Privacy Policy
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Your Privacy on Chatloop

Like most apps, Chatloop needs to be able to use some of your personal information.

We do this in a way that is responsible and respectful of your privacy, but it is important that you understand what information is used and in what way.

This document covers in plain English:

  • What information Chatloop uses

  • Who uses it

  • Why Chatloop uses it

  • How it is used


  • Your Biographical Information
  • What
  • Chatloop asks you for the following information:

    • your name

    • your gender

    • your nationality

    • your first language

    • the country you are currently living in

    If you want, you can also share:

    • your age

    • the city you are currently living in

    • a picture of you, or a picture that represents you

  • Who with
  • This information will be shown to the Chatloop users that are in the same chat group as you, and will be visible for the duration of the chat.

    This information, , might also be shared with academic researchers (see below for more info).

  • How
  • Your biographical information will be used in the following ways:

    • Within a chat group, Chatloop users can click a button and see a profile of the people they are chatting with.

    • We may also use first language information to pair with who can speak their first language.

  • Why
  • Put simply, it’s nice to know a little bit about the person your talking to. To put it into academic jargon, communication always occurs within some kind of context, and that context influences what people say to each other. A key component of that context is the people communicating. In that sense, it can’t be called authentic communication practice if you don’t know anything about the person you are talking to, because choosing what to say based on who we’re talking to is a key part of communication.

    Also, knowing nationality and linguistic backgrounds can help with learning. Some examples:

    • If a knows that their is American, they’ll know that they’re hearing an American accent.

    • If a knows that a ’s first language is Arabic, they’ll be more understanding of the learner’s efforts to master the English writing system (it’s very different to the Arabic writing system).

    • If a knows that their is Singaporean, they’ll know that they’re reading Singaporean English, which can differ slightly from the so-called “standard” Englishes such as British or American English

  • Your Chatloop Conversations
  • What
  • Chatloop uses the messages that you send in a or when chatting with a

  • Who with, how & why
  • With your partners

    • Through the Chatloop app.
    • Because they can’t chat with you if they can’t see your messages🙂

    With your Chatloop tutors, if you have any

    • Through the Chatloop app.
    • So they can supervise the activities and give you feedback and encouragement.

    With some Chatloop staff

    • Through the Chatloop app or through a database that archives Chatloop conversations.
    • Your conversations may be modified, , and turned into training materials, to be seen by and .
    • So they can train partners and tutors better, improve the Chatloop app, and maintain the quality of your Chatloop experience.

    With researchers of second language acquisition or refugee resettlement

    • Your conversations may be modified, , and shared digitally with academic researchers. This will be shared with researchers who have received ethical clearance from their university or research institutes. And only when those universities have demonstrated to us that their ethical standards are sufficient, especially in regards to how they handle research participant data.
    • Because your conversations on Chatloop are actually really valuable data for people researching how we teach and learn languages.
  • Your Chatloop Usage Data
  • What
  • We collect information about how much you use Chatloop and how much you're learning. For example, how many Chatloop activities you complete, how often you send messages, how long you have been actively using Chatloop and so on.

  • Who with, how & why
  • With you

    • Through the Chatloop app.
    • Because you might find it informative and motivating.

    With your Chatloop , if you have any

    • Through the Chatloop app.
    • To help them mentor and guide you.

    With your partners

    • Through the Chatloop app. We'll only show them any Chatloop activities you've done together in the past, or if you're within your first month of using Chatloop or a particular , we'll show you as "New to Chatloop" or "New to Chatfor10", for example.
    • So they can see if they’ve done any with you in the past, and to see whether you’re a new Chatloop user or not.

    With academic researchers

    • As anonymised , or as individual data.
    • So they can research Chatloop’s impact and it’s efficacy in helping people learn languages and adjust to new cultures and environments.

    With Chatloop staff

    • As anonymised .
    • So we can make Chatloop better, by understanding how it is being used.
    • So we can make decisions about the future of Chatloop.

    With investors, sponsors, and grant-giving organisations

    • As anonymised .
    • So they can make decisions about financial cooperation with Chatloop
  • Your Smart Phone/Computer Data
  • What
  • Chatloop needs to know where your device (phone, tablet, computer) is located, which is information that your phone operating system (iOS, Android etc) or browser (Chrome, Safari, Edge etc) may maintain.

  • Why
    • To know what timezone you are in, so Chatloop can display the correct times to you.

    • To make it easier for you to tell Chatloop your country and city of residence.

    • To verify that you are in the country that you say you are in.

  • Who with
  • Your data gets sent to the OpenStreetMap Foundation, an international not-for-profit organisation. To work out what country and city you are in, your coordinates are sent to their cloud service. Their machine converts the coordinates into country and city and sends it back to your phone. Their machine keeps a record of those coordinates, your browser and your operating system, but this is benign, they don't know who you are, and the information is deleted after 180 days. You can read their privacy policy here.

  • How
  • Your operating system or browser will only give Chatloop information about your device location if you give the operating system or browser permission to do so. Once that permission has been granted, Chatloop will talk to the operating system or browser in the background to get your device location.


Terminology

DE-IDENTIFICATION

De-identification means removing any information from Chatloop conversations or elsewhere that could potentially identify you. More specifically:

  • Your name is removed and replaced with a dummy name or random number.
  • Information that could potentially be used to identify you is redacted. For example:
    • Unredacted: “I come from Syria, but now I live in Brisbane with my husband, three children and my mother.”
    • Redacted: “I come from [nation], but now I live in [city] with my [family member], [number] children and my [family member].”
  • Also, any conversations that we consider to be sensitive won’t be used as training materials. It probably won’t be given to researchers either, but might be, depending on the purpose of the research and the terms of the research’s ethical clearance.
  • Your biographical information, such as your first language, may also be given to the researchers, depending on their research needs. Again, we won’t share your name. So when they analyse your conversation, they’ll know that it’s written by someone who is male and whose first language is Spanish (for example), but they won’t know who wrote it.
  • Audio conversations won’t be shared with anyone, because your voice can be used to identify you. We may share transcriptions of your audio conversations, however.

AGGREGATE DATA

Aggregate data is when a whole lot of individual information is combined together. Numbers on a spreadsheet, basically. No names, no information about any particular individual.

LEARNER

A learner is someone who is using Chatloop to learn a language. Usually from a refugee or asylum-seeking background.

PARTNER

A partner is someone who is using Chatloop to help someone else learn a language, by being someone they can practice the language with.

TUTOR

A tutor is someone who is assigned to learners to help, guide and mentor learners along their language learning journey.

CHATLOOP ACTIVITY

A structured language learning activity undertaken by learners and partners within the Chatloop app, such as Chatfor10 and 20 Questions

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