Privacy Policy

flinc GmbH
Heinrich-Hertz-Straße 6
64295 Darmstadt, Germany

Thank you for your interest in using the services of flinc. Together with you, we seek to make mobility more flexible, greener and cheaper.

The aim when setting up the flinc portal was to collect as little data as possible and yet simultaneously create a service that would make carpooling easier than ever before. To be honest, this was a huge challenge because we are only able to offer special features (for example offering incomplete routes or displaying results directly on navigation systems) if we collect specific data.

We have managed to keep data collection as low as possible (see “Registration” section) for the initial registration on the flinc portal. You can add whatever information you wish to your user profile on the flinc portal in the internal area under “my flinc”. Under “Menu” → “Settings” → “Privacy” you can also choose which data is visible to other users.

The more information that you add voluntarily (real name, user photo), the more other users will trust you. And this means it is more likely that passengers will travel with you or drivers will take you with them.

With all data that we collect, we adhere to Germany’s data protection legislation and data protection guidelines of the European Union.

We generally keep to the following basic principles:

  • We do not sell personal data
  • We adhere to the principle of data efficiency
  • We never give your data to third parties for advertising or marketing purposes without your consent
  • We do not collect, process or use any personal data unless this is legally permitted or you have given us your consent
  • You won’t receive spam email from us

We store your personal data on servers in Germany and the EU. There are a few exceptions:

  • In order that we can concentrate fully on the technical development of flinc and other services, our support system uses established software from Zendesk, which stores your email address in the USA. You can read more on this in the section “Support and Feedback”.
  • If you prefer, we will use the US service provider SendGrid to send out emails and our newsletter because it only receives the email addresses of the users being contacted in that particular email.
  • For messages sent by SMS, we use the US provider Twilio, which also only receives the cell phone numbers necessary for that particular message.

Inventory data for using flinc (registration)

You will need to enter the following details to use flinc:

  • First name
  • Surname
  • Email address
  • Password
  • Cellphone number (for verification)

Please ensure that you choose a safe password. This means at least 10 characters long and 3 of the following 4 characteristics: Capital/small letters, numbers, special characters. Your email address and password are never visible to other flinc users.

We use your email address and/or cell number to send you messages. For example when we have found a driver for you or someone has requested a ride from you. In the user settings you can choose which messages you want to receive. If you opt out of receiving newsletters and messages, your email address and/or your cell number will not be sent to the service providers we use for this.

We need your first and last name to make flinc more personal. Please give your real name so that you can build up with trust with the drivers and passengers.

We will also store the date of your registration and show this in the format “Member since May 2011” in your profile.

User profile

After registration, you can complete your profile with the following data:

  • Date of birth
  • Place of residence
  • Gender
  • User photo

If you enter a date of birth, other users can see your age. We only use your place of residence so that we can show you other flinc users in your area.

Your cell number is only visible during the booking process and purely between the driver and passenger and any other person involved.

To make your profile more personal, you can also upload a user photo onto your profile that can be seen by other flinc users. A user photo will also create more trust and increase the likelihood of getting a booking.

After a journey has been made, drivers and passengers can rate the other person as either positive (thumbs up) or negative (thumbs down). The total number of positive and negative reviews will be shown in your profile. This way, people can see how reliable a driver or passenger is.

You can delete your flinc account at any time. Then your profile data will be deleted immediately. Your journeys taken, names of passengers and routes, will all be anonymized.

Posting journeys

When you post a journey, we will store the following data provided by yourself:

  • Your route
  • Price
  • Comment
  • Vehicle (if given)

Your route will be used to find passengers who are looking to travel a similar route. You can find out more about the data that is saved about a route in the section “Routes”. The price will be used to calculate the fare for the passengers.

Live position

If, besides using the flinc website and the flinc app, you also integrate flinc into a navigation system (e.g. Navigon app), or as a driver you enable your live position in the app, the following data will also be collected and stored:

  • Your current location as coordinates
  • Journeys already completed

The navigation system and app send your current location to the flinc server every 30-90 seconds in the form of coordinates. We need your location so that we don’t suggest passengers that you have already passed. Based on your locations, we continue to save journeys that you have already completed so that we can correctly calculate detours and prices to then show you statistics after the journey.

When you actively confirm a passenger, they will see your last known location and can then guess how far away you are from the collection point. You can deactivate this function any time in the settings.

Sharing your live position will mean people can request a ride while you are already out on the road. Using this option is entirely voluntary. You can also find passengers automatically via the website or app. If you do not want the flinc server to store your current location, we therefore ask you to not to integrate flinc into your navigation system and not to enable your live driver position in the app.

Requesting a ride

When you request a ride, we will store the following data provided by yourself:

  • Your route
  • Comment
  • Number of people

We use your route to suggest drivers for you who are traveling a similar route to you. You can find out more about the data that is saved about a route in the section “Routes”.

Routes

Any journey you make contains a route. A route always includes the following data:

  • Starting location, destination, stop-off points
  • Departure time
  • Arrival time
  • Distance
  • Duration
  • Waypoints

Routes form the basis of the flinc algorithm and serve to find the right combination of drivers and passengers.

Similar to existing carpool portals, we will also show your routes to non-registered users. Your address will however be disguised and your name will only be partly shown. A registered passenger will only see the driver’s disguised place of departure, as this is not required for the ride sharing. The starting point, i.e. the passenger’s collection point, will be shown in full as the driver will need to know where to drive to.

In the privacy settings, you can configure which information you are happy for non-registered users to see.

We will statistically analyze completed journeys in anonymized form. For example to show you how widely flinc is used in your region.

Personal statistics

While you use flinc, we collect the following statistics, which we also show in your profile:

  • Your reviews
  • Number of completed journeys as a passenger or driver
  • Total kilometers covered as a passenger or driver
  • Kilometers covered with a navigation system with flinc integration
  • How often you have carried passengers
  • How often you have traveled as a passenger
  • How many CO2 emissions you have produced and reduced
  • The number of your friends and friends of friends

In the user settings you can configure who can see your statistics.

Vehicles

If you wish, you can also set up a vehicle profile so that passengers can find you better (make, model, color, license plate). Your license plate is only visible to passengers who you have confirmed in order that they can find you faster at the meeting point.

Newsletter and regular status e-mails

We will inform you at irregular intervals by email about important product changes or new functions. We will also send you regular status emails in which we’ll show you your personal statistics so you can use flinc more effectively.

If you don’t want to receive these emails, you can of course unsubscribe from them at any time in the user settings.

Forum and Zendesk support software

We use the program Zendesk to give you the best possible support. Zendesk stores your email address and your request on servers in the USA. This occurs when you write in the forum, give us feedback (e.g. in the flinc apps) or when you send us an email to hilfe@support.flinc.org.

Google Analytics

This website uses Google Analytics, a web analysis service of Google Inc. (“Google”) with the extension “anonymizeIp()”. This means that IP addresses will only be processed in a shortened form to prevent persons from being identified.

Google Analytics uses so-called Cookies, text files which are stored on your computer and which allows an analysis of the use of the website by you.
The information generated by the cookie concerning your visit to our website is normally transmitted to a Google server in the USA and stored there.
If you activate IP anonymization on this website, however, Google will store your IP address, already shortened, in member states of the European Union in other member states of the European Economic Area. In exceptional cases, Google will transmit the full IP address to a server in the USA and shorten it there.

Google will use this information to evaluate your use of the website, to produce reports on website activities and to provide other services related to the use of the website and of the Internet. The IP address transmitted from your browser with Google Analytics will not be merged with other Google data. You can prevent cookie installation by changing the corresponding setting in your browser software; however, we must point out that this might prevent all functions of the website from working properly.

You can also prevent the data collected by the cookie and through your use of this website being sent to, and processed by, Google (including your IP address) by downloading and installing the browser plugin from the following link: http://tools.google.com/dlpage/gaoptout?hl=en.

By using this website you declare your agreement with the processing of data received from you by Google in the manner and for the purpose described above.
You can withdraw your consent to the data being processed and collected at any time with future effect by installing the above mentioned browser plugin.

Analysis of usage data and interest-based information

This website uses the Analytics function for statistical analysis to generate reports on impressions in the Google Display Network, to integrate the DoubleClick campaign manager and to create Google Analytics reports on activity based on demographic features and interests. You can deactivate Google Analytics for Display advertising and edit the ads in the Google Display Network – to do this, open the ad settings at https://www.google.de/settings/ads.

We use so-called retargeting technology to include information about flinc on third-party websites. Your interest in flinc will be saved in cookies. These cookies will be collected following your visits to specific websites. This is done anonymously, i.e. you cannot be identified via the retargeting.

We also monitor ad impressions and other ad services and interactions with these ad impressions and advertising services and check how they correlate to visits to our website.

If you do not want flinc to collect information about your visit and do not want to receive interest-based adverts, you can prevent Google from using cookies by visiting the page for deactivating Google ads at: http://www.google.com/policies/technologies/ads/. Alternatively you can deactivate the use of cookies by third parties by visiting the network advertising initiative’s deactivation website at http://www.networkadvertising.org/choices/ or by deactivating cookies in your browser settings. This can lead to usability of the functions on our website being limited.

We also use Google advertising data and visitor data from third parties (e.g. age, gender and interests) in Google Analytics for statistical analyses.

Information about your data

The Federal Data Protection Act gives you the right to know what data is stored about you. If you have any questions about the collection, processing or use of your data or would like us to correct, block or delete your data, please contact our support team (hilfe@support.flinc.org).

Changes to the data protection declaration

If we need to make changes to the data protection declaration, we will promptly inform you about the new content.

Other

If you have any questions, concerns or remarks about data protection, please write an email to datenschutzbeauftragter@flincteam.org or write a message in our forum.

Last updated: 2018, Version No. 10