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Data privacy in social media

Social media have established themselves as an integral part of the internet. To make its web presence attractive to as many people as possible, the City of Heidelberg therefore also has pages on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook. 
To view this content you do not need to be a member of the respective social media site. However, it is important to bear in mind that, each time you visit one of our pages on YouTube, Twitter or Facebook, the site collects, stores and uses data about you. 
The City of Heidelberg has no influence over how the social network gathers and uses the data. You can find information on what information is collected in the data privacy policies of the respective sites. 

www.facebook.com data policy
www.youtube.com privacy guidelines
www.twitter.com privacy policy

More information about data privacy for Facebook

When you visit a website containing a Facebook ‘Like’ button, your browser immediately contacts Facebook’s servers and sends data to Facebook. Once active, ‘2-click Like buttons’ also transfer information to Facebook. For this reason the City of Heidelberg does not use any kind of Like button, and simply provides a web link to its Facebook fan page from this website. 
The moment you follow the link to our fan page, your browser connects to Facebook and transmits information. This data includes:

Visitors not logged into Facebook/visitors with no Facebook account

  • IP address: Each time you view a fan page, your IP address is automatically sent to Facebook.
  • Cookies: When you view our fan page, cookies are automatically placed on your hard drive. According to Facebook, the ‘datr cookie’ is used for identifying the web browser that established the connection to the Facebook page, and plays a key role in protecting Facebook from ‘malicious activity’. The datr cookie has a lifespan of two years, but if you wish you can delete it in your browser settings.

Visitors with a Facebook account and who are logged into Facebook

  • IP address: Facebook also receives the IP address of users who are logged into the site (see above).
  • Cookies: A ‘datr cookie’ is also saved on the hard drive of logged-in users (see above). If you have a Facebook account and are logged in when you visit our fan page, the c_user cookie is additionally placed on your hard drive. This enables Facebook to link the visit to our ‘fan page’ with your personal user account, and hence to track your user behavior.
  • Facebook Insights: Facebook also provides managers of fan pages with a tool that gives them access to statistical information about the use of their page. You can learn more about this here: 

How to stop this from happening

If you have a Facebook account but do not want Facebook to collect data about you via our fan page and link it with the member data that Facebook holds about you, you should proceed as follows:

  • Before visiting our fan page, log out of Facebook and uncheck the ‘Keep me logged in’ checkbox on the Facebook login page,
  • delete the cookies from your device, and
  • close and reopen your browser.

This deletes all the information that would allow Facebook to identify you. 
All the important information on our fan page can of course also be viewed on our website, www.heidelberg.de. This prevents Facebook from obtaining any information whatsoever about your user behavior.

Further information

You can learn more about social networking safety on the public website of the Federal Office for Information Security.