, and your IP address.
You can find more information about cookies and how to manage them at http://www.allaboutcookies.org.
Information Obtained by Third Parties To support and enhance the Service, we work with a variety of third party advertising networks, marketing analytics service providers and website analysis firms, such as Google, Facebook, Oath, and Unity (collectively, “Third Party Advertising Service Providers”). These Third Party Advertising Service Providers collect and use personal data about your visits to and use of the Website and mobile Application, as well as other websites in order to serve you with advertisements and content tailored to meet your preferences and likely interests or better understand ad effectiveness. Aggregate demographic and interest data will also be used for market research purposes.
We use Google Analytics which is a web analytics tool that helps us understand how users engage with the Website. Like many services, Google Analytics uses first-party cookies to track user interactions as in our case, where they are used to collect information about how users use our site. This information is used to compile reports and to help us improve our Website. The reports disclose website trends without identifying individual visitors. You can opt out of Google Analytics without affecting how you visit our site – for more information on opting out of being tracked by Google Analytics across all websites you use, visit this Google page: https://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout.
You can opt-out of receiving personalized ads from advertisers and ad networks that are members of the Network Advertising Initiative (“NAI”) or who follow the DAA Self-Regulatory Principles for Online Behavioral Advertising using their respective opt-out tools. The NAI's opt-out tool can be found here http://www.networkadvertising.org/choices/ and the DAA's opt out tool can be found here http://www.aboutads.info/choices/.
In addition, your mobile devices may offer settings that enable you to make choices about the collection, use, or transfer of mobile app information for online behavioral advertising (for example, Apple iOS’ Advertising ID and Google Android’s Advertising ID). Please note that opting out does not prevent the display of all advertisements to you.
Use of information obtained by Duolingo Duolingo may occasionally send you service related and product change announcements through the general operation of the Service. We will send you reminder notifications to support the Duolingo teaching methodology by reinforcing the learning cadence and help maintain your learning streak. We process your data to help provide you with the Service and offer personalized features, to understand and improve our Service and to keep our Service safe and secure.
Duolingo may use or share anonymous data collected through the Service, including Activity Data without limitation. As a business, it is critical that we perform our contract with you with the best service possible, and it is in our legitimate interests to perform these processing functions and to enable service e-mails by default to keep your data secure and provide our Service. You may opt out of any non-essential service e-mails at any time.
We may also use your contact information to send you notifications regarding new services, offers and promotions offered by Duolingo if you affirmatively consent to receive such communications.
When you register with Duolingo, some of your information is made public and available at duolingo.com/your-username. This will include the data from your Duolingo Profile and Account (Name, Location, Bio, Username, User ID, Profile picture and Duolingo Plus membership status); your followers and the people you follow; and your learning progress (XP, Streak, Lingots, Daily Progress, Languages being learned, progress level, Crowns, Skills, Lessons undertaken, Lexemes and Strength). Tinycards decks you create are also public by default, but can be made visible to only you or to people you have shared a link with. Your Duolingo account email address is not shown publicly.
Profile information is used by Duolingo to be presented back to and edited by you when you access the Service and to be presented to other users. In some cases, other users may be able to supplement your profile, including by submitting comments (which can be deleted by you). Duolingo uses this information to provide you with support, to send you essential notifications, to enforce our terms, conditions and policies, to communicate with you, to administer the Services, and for internal operations, including troubleshooting, data analysis, testing, research, statistical, and survey purposes. Duolingo’s Terms and Conditions provide the contractual lawful basis for these processing activities.
Duolingo English Test When you take a test in the Duolingo English Test, we will use your computer's camera and microphone throughout the test to collect a Testing Video.
We will process information in connection with the Duolingo English Test comprising given name(s), surname(s), date of birth, gender, native language, country, secondary school, self-reported test scores for other exams, application IDs, a picture or scan of a current, valid driver’s license, passport or other government issued ID, your Testing ID, Testing Video, and answers to questions as part of the testing and evaluation process in order:
To provide accurate testing results to Score Recipient(s) (as defined below) To compare your Testing ID to your Testing Video to ensure that the person who registered for the examination (and whose identity Duolingo has validated) is the same person who took the examination To store and review the Testing Video recording to validate that you took the examination without improper assistance To evaluate your performance on the Duolingo English Test, to report results and to evaluate the usefulness, accuracy and other aspects of the Duolingo English Test For our research team to validate and improve the examination, in an anonymized format To analyze audio recordings of verbal responses to improve our ability to understand the spoken language To share your Testing ID with your consent upon initiation of a dispute by a Score Recipient Duolingo’s Terms and Conditions provide the contractual lawful basis for these English Test processing activities.
Duolingo ABC Duolingo ABC is separate from the traditional Duolingo Learning app and does not share any account information between the two. The Duolingo ABC app is designed to be set up by parents and will ask you to provide your child’s age. This information is kept anonymously for research purposes and not tied to your personal data in any way. You can then choose to enable speaking exercises. Speech data is stored on your phone and uses Apple’s speech recognition service to convert your voice into text. No speech data is shared with Duolingo. As a parent you also have the option of providing your email address so that Duolingo may send you information about product updates and to ask you about participating in product research. If you do provide your email address you can unsubscribe any time by emailing email@example.com or by clicking the unsubscribe link in any Duolingo ABC emails. Your Duolingo ABC data is backed up into Apple’s iCloud which allows you to synchronize and restore the data onto another Apple device.
Sharing your personal data with third parties Duolingo shares your personal data only when it is necessary to offer the Service, legally required, or permitted by you.
We will provide personal data to hosting providers such as Amazon Web Services, search engine providers such as Google, analytics providers such as Crashlytics, and support providers such as ZenDesk.
These data processors help us bring you the Service. For example, we may share your information in order to detect where or how you encountered a bug when using our mobile application. In connection with these operations, our service providers will have access to personal data for a limited time. When we utilize service providers for processing any personal data, we implement contractual protections limiting the use of that personal data to the provision of services to Duolingo.
We will be required to access and disclose personal data in response to lawful requests, such as subpoenas or court orders, or in compliance with applicable laws. Additionally, we will access and share account or other personal data when we believe it is necessary to comply with law, to protect our interests or property, to prevent fraud or other illegal activity perpetrated through the Service or using the Duolingo name, or to prevent imminent harm. This will include accessing and sharing personal data with other companies, lawyers, agents or government agencies.
Duolingo will share the complete and accurate results of Duolingo English Tests with such institutions, including universities, potential employers, or other third parties, (collectively, “Score Recipients”) as specified when you send your results after finishing a test or when you apply a coupon sponsored by the Score Recipient before starting a test. These results will include your test score, a video of the interview section of your test, and your written responses to certain parts of the test. We will also share your full name, date of birth, e-mail address, and the photo you take of yourself. We will never share examination results with any party without your approval, except that anonymized examination results will be used by Duolingo and its partners to improve the examination and for research and analysis. We will not share your Testing ID with any Score Recipients, except with your consent upon initiation of a dispute by a Score Recipient.
If the ownership of all or substantially all of the Duolingo business, or individual business units or assets owned by Duolingo that are related to the Service, were to change, your personal data will be transferred to the new owner. In any such transfer of information, your personal data would remain subject to this section.
Duolingo will share aggregate or anonymous data collected through the Service, including Activity Data, for purposes such as understanding or improving the service.
Data subject rights and data retention You can manage your account settings at https://www.duolingo.com/settings/account to update, amend, and correct your information.
You also have the following rights in relation to the personal data we hold about you, unless provided otherwise by local law:
To request access to, or erasure of, the personal data we hold about you. To request us to restrict the processing of the personal data we hold about you. To object to us processing personal data relating to you. Where you have given us consent to process your personal data, you have the right to withdraw that consent at any time. To export the personal data you have provided to Duolingo in a format that can be transferred electronically to a third party. To delete your account with Duolingo by following the instructions available through the Service. Duolingo will retain your data until your account is deleted, after which point we will retain anonymous data collected through the Service, including Activity Data, which may be used by Duolingo and shared with third parties in any manner. Information associated with the Duolingo English Test, including examination results and your Testing Video, will be collectively deleted from your Duolingo account after five years have passed from the date you upload your test, but anonymized examination data, including your examination results and Testing Video, will be kept indefinitely by Duolingo to improve the examination and for research and analysis.
Please note that some of these rights are not absolute. In some cases, we may refuse a request to exercise particular rights if complying with it meant that we are no longer able to meet our contractual obligation to provide you with particular products and services. We will keep you informed as to the actions that we can take when you make your request.
You may also have the right to make a GDPR complaint to the relevant Supervisory Authority. A list of Supervisory Authorities is available here: http://ec.europa.eu/justice/data-protection/bodies/authorities/index_en.htm. If you need further assistance regarding your rights, please contact us using the contact information provided below and we will consider your request in accordance with applicable law. In some cases our ability to uphold these rights for you may depend upon our obligations to process personal information for security, safety, fraud prevention reasons, compliance with regulatory or legal requirements, or because processing is necessary to deliver the services you have requested. Where this is the case, we will inform you of specific details in response to your request.
Third party websites and links Please note that you may have cookies placed on your computer by third party websites that refer you to our Service. Although we do not share your personal data with these third party websites unless it is reasonably necessary to offer the Service, they may be able to link certain non-personally identifiable information we transfer to them with personal data they previously collected from you. Please review the privacy policies of each website you visit to better understand their privacy practices. In addition, Duolingo would like to inform you that anytime you click on links (including advertising banners), which take you to third party websites, you will be subject to the third parties’ privacy policies.
California privacy rights California Civil Code Section 1798.83 entitles residents of the State of California to request from a business, with whom that resident has an established business relationship, certain information regarding the types of personal data the business shares with third parties for direct marketing purposes by such third party and the identities of the third parties with whom the business has shared such information during the immediately preceding calendar year. If you would like to request a copy of this information disclosure from Duolingo, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pursuant to the Privacy Shield Frameworks, EU and Swiss individuals have the right to obtain our confirmation of whether we maintain personal information relating to you in the United States. Upon request, we will provide you with access to the personal information that we hold about you. You may also may correct, amend, or delete the personal information we hold about you. An individual who seeks access, or who seeks to correct, amend, or delete inaccurate data transferred to the United States under Privacy Shield, should direct their query to email@example.com. If requested to remove data, we will respond within a reasonable timeframe.
We will provide an individual opt-out choice, or opt-in for sensitive data, before we share your data with third parties other than our agents, or before we use it for a purpose other than which it was originally collected or subsequently authorized. To request to limit the use and disclosure of your personal information, please submit a written request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Duolingo’s accountability for personal data that it receives in the United States under the Privacy Shield and subsequently transfers to a third party is described in the Privacy Shield Principles. In particular, Duolingo remains responsible and liable under the Privacy Shield Principles if third-party agents that it engages to process the personal data on its behalf do so in a manner inconsistent with the Principles, unless Duolingo proves that it is not responsible for the event giving rise to the damage.
With respect to personal data received or transferred pursuant to the Privacy Shield Frameworks, Duolingo is subject to the regulatory enforcement powers of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. In certain situations, Duolingo may be required to disclose personal data in response to lawful requests by public authorities, including to meet national security or law enforcement requirements.
In compliance with the EU-US and Swiss-US Privacy Shield Principles, Duolingo commits to resolve complaints about your privacy and our collection or use of your personal data. European Union or Swiss individuals with inquiries or complaints regarding this Privacy Statement should first contact Duolingo’s Data Protection Officer at:
Data Protection Officer, Duolingo, Inc., 23 Connaught House, 300 Hale Road, Hale Barns, Altrincham, Cheshire, WA15 8SP, United Kingdom Phone: +1-412-567-6602 E-mail: email@example.com
Duolingo has further committed to refer unresolved privacy complaints under the Privacy Shield Principles to an independent dispute resolution mechanism, the BBB EU PRIVACY SHIELD, operated by the Council of Better Business Bureaus. If you do not receive timely acknowledgement of your complaint, or if your complaint is not satisfactorily addressed, please visit https://www.bbb.org/EU-privacy-shield/for-eu-consumers for more information and to file a complaint. The services of BBB EU PRIVACY SHIELD are provided at no cost to you.
If your complaint involves human resources data transferred to the United States from the EU and/or Switzerland in the context of the employment relationship, and Duolingo does not address it satisfactorily, Duolingo commits to cooperate with the panel established by the EU data protection authorities (DPA Panel) and/or the Swiss Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner, as applicable and to comply with the advice given by the DPA panel and/or Commissioner, as applicable with regard to such human resources data. To pursue an unresolved human resources complaint, you should contact the state or national data protection or labor authority in the appropriate jurisdiction. Complaints related to human resources data should not be addressed to the BBB EU PRIVACY SHIELD.
Contact details for the EU data protection authorities can be found at http://ec.europa.eu/justice/data-protection/bodies/authorities/index_en.htm.
If your Privacy Shield complaint cannot be resolved through the above channels, under certain conditions, you may invoke binding arbitration for some residual claims not resolved by other redress mechanisms. See Privacy Shield Annex 1 at https://www.privacyshield.gov/article?id=ANNEX-I-introduction.
Children under age of digital consent Duolingo provides some features and services intended for use by children. Duolingo uses age-gating to restrict what services are available to children depending on the age of the user and the applicable laws of their country. For example, a 15 year old child in Germany will require parental consent to use the Service, whereas a 12 year old child in the United States of America would receive a restricted service but not require parental consent.
Children within the European Union Each European Union (EU) member state is permitted to legally define its own digital age of consent between 13 and 16. Duolingo checks the age and country of the user to determine if the user is able to consent to the Service. If consent of a parent/guardian is required, the user will input the e-mail address of an adult who will receive a request to approve the child’s account registration. In the absence of a country specific Act of Law, the age of consent will be set at 16.
These EU child users will receive the following service restrictions: they will not be able to use the service until their parent/guardian has provided consent for the child to do so. After the parent/guardian has given consent, they child will be allowed to access the full Duolingo service.
Where Duolingo does make features and services available to children, we recognize that collecting personal data from children requires further privacy protections. Accordingly, Duolingo will: (1) notify parents or guardians about Duolingo’s privacy and information practices regarding children, including what personal data we collection and how we use, share, and protect that personal data; (2) limit our collection of personal data to ensure that we collect no more than is necessary to provide Duolingo’s services; (3) obtain parental consent before collecting personal data from children; and (4) allow parents to request that Duolingo change or delete personal data about their children.
Children outside of the European Union If a child of under 13 years from outside the EU registers for the Duolingo service, upon registration the child will provide an adult’s e-mail address, to whom Duolingo sends a notification.
These child users will receive the following service restrictions:
Instead of any Personally Identifiable Information about the child, we will only store the e-mail address of their parent/guardian. Only family friendly advertisements are shown and these ads do not do behavioral tracking. Mature words such as "beer" and "wine" are disabled. Social features are disabled, e.g. profiles, forums, clubs, etc. They can not enter profile information such as a profile picture or a bio. At the point when the user is known to have reached the age of 13, the account will automatically be transitioned to be a normal non-restricted account.
At all times Duolingo does not knowingly collect personal information from children in connection with the Service. If we discover that we have unknowingly collected personal information from these children, we will delete it. If you believe we have collected personal information from a child, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Information security Duolingo has implemented administrative and technical safeguards it believes are appropriate to protect the confidentiality, integrity and availability of your personal data, Testing ID, User Photo, access credentials, and Duolingo English Test results. However, given sufficient resources, a determined attacker could defeat those safeguards and may, as a result, gain access to the data we seek to protect.
Do Not Track The Service is not designed to respond to “do not track” signals sent by some browsers.
Contact Us Duolingo’s headquarters are located within the USA at: Duolingo, Inc. 5900 Penn Ave, Second Floor Pittsburgh, PA 15206 United States of America Phone: +1-412-567-6602
Within the EU, Duolingo, Inc. is a registered Data Controller with the UK Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), number ZA294891, at the address: Duolingo, Inc. 23 Connaught House 300 Hale Road Hale Barns Altrincham Cheshire WA15 8SP United Kingdom
For all support inquiries, please go to https://support.duolingo.com.
Last revised on 11th October, 2018