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I. Introduction

When you use Instatute, you trust us with your personal data. We’re committed to keeping that trust. That starts with helping you understand our privacy practices.

This notice describes the personal data we collect, how it’s used and shared, and your choices regarding this data. We recommend that you read this along with our privacy overview, which highlights key points about our privacy practices.

 

II. Overview

  1. Scope

This notice applies to users of Instatute’s services anywhere in the world, including users of Instatute’s apps, websites, features, or other services.

This notice describes how Instatute and its affiliates collect and use personal data. This notice applies to all users of our apps, websites, features, or other services anywhere in the world.

This notice specifically applies to:

  • Students: individuals who request or receive education services and goods, including those who receive education services and goods requested by another individual

  • Teachers: individuals who provide, or submit applications to Instatute to provide, education services and goods individually or through an Education Partner

  • Education Partners: organizations who provide, or submit applications to Instatute to provide, education of education services and goods.

This notice also governs Instatute’s other collections of personal data in connection with Instatute’s services.

All those subject to this notice are referred to as “users” in this notice.

Our data practices are subject to applicable laws in the places in which we operate. This means that we engage in the practice es described in this notice in a particular country or region only if permitted under the laws of those places.

  1. Data controller and transfer

Instatute, LLC is the data controller for the personal data collected in connection with use of Instatute’s services anywhere else. We process personal data inside and outside of the United States. The personal data of users outside the United States is transferred on the basis of mechanisms approved under applicable laws, such as the Standard Contractual Clauses.

 

III. Data collections and uses

  1. The data we collect

Instatute collects:

  • Data provided by users to Instatute, such as during account creation

  • Data created during use of our services, such as location, app usage, and device data

  • Data from other sources, such as Instatute partners and third parties that use Instatute APIs

The following data is collected by or on behalf of Instatute:

  1. Data provided by users. This includes:

  • User profile: We collect data when users create or update their Instatute accounts. This may include their name, email, phone number, login name and password, address, profile picture, payment or banking information (including related payment verification information), government identification documents, including teacher’s license numbers and images, birthdate, signature, and photo. This also includes vehicle or insurance information of teachers and education partners, and user settings. We may use the photos submitted by teachers and/or education partners to verify their identities, such as through facial recognition technologies. For more information, please see the section titled “How we use personal data.”

  • Background check and identity verification: We collect background check and identity verification information for teachers and education partners. This may include information such as a criminal record (where permitted by law). This information may be collected by an authorized vendor on Instatute’s behalf.

  • Demographic data: We may collect demographic data about users, including through user surveys. In some countries, we may also receive demographic data about users from third parties.

  • User content: We collect the information users submit when they contact Instatute customer support, provide ratings or compliments for other users or restaurant partners, or otherwise contact Instatute. This may include feedback, photographs or other recordings collected by users.

  1. Data created during use of our services. This includes:

  • Location data: We collect precise or approximate location data from a user’s mobile device if enabled by the user to do so. For teachers and education partners, Instatute collects this data when the Instatute app is running in the foreground (app open and on-screen) or background (app open but not on-screen) of their mobile device. For students, Instatute collects this data when the Instatute app is running in the foreground. In certain regions, Instatute may also collect this data when the Instatute app is running in the background of the user’s mobile device. Students may use the Instatute apps without enabling Instatute to collect location data from their mobile devices. However, this may affect some functionality available in the Instatute apps.

  • Transaction information: We collect transaction information related to the use of our services, including the type of services requested or provided, order details, education information, date and time the service was provided, amount charged, time of engagement, and payment method. Additionally, if someone uses your promotion code, we may associate your name with that person.

  • Usage data: We collect data about how users interact with our services. This includes data such as access dates and times, app features or pages viewed, app crashes and other system activity, type of browser, and third-party sites or services used before interacting with our services. In some cases, we collect this data through cookies, pixels, tags, and similar tracking technologies that create and maintain unique identifiers.

  • Device data: We may collect data about the devices used to access our services, including the hardware models, device IP address, operating systems and versions, software, preferred languages, unique device identifiers, advertising identifiers, serial numbers, device motion data, and mobile network data.

  • Communications data: We enable users to communicate with each other and Instatute through Instatute’s mobile apps and websites. For example, we enable teachers and students or education partners to message, text, or send other files to each other (generally without disclosing their telephone numbers to each other). To provide this service, Instatute receives some data regarding the calls, texts, or other communications, including the date and time of the communications and the content of the communications. Instatute may also use this data for customer support services (including to resolve disputes between users), for safety and security purposes, to improve our products and services, and for analytics.

  1. Data from other sources. This includes:

  • User feedback, such as ratings, feedback, or compliments.

  • Users participating in our referral programs. For example, when a user refers another person, we receive the referred person’s personal data from that user.

  • Instatute account owners who request services for or on behalf of other users, or who enable such users to request or receive services through their accounts. This includes owners of Instatute for Business accounts.

  • Users or others providing information in connection with claims or disputes.

  • Instatute business partners through which users create or access their Instatute account, such as payment providers, social media services, or apps or websites that use Instatute’s APIs or whose APIs Instatute uses.

  • Vendors who help us verify users’ identity, background information, and eligibility to work, for regulatory, safety, and security purposes.

  • Partner education companies (for teachers or education partners who use our services through an account associated with such a company).

  • Publicly available sources.

  • Marketing service providers.

Instatute may combine the data collected from these sources with other data in its possession.

  1. How we use personal data

Instatute collects and uses data to enable reliable and convenient transportation, education, and other products and services. We also use the data we collect:

  • To enhance the safety and security of our users and services

  • For customer support

  • For research and development

  • To enable communications between users

  • To send marketing and non-marketing communications to users

  • In connection with legal proceedings

Instatute does not sell or share user personal data with third parties for their direct marketing, except with users’ consent.

Instatute uses the data it collects for purposes including:

  1. Providing services and features. Instatute uses the data we collect to provide, personalize, maintain, and improve our products and services.

This includes using the data to:

  • Create and update users’ accounts.

  • Verify teachers’ and education partners’ identity, background history, and eligibility to work.

  • Enable transportation, deliveries, and other services.

  • Offer, process, or facilitate payments for our services.

  • Track and share the progress of students or teachers.

  • Enable features that allow users to share information with other people, such as when students submit a compliment about a teacher, or when education recipients provide feedback for a teacher or education partner.

  • Enable features to personalize users’ Instatute accounts, such as creating bookmarks for favorite teachers, and to enable quick access to previous courses. We may, for example, present an Instatute user with personalized teacher or course recommendations based on their prior studies.

  • Enable Accessibility features that make it easier for users with disabilities to use our services, such as those that enable deaf or hard-of-hearing teachers to alert their students of their disabilities and vice versa.

  • Perform internal operations necessary to provide our services, including to troubleshoot software bugs and operational problems; to conduct data analysis, testing, and research; and to monitor and analyze usage and activity trends.

 

  1. Safety and security. We use personal data to help maintain the safety, security, and integrity of our services and users. This includes:

  • Screening students, teachers, and education partners before enabling their use of our services and at subsequent intervals, including through reviews of background checks, where permitted by law, to help prevent use of our services by unsafe teachers and/or students.

  • In certain regions, using information derived from teacher’s qualifications, and other documents submitted to Instatute, for safety and security purposes. This includes Instatute’s verification procedures, which prompts teachers and education partners to share their qualifications before going online to help ensure that the teacher or education partner using the app is qualified. This also includes comparing qualifications that we have on file against recently submitted qualifications (i) of other users to prevent identity-borrowing or the use of counterfeit qualifications, and (ii) from public databases to verify user identity.

  • Using device, location, profile, usage, and other data to prevent, detect, and combat fraud or unsafe activities.

  • Using user ratings and feedback to encourage compliance with our Community Guidelines and as grounds for deactivating teachers and education partners with low ratings or who otherwise violated such guidelines in certain countries.

 

  1. Customer support. Instatute uses the information we collect (including recordings of customer support calls with notice to and the consent of the user) to provide customer support, including to:

  • Direct questions to the appropriate customer support person

  • Investigate and address user concerns

  • Monitor and improve our customer support responses and processes

 

  1. Research and development. We may use the data we collect for testing, research, analysis, product development, and machine learning to improve the user experience. This helps us to improve and enhance the safety and security of our services, improve our ability to prevent the use of our services for illegal or improper purposes, develop new features and products, and facilitate insurance and finance solutions in connection with our services.

 

  1. Enabling communications between users. For example, a teacher may message or call a student to confirm a session, a student may contact a teacher to answer a question, or an education partner may message a teacher with information about their course.

  2. Marketing. Instatute may use the data we collect to market our services to our users. This includes sending users communications about Instatute services, features, promotions, sweepstakes, studies, surveys, news, updates, and events.

We may also send communications to our users about products and services offered by Instatute partners. For example, if a user has studied an Instatute course with one teacher, we may provide recommendations, promotions, or ads about relevant courses offered by other teachers or Instatute partners. Although we may send users communications about Instatute partners’ products and services, we do not sell users’ personal data to, or share it with, such partners or others for purposes of their own direct marketing or advertising, except with users’ consent.

We may use the data we collect to personalize the marketing communications (including advertisements) that we send, including based on user location, past use of Instatute’s services, and user preferences and settings.

  1. Non-marketing communications. Instatute may use the data we collect to generate and provide users with receipts; inform them of changes to our terms, services, or policies; or send other communications that aren’t for the purpose of marketing the services or products of Instatute or its partners.

 

  1. Legal proceedings and requirements. We may use the personal data we collect to investigate or address claims or disputes relating to use of Instatute’s services, or as otherwise allowed by applicable law, or as requested by regulators, government entities, and official inquiries.

 

  1. Automated decision-making

We use personal data to make automated decisions relating to use of our services. This includes:

  • Matching available teachers and education partners to users requesting services. Users can be matched based on relevant courses, proximity, and other factors. P

  • Determining teacher and education partner ratings, and deactivating teachers, students, and education partners with low ratings.

  • Deactivating users who are identified as having engaged in fraud or activities that may otherwise harm Instatute, its users, and others. In some cases, such as when a user is determined to be abusing Instatute’s referral program, such behavior may result in automatic deactivation.

  • Using teacher location information, and communications between students and teachers, to identify cancellation fees earned or induced through fraud.

  1. Cookies and third-party technologies

Instatute and its partners use cookies and other identification technologies on our apps, websites, emails, and online ads for purposes described in this notice.

Cookies are small text files that are stored on browsers or devices by websites, apps, online media, and advertisements. Instatute uses cookies and similar technologies for purposes such as:

  • Authenticating users

  • Remembering user preferences and settings

  • Determining the popularity of content

  • Delivering and measuring the effectiveness of advertising campaigns

  • Analyzing site traffic and trends, and generally understanding the online behaviors and interests of people who interact with our services

We may also allow others to provide audience measurement and analytics services for us, to serve advertisements on our behalf across the Internet, and to track and report on the performance of those advertisements. These entities may use cookies, web beacons, SDKs, and other technologies to identify the devices used by visitors to our websites, as well as when they visit other online sites and services. 

  1. Data sharing and disclosure

Some of Instatute’s products, services, and features require that we share data with other users or at a user’s request. We may also share data with our affiliates, subsidiaries, and partners, for legal reasons or in connection with claims or disputes.

Instatute may share the data we collect:

  1. With other users

This includes sharing:

  • Students’ first name, ratings of teachers.

  • Students’ first name with other students in a course. Students in courses may also see some information of the other students.

  • We may also share ratings and feedback, or other information to the extent required by law, with the teacher and education partner.

  • For teachers and education partners, we may share data with the students including qualifications, experience, ratings, comments and feedback.

  1. At the user’s request

This includes sharing data with:

  • Instatute business partners. For example, if a user requests a service through a partnership or promotional offering made by a third party, Instatute may share certain data with those third parties. This may include, for example, other services, platforms, apps or websites that integrate with our APIs; course suppliers or services; those with an API or service with which we integrate; or education partners or other Instatute business partners and their users in connection with promotions, contests, or specialized services.

  1. With the general public

Questions or comments from users submitted through public forums such as Instatute blogs and Instatute social media pages may be viewable by the public, including any personal data included in the questions or comments submitted by a user.

  1. With Instatute service providers and business partners

Instatute provides data to vendors, consultants, marketing partners, research firms, and other service providers or business partners. These include:

  • Payment processors and facilitators

  • Background check and identity verification providers (teachers and education partners only)

  • Cloud storage providers

  • Marketing partners and marketing platform providers, including social media advertising services

  • Data analytics providers

  • Research partners, including those performing surveys or research projects in partnership with Instatute or on Instatute’s behalf

  • Vendors that assist Instatute to enhance the safety and security of its apps

  • Consultants, lawyers, accountants, and other professional service providers

  • Education partners

  • Insurance and financing partners

  1. For legal reasons or in the event of a dispute

Instatute may share users’ personal data if we believe it’s required by applicable law, regulation, operating license or agreement, legal process or governmental request, or where the disclosure is otherwise appropriate due to safety or similar concerns. This includes sharing personal data with law enforcement officials, public health officials, other government authorities, or other third parties as necessary to enforce our Terms of Service, user agreements, or other policies; to protect Instatute’s rights or property or the rights, safety, or property of others; or in the event of a claim or dispute relating to the use of our services. If you use another person’s credit card, we may be required by law to share your personal data, including trip or order information, with the owner of that credit card.

This also includes sharing personal data with others in connection with, or during negotiations of, any merger, sale of company assets, consolidation or restructuring, financing, or acquisition of all or a portion of our business by or into another company.

  1. With consent

Instatute may share a user’s personal data other than as described in this notice if we notify the user and they consent to the sharing.

  1. Data retention and deletion

Instatute retains user profile, transaction, and other personal data for as long as a user maintains their Instatute account.

Instatute may retain certain user data after receiving an account deletion request if necessary, such as to comply with legal requirements.

Instatute retains user profile, transaction, and other information for as long as a user maintains their Instatute account. For teachers and education partners, Instatute also retains background check information (to the extent permitted by law) for as long as they maintain their Instatute account.

Students may request deletion of their account at any time through the Settings > Privacy menus in the Instatute app, or through Instatute’s Help Center. Following such requests, Instatute deletes the data that it is not required to retain for purposes of regulatory, tax, insurance, litigation, or other legal requirements. For example, Instatute retains location, device, and usage data for these purposes for a minimum of 7 years; while it retains such data, it may also use it for purposes of safety, security, fraud prevention and detection, and research and development. In certain circumstances, Instatute may be unable to delete a user’s account, such as if there’s an outstanding credit on the account or an unresolved claim or dispute. Upon resolution of the issue preventing deletion, Instatute will delete the account as described above.

Instatute may also retain certain information if necessary for purposes of safety, security, and fraud prevention. For example, if Instatute deactivates a user’s account because of unsafe behavior or security incidents, Instatute may retain certain information about that account to prevent that user from opening a new Instatute account in the future.

  1. Grounds for processing

We only collect and use personal data where we have lawful grounds to do so. These include processing user personal data to provide requested services and features, for purposes of Instatute’s legitimate interests or those of other parties, to fulfill our legal obligations, or based on consent.

We collect and use personal data only where we have one or more lawful grounds for doing so. Such grounds may vary depending on where our users are located, but generally include processing personal data:

  1. To provide requested services and features

In order to provide our services, we must collect and use certain personal data. This includes:

  • User profile data, which we use to establish and maintain user accounts; verify user identity; communicate with users about their coursework, and accounts; and enable users to make payments or receive earnings

  • Background information, which is used to verify an applicant’s eligibility to be a teacher or education partner

  • Teacher and education partner LMS data, which we use to track coursework and assist with navigation

  • Usage data, which is necessary to maintain, optimize, and enhance Instatute’s services, including to determine incentives, connect students and teachers, and teacher earnings

  • Transaction information

  • Information relating to customer support

  1. For purposes of the legitimate interests of Instatute or other parties

This includes using personal data to maintain and enhance our users’ safety and security. For example, we use personal data to prevent use of our services by users who have engaged in inappropriate or dangerous behavior, such as by retaining data of banned users to prevent their use of Instatute’s apps. We also use usage data to prevent matching of students and teachers for whom there is higher risk of conflict (for instance, because they have been the subject of prior complaints from other users).

This also includes purposes such as combating fraud; improving our services, direct marketing, research, and development; and enforcing Instatute’s Terms of Service.

In addition, it includes using personal data to the extent necessary for the interests of other people or the general public, such as in connection with legal or insurance claims, and to protect the rights and safety of others.

  1. To fulfill Instatute’s legal obligations

For example, Instatute is subject to laws and regulations in many cities and countries that require it to collect and retain data about our users’ coursework, and to provide copies of such data to the government or other authorities. We collect and use personal data to comply with such laws.

Instatute may also share data with law enforcement regarding criminal acts or threats to public safety, or requests by third parties pursuant to legal processes

  1. With consent

Instatute may collect and use personal data based on the user’s consent. For example, we may collect personal data through voluntary surveys. Responses to such surveys are collected on the basis of consent and will be deleted once no longer necessary for the purposes collected.

A user who has provided consent to a collection or use of their personal data can revoke it at any time. However, the user will not be able to use any service or feature that requires collection or use of that personal data.

 

IV.Choice and transparency

Instatute enables users to access and control the data that Instatute collects, including through:

  • In-app and website settings

  • Device permissions

  • In-app ratings pages

  • Marketing opt-outs

Instatute also enables users to request access to or copies of their data, changes or updates to their accounts, deletion of their accounts, or that Instatute restrict its processing of user personal data.

  1. Privacy settings

Settings menus in the Instatute app for students give them the ability to set or update their location-sharing preferences and their preferences for receiving mobile notifications from Instatute. Information about these settings, how to set or change these settings, and the effect of turning off these settings is described below.

  • Notifications: account and coursework updates

Instatute provides users with course status notifications and updates related to activity on their account. These notifications are a necessary part of using the Instatute website and app and cannot be disabled. However, users may choose the method by which they receive these.

  • Notifications: discounts and news

Users may enable Instatute to send push notifications about discounts and news from Instatute. Push notifications may be enabled or disabled.

  1. Device permissions

Most mobile device platforms (iOS, Android, etc.) have defined certain types of device data that apps cannot access without the device owner’s permission, and these platforms have different methods for how that permission can be obtained. iOS devices notify users the first time the Instatute app requests permission to access certain types of data and gives users the option to grant or refuse permission. Android devices notify users of the permissions that the Instatute app seeks before their first use of the app, and use of the app constitutes a grant of such permission.

  1. Ratings look-up

After every course, teachers and students are able to rate each other on a five indicator scale from 1 to 5 for each indicator. An average of those ratings is associated with a user’s account and is displayed to other users for whom they provide or receive services, along with the full list of indicators and scores if clicked or expanded.

This 2-way system holds everyone accountable for their behavior. Accountability helps create a respectful, safe environment for teachers and students. Students can see their average rating in the main menu of the Instatute app. Teachers can see their average rating after tapping their profile photo in the Instatute Teacher app.

Education partners are also rated by education recipients and restaurant partners.

  1. Marketing opt-outs

Users may opt out of receiving promotional emails from Instatute here. Users may also opt out of receiving emails and other messages from Instatute by following the unsubscribe instructions in those messages. We may still send users who have opted out non-promotional communications, such as receipts for rides or information about their account.

  1. User data requests

Instatute provides users with a variety of ways to learn about, control, and submit questions and comments about Instatute’s handling of their data. To make a request, please go here.

  • Accessing data: Users can ask for an explanation of the data we collect from them and how we use it.

  • Receiving data: Users can ask for a copy of data that Instatute collects from them with their consent or as necessary to provide our services.

  • Changing or updating data: Users can edit the name, phone number, email address, payment method, and photo associated with their account through the Settings menu in Instatute’s apps or teacher portal. They may also ask that Instatute change or update their data, including if they believe such data is inaccurate or incomplete.

  • Deleting data: Users may request deletion of their account at any time through the Settings > Privacy menus in the Instatute app, or through Instatute’s website (students and education recipients here; teachers and education partners here).

  • Objections, restrictions, and complaints: Users may request that we stop using all or some of their personal data, or that we limit our use of their data. Instatute may continue to process data after such objection or request to the extent required or permitted by law.

In addition, depending on their location, users may have the right to file a complaint relating to Instatute’s handling of their personal data with the data protection authority in their country.

 

V. Updates to this notice

We may occasionally update this notice. Use of our services after an update constitutes consent to the updated notice to the extent permitted by law.

We may occasionally update this notice. If we make significant changes, we will notify users in advance of the changes through the Instatute apps or through other means, such as email. We encourage users to periodically review this notice for the latest information on our privacy practices. After such notice, use of our services by users in countries outside the European Union will be understood as consent to the updates to the extent permitted by law.

 

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