Information about LinkedIn

Information from the University of Stuttgart about using LinkedIn.

The university uses the information service offered by LinkedIn via the technical platform and the services of the LinkedIn Corporation 2029 Stierlin Court, Mountain View, CA 94043, USA.

LinkedIn Ireland Unlimited Company is responsible for processing the data of people living in GDPR-designated countries (European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland)

Wilton Place, Dublin 2, Ireland:

Please be aware that the use of the LinkedIn pages and their additional functions offered here is at your own risk. This particularly applies to the use of interactive functions (e.g. posting comments, sharing, rating).

The information and publications found on our LinkedIn page are an optional additional service. Our LinkedIn page is only available to registered users of the LinkedIn platform.

1. Data processed by LinkedIn:

Please see LinkedIn's privacy policy for information about what data is processed by LinkedIn and for what purposes:

In terms of the collection, use, and retention of any personal data provided to LinkedIn by LinkedIn members, customers, and business partners from the designated countries of the GDPR, the LinkedIn Corporation and its U.S. subsidiaries ("LinkedIn") are committed to following EU-US Privacy Shield obligations.

More information can be found at und

If you choose to use LinkedIn, your personal information will be collected, transferred, stored, disclosed and used by the LinkedIn Corporation. LinkedIn transfers your data from the countries covered by the GDPR to the United States of America (USA) and back. Currently, the LinkedIn data centers used for storing its members' information are located in the USA and Singapore.

The University of Stuttgart has no influence over the type and scope of the data processed by LinkedIn, the way in which it is processed and used, or the transfer of this data to third parties. Nor does it have any effective means of control in this respect.

Similarly, the University of Stuttgart receives no information about the content of your data transmitted to LinkedIn and cannot provide any information about what personal data is stored by using LinkedIn service.

In addition to any data submitted voluntarily, such as your profile, login and contact details and calendar data, LinkedIn also collects and processes, for example, your location and device information as well as internet protocol addresses (IP addresses). By using cookies or similar technologies, LinkedIn can also identify you outside of its own services and when you are using different devices.

LinkedIn collects and analyzes data from the content, news, and messages you post and upload, as well as data from partners and affiliates, such as information provided by your workplace/educational institution, websites, or third-party services.

You can find more information about this at:

LinkedIn specifies that it will use your personal information to provide you with additional services (including advertisements), and that is uses automated systems and its own inferences to customize these services to make them more relevant and useful to you and others.

For this purpose, LinkedIn may also consolidate data internally through various services covered by its privacy policy (details at:

The ways in which way LinkedIn uses the data gathered for its own purposes when you visit LinkedIn pages, to which extent activities on the LinkedIn pages are assigned to individual users, how long LinkedIn stores this data and whether data gathered when you visit LinkedIn's pages is passed on to third parties, is not conclusively and clearly stated by LinkedIn and this information is not available to the University of Stuttgart.

Furthermore, LinkedIn states that it may use third party services (partner companies and external service providers) to aid it in the provision of services (for example, maintenance, analysis, auditing, payment, fraud detection, marketing and development).

These third parties also have access to your information in order to perform the relevant tasks for LinkedIn and are obliged not to disclose or use your information for other purposes. You can find more information about this at:

If LinkedIn uses third-party services for the LinkedIn page of the University of Stuttgart, the University of Stuttgart has neither commissioned, approved nor otherwise supported this in any way. Nor has the personal data obtained during analysis been made available to them. The University of Stuttgart is only able to view certain non-personal, aggregated information about activity, such as the number of profile or link clicks on a particular post or page through its account. Moreover, the University of Stuttgart is unable to prevent or disable the use of such services on its LinkedIn page.

For example, LinkedIn also receives information when you view content, even if you have not created an account (e.g., via a public LinkedIn profile). This so-called "log data" may be the IP address, browser type, operating system, information about the websites you visited previously and the pages you have viewed, your location, your mobile provider, the terminal device you use (including device ID and application ID), the search terms you have used and cookie information.

Via LinkedIn buttons or widgets embedded in websites and the use of cookies, it is possible for LinkedIn to record your visits to these websites and assign them to your LinkedIn profile. Based on this data, the content or advertising offered can be customized to suit you.

Due to data protection issues, the University of Stuttgart refrains from placing advertisements on LinkedIn and thus from actively using the data collected by LinkedIn for targeted communication management.

Even though the LinkedIn Corporation is a non-European provider, it is bound by the GDPR in countries covered by these regulations. For example, this includes your right to information, or to block or delete data.

Options for restricting the processing and visibility of your data are available, to activate these you must go to your account navigation under the heading "Settings and privacy", where various menu items are listed.

Please bear in mind that basically all information you provide in your profile is publicly visible by default, i.e. this can be viewed by members logging into the network and customers of LinkedIn services. This also applies to your activities within the service, such as commenting on posts, "like" tags or the "follow" function. Group memberships are also publicly visible.

When you share posts, the default setting is that these will be made public. There is an option available to limit the visibility of these posts so that they are only visible to your contacts. You can also specify in LinkedIn's settings whether you want to share your contact list with all your contacts. If your profile is public, your content can also be viewed outside of LinkedIn and via search engines.

More information about these points can be found on the following LinkedIn help pages:

The option to view and download your own data from LinkedIn can be found in your account under "settings and privacy" under the "privacy" tab under "how LinkedIn uses your data" or at

For information about LinkedIn's comprehensive data collection and other privacy settings, please visit:

The option to turn off interest-based advertising (not advertising in general) can be found here:

Furthermore, you also have the option to contact LinkedIn if you have any questions about its privacy policy or user agreement via the LinkedIn contact form or via the LinkedIn office in Ireland, which is responsible for designated countries:

Online contact form.

Postal address:

LinkedIn Ireland Unlimited Company
Attn: Legal Dept. (Privacy Policy and User Agreement)
Wilton Plaza
Wilton Place, Dublin 2

Using the contact methods listed above, it is possible to request that LinkedIn delete a portion of your personal data (if, for example, you no longer require its services).

Some of the ways in which your data can be used cannot be changed via the settings.

Should you fundamentally disagree with such use, your only option is to close your account:

If you are located in one of the countries covered by the GDPR, you also have the right to lodge a complaint with the Irish Data Protection Officer.

2. Data processed by the University of Stuttgart:

The University of Stuttgart also processes your data. The university does not gather data via your LinkedIn account. However, the data you enter on LinkedIn, in particular your username and the content published on your account will be processed by us insofar that we may share your posts or comment on them, or we may also publish posts that refer to your account. The data you choose to publish and distribute on LinkedIn can also be used by the University of Stuttgart and made available to its fans and subscribers.

Furthermore, as the provider of our LinkedIn page, we do not collect or process any personal data from you if you use our service. The site is for information and communication purposes only.

  1. Rights and documentation:

If you have any questions about our information service, please send us an email. You can assert your right to information, or the blocking or deletion of your data by contacting our data protection officer.

You can also find more information about data protection on LinkedIn at

The following section details the concept underlying LinkedIn's utilization concept.


The university is characterized by its community of teachers and learners, the right to autonomy and the opportunity to independently create and execute study programs and research projects, and the privilege of awarding publicly recognized academic degrees. The University of Stuttgart is a leading technically oriented university in Germany with global appeal. It sees itself as a hub of university, non-university and industrial research and as a guarantor of comprehensive research-led teaching that is characterized by its excellent quality. Public relations work is important at the university, and this is also carried out using LinkedIn.

1. General information about LinkedIn

LinkedIn, based in Mountain View/USA, is a professional social network for maintaining existing business contacts and for developing and establishing new business connections. With over 350 million users, LinkedIn is currently the world's largest online professional network. It is used internationally but is particularly popular in the English-speaking world. As a result, LinkedIn has a large international reach compared to other career networks, such as Xing, which is predominantly used in German-speaking countries. The company offers a basic version free of charge with optional additional premium services offered for a fee.

LinkedIn is primarily aimed at executives and professionals, as well as those who are generally career oriented. The network enables its users to communicate directly and exchange information with people who have the same professional interests. The network also serves as a recruiting tool; users present themselves as qualified employees, and companies and organizations as attractive employers. Although LinkedIn's focus is foremost on professional aspects, many users also use the network to establish personal contacts.

It is possible to create personal profiles or company pages on LinkedIn, whereby company pages can only be set up via a personal profile with administrator rights, there is no real name policy. To use the network functions, you must be registered as a user. Some content shared by LinkedIn users can also be read without registering with the site.

On LinkedIn, posts can take the form of written text, photos, videos, and live streams. Registered users can use the service to publish their content free of charge, to network with other users or company pages, comment on their posts, "like" or "dislike" them and share them. Users can recommend or subscribe to company pages so that relevant posts appear in their own LinkedIn feed.

You can find more information about LinkedIn here:

2. Why the University of Stuttgart uses LinkedIn

The LinkedIn company page of the University of Stuttgart is a useful addition to the university's existing communication channels, such as its websites, press releases, newsletters, printed products and events.

Professional networking sites are becoming increasingly important when it comes to succeeding on the international job market. Particularly with regard to our target groups of graduates/alumni and their (potential) employers, but also for those interested in further education, our own internationally operating employees, and our own employee recruitment, LinkedIn offers the advantage that we can reach these groups much more directly and quickly, especially since interested users can simply subscribe to the university's official page. The University of Stuttgart's presence on LinkedIn thus enables a far-reaching distribution of posts and impressions of the University of Stuttgart, as well allowing the observation of reactions to these.

LinkedIn can facilitate communication with University of Stuttgart, because the target groups can contact the University of Stuttgart in a low-threshold and uncomplicated way with questions, suggestions or even criticism. In this way, LinkedIn enables fast and uncomplicated communication on equal footing and can thus convey an overall informative and inviting image of the university with its offerings, qualities and goals.

The University of Stuttgart offers a variety of international education programs. These not only offer domestic students the opportunity to gain international experience abroad, but also give foreign students to chance to participate in an international program at the University of Stuttgart. This results in a diverse and varied student body, also outside German-speaking countries and in non-European countries. Because many former students from the University of Stuttgart are registered on LinkedIn, the University of Stuttgart uses this additional channel to inform its alumni worldwide about the current developments and topics at the University of Stuttgart and to encourage alumni to identify more with their university. Many University of Stuttgart alumni also use the LinkedIn company page independently to stay in touch with their former fellow students.

With the help of the LinkedIn company page, the university is able to provide LinkedIn viewers, such as potential employers and people interested in further education, with insights into teaching and research at the University of Stuttgart. It also supports the activities of internationally networked and active employees within the framework of their individual networks with, for example, international project partners. This aids the University of Stuttgart in its efforts to further internationalize its education and research programs and to ensure that its graduates are qualified for the international job market.

  1. Nature and scope of the use of LinkedIn by the University of Stuttgart 

The University of Stuttgart operates a company page on LinkedIn in the LinkedIn basic version with logo and short profile.

The University of Stuttgart's LinkedIn company page informs its users about current reports on university topics, events, news from the fields of science, research and teaching and other interesting information from the university campus. Furthermore, the University of Stuttgart also presents its own job offers for the acquisition of qualified employees for the University of Stuttgart.

The University of Stuttgart posts correspond in part to content posted on other University of Stuttgart social media channels.

Regular posts published on the LinkedIn company page of the University of Stuttgart include:

  • Information about current research proposals and projects
  • Up-to-date information about upcoming events at the university,
  • Information about knowledge transfer activities,
  • Information about any changes taking place on campus,
  • Interaction with international alumni from the University of Stuttgart
  1. Information about who is responsible for providing editorial/technical support:

Responsibility for editorial support lies with the University Communications department at the University of Stuttgart.

  1. Alternative information and contact options:

We would like to point out to users that the LinkedIn channel is merely an additional option for contacting or receiving information from the University of Stuttgart. Alternatively, the information offered via LinkedIn can also be accessed via the corresponding links on our website at  or via other linked websites.

Further contact options

  • Generally, you are welcome to send any inquiries to our central inbox.
    Please note: Communication by email is unencrypted by default. It cannot be ruled out that parties involved in the transmission may be able to view the contents of an email.
    Therefore, if you wish to send confidential information, please use the option to encrypt data
  • For telephone inquiries to 0711 / 685 - 0
    (The telephones are manned from Monday to Friday from 6.45 a.m. to 11.30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. to 15:30 p.m.).
  • House and parcel address
    Keplerstr. 7, 70177 Stuttgart
  • Postal address
    PO box 10 60 37 70049 Stuttgart

3. Obligations

We evaluate this utilization concept annually in terms of if and how it is used. The evaluation of the utilization concept takes into account the user numbers and reach as well as the target group structure of the networks.


According to the general regulations specified in Article 35 section 1 of the European Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a data protection impact assessment must be carried out when data processing, in particular if new technologies are being used, is more likely to result in increased risks to the rights and freedoms of natural persons as a result of the nature, scope, context and purposes of the processing. The LfDI (State Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information) guidelines on the use of social networks by public bodies makes it mandatory to assess the consequences of the envisaged processing operations for the protection of personal data in anticipation of and in line with the GDPR, which came into effect on May 25, 2018.

The University of Stuttgart's presence on LinkedIn does not trigger this consequence due to the very small scope of its own data processing (see also data protection declaration), in particular with regard to the fact that its posts focus on transmitting content without reference to persons, and in the case of a reference to other LinkedIn users, only the data that the user has voluntarily provided themselves is processed (because LinkedIn is a professional network, in addition to the user name and posts, information about a person's employer and position is often also to be found).

However, from the point of view of the University of Stuttgart, its LinkedIn use as such represents a form of processing that is high risk due to its far-reaching consequences, in particular with regard to the evaluation of the data by LinkedIn for advertising purposes and the like, for which a data protection impact assessment (by LinkedIn) must be carried out.

This is because by using a LinkedIn account, the respective user places themselves under systematic observation by LinkedIn. This can also reveal sensitive data such as political attitudes, sexual orientation or health problems, which can be linked together and used to create a personality profile. Persons who are particularly in need of protection, such as young people, can use LinkedIn and are thus affected by data processing procedures, although this group is not a LinkedIn target group, despite the fact that registration is permitted from the age of 16 (see also "risk assessment").

Even when a person merely passively reads information on LinkedIn without an account of one's own, sensitive data can be collected through the collection of log data, such as previously visited websites or the user's location data.

This is all the more relevant due to the fact that LinkedIn cannot be officially monitored or can only be monitored to a limited extent. Because the data of German users is not processed within Germany but in non-European countries, there are more significant hurdles preventing access to (judicial) legal protection than would be the case for a company based in Germany. If data protection issues cannot be clarified directly with LinkedIn, the Data Protection Officer in Ireland is the next point of contact.

In this respect, the University of Stuttgart assumes that public bodies that use a social network for public relations work and to provide general information thus bear joint responsibility.
Joint responsibility does not mean that the University of Stuttgart confirms or guarantees the data protection compliance of LinkedIn's products. This is not possible under the circumstances. Rather, joint responsibility means that the University of Stuttgart makes itself and others aware of the risks of using social networks. From a data protection perspective, social networks are currently in need of improvement in many respects. For this reason, LinkedIn users are shown alternative, more data-protection-friendly communication channels by means of links to the homepage of the University of Stuttgart.

The risks generally associated with the use of social media are detailed in the University of Stuttgart's privacy policy for LinkedIn. This can be found on the University of Stuttgart's webpage. LinkedIn itself does not currently offer this option on the LinkedIn company page. In addition, the University of Stuttgart regularly promotes awareness and education of such risks on its homepage.

The University of Stuttgart details its commitment to these measures in its utilization concept. In accordance with this, the advantages and disadvantages of using LinkedIn are evaluated regularly with the inclusion of the LinkedIn com terms of use.

LinkedIn usage is thus embedded in a package of measures. In this context, the evaluation of the consequences of using LinkedIn at the University of Stuttgart is as follows:

  1. Identifying risks

The risks described above, which are associated with the use of LinkedIn, exist in principle and independent of the University of Stuttgart's own LinkedIn use. Also, in the vast majority of cases, the University of Stuttgart's own contributions do not reference personal data, but rather disseminate the university's own factual content.

Ultimately, the data processed as a result of viewing the University of Stuttgart's LinkedIn account, or other accounts - namely the posts or/and the account name of a LinkedIn user - has already been made public/ is generally accessible/ freely available on the internet.

However, content published on the University of Stuttgart's LinkedIn page and any resulting interactions are made available to a broader/more "specific" audience and may achieve greater awareness and wider dissemination than would have been the case without this interaction.

The fact that the University of Stuttgart follows other accounts or that other accounts follow the university also creates additional cross-connections and information about the respective LinkedIn users; for example, it is possible to view the areas of interest of the subscriber/follower, regular posts, activities, and group memberships.

Finally, log data is also collected by LinkedIn when users passively read the page.

Through its own LinkedIn use, the University of Stuttgart thus increases the amount of data that is used and evaluated by LinkedIn.

  1. Risk analysis

Expanding the circle of distribution and increasing the networking scope makes it easier for LinkedIn to process the data for other purposes and to expand profiles surreptitiously. Also, allowing visitor contributions to be published can lead to adverse social consequences, such as inappropriate or discriminatory comments or the distribution of sensitive data, or as a professional network, this can also affect the current or future workplace and professional environment.

Although such damaging consequences may be substantial if caused by using LinkedIn, they are nevertheless only increased to a very limited extent by the LinkedIn profile of the University of Stuttgart. This is because a significant portion of the data is already available to LinkedIn. In particular, the University of Stuttgart's LinkedIn presence is not aligned with any obligation to create a LinkedIn account, as there are sufficient alternative contact and information options for the University of Stuttgart. In principle, all posts and job offers displayed on the LinkedIn account of the University of Stuttgart are also available via the website of the University of Stuttgart or via our job portal website, so that these can be viewed without generating any data.

Also, it is unlikely that topics such as science, teaching, research, etc. trigger contentious or hate-filled debates. In this respect the likelihood of any damage occurring is very limited.

  1. Risk assessment

Overall, the additional risk caused by the University of Stuttgart's LinkedIn account can be classified as low to medium.

Furthermore, it is possible to implement remedial measures that further reduce the risk, which the University of Stuttgart also indicates in its privacy policy for LinkedIn.

To a great extent, the user is also able to influence the scope of any protective measures. The user can protect him/herself to a certain extent by making use of the various settings, such as deleting his/her browser history, deactivating cookies, or not sharing the location when using photos.

With regard to people in particular need of protection, such as young people, this is a group generally not targeted by LinkedIn. Even though it is possible to register with LinkedIn from the age of 16, LinkedIn is a professional network mainly aimed at professionals and executives who want to network with each other worldwide on their own initiative.

The target group is usually significantly older and well-educated and therefore able to weigh up the professional benefits of the service and data protection. Nevertheless, it should be highlighted that there is an increased risk of fake profiles and identity theft, especially in the case of business networks, because the business/professional environment of LinkedIn users is often described in detail.
In addition, some LinkedIn practices, such as pretending to be a member of LinkedIn users' existing contacts and independently sending email invitations to join LinkedIn, can cause suspicion among LinkedIn users' acquaintances or even harm professional reputations.
We therefore advise LinkedIn users to ban LinkedIn from accessing address books and other external services and to deactivate the automatic sending of email invitations, because LinkedIn can also contact contacts outside its own network and store their data. For added security, users can be encouraged to use LinkedIn only from the desktop in the browser and not to install LinkedIn apps on their smartphone / mobile devices.

As a further remedial measure, continuous editorial support enables intervention in the event of comments that are defamatory or violate personal rights, up to and including account blocking. The University of Stuttgart has formulated a netiquette here for the use of its offer, which it will ensure is followed when managing the site.

  1. Findings

LinkedIn use by the University of Stuttgart is justifiable in view of the risks described and obligatory measures provided. The University of Stuttgart is committed to closely observing further developments and regularly repeating and, if necessary, expanding its assessments and evaluations.




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