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Make Facebook Pixel GDPR compliant

The European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has been in force since May 25, 2018. It has a major impact on data protection in the online area. This applies to websites and online shops as well as social media. The Facebook pixel cookie is also affected by the EU data protection reform, which defines complex regulations on cookies and data protection. An important regulation in this context is the consent of the users who are affected by the tracking by the pixels.

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This article offers you a valuable summary of the highly topical topic of how to make Facebook pixels GDPR compliant. Do you have any questions? As a professional Consent Management Provider (CMP), Consentmanager is a specialist for all topics related to Facebook pixels and cookies.

What does the GDPR regulate?

Even years after the introduction of the EU General Data Protection Regulation, many operators of commercial websites still do not know what the connection is between the set of rules and the Facebook pixel cookie in particular and online tracking in general. Therefore, this first section provides you with an overview of the connection between Facebook Pixel and privacy.

The GDPR was developed to protect the personal data of all people who come into contact with companies, public institutions, foundations, clubs, associations and other similar institutions. The collection, processing, storage and deletion of this data – including through the Facebook pixel cookie – is now subject to comprehensive regulations. Failure to comply with the regulations of the GDPR, which supplements the Federal Data Protection Act (BDSG) in the Federal Republic of Germany, may be subject to severe sanctions. It is therefore advisable to know and follow the regulations exactly if you want to make Facebook Pixel GDPR compliant. This article is intended to support you in the legally compliant implementation.

Facebook Pixel and GDPR – this is how everything is connected

What does the Facebook pixel have to do with the GDPR? Very easily! The Facebook pixel can torpedo data protection regulations if the tracking is not used in a legally secure manner.

But what exactly is this tracking?

Tracking on the Internet means that website operators use suitable tools to follow the “surf tracks” of users. Specifically, they collect data from users, which they use to draw conclusions about their person and behavior . The purpose of such measures is to make online marketing more efficient for the target group and, of course, to generate more sales as a result. For example, it can be determined whether clicking on an ad triggered a purchase of the respective product.

The problem with tracking is the sensitive data collected through methods like the Facebook pixel cookie. “Sensitive” in this context means that the person behind the user could be identified with them. This is possible using personal data, but also, for example, using the IP address of the computer or smartphone used. And this is exactly what is not allowed, which is why the “consent”, i.e. the consent of the persons concerned, is also required for the Facebook pixel cookie.

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Permission from users is the be-all and end-all

One of the basic rules of the General Data Protection Regulation, which of course also includes the topic of Facebook Pixel and GDPR, is that the user must always give their permission if their data is saved. And: If he makes his data available, he also has the right to have most of them deleted again. In this context, the GDPR provides for the so-called ” right to be forgotten” . But that is exactly what is problematic. After all, how can someone assert such rights if they don’t even know that data is being collected from them? Because tracking by the Facebook pixel cookie is something that many users do not even notice. And that is exactly why it is difficult to set up Facebook Pixel GDPR compliant.

Facebook Pixel Privacy

The criticism that has been leveled at the pixel is that the tracking cookies read out personal data – without the user’s consent. And for a Facebook pixel cookie, the user’s consent is a prerequisite. The GDPR clearly regulates this in paragraph 13 of the comprehensive set of rules:

Obligation to provide information when collecting personal data from the data subject

If personal data is collected from the data subject, the person responsible shall inform the data subject of the following at the time this data is collected:

  • the name and contact details of the person responsible and, if applicable, his representative;
  • if applicable, the contact details of the data protection officer;
  • the purposes for which the personal data are to be processed…”

The user must also be informed of the legal basis and any recipients of personal data.

For the area of Facebook Pixel and GDPR, all this means that the user a) must be informed of the collection of cookies on a website and b) must also agree to it.

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Would you rather do without the Facebook pixel cookie?

Of course, making Facebook Pixel GDPR compatible requires a whole range of precise and appropriate measures. But the effort is worth it when you consider the following list of benefits of using a Facebook pixel cookie with user consent.

The Facebook pixel cookie allows you to:

  • the effective insight into the behavior of existing and potential customers of your company
  • the development of targeted campaigns in the area of social media, which is so important today
  • the ideal way to reach the relevant target group with a tailor-made online advertising strategy
  • improving online sales

Today’s professional strategies for online marketing need social media as a crucial channel in which your target group cavorts. It is therefore the be-all and end-all to reach and address these prospects and customers in an optimized way. It is not expedient to stick your head in the sand because of the problems surrounding Facebook Pixel and DSGVO and to forego such an effective method of online advertising. Because online advertising has become the be-all and end-all for entrepreneurial success. There are a large number of studies that impressively prove that customers – be it B2B or B2C – use the Internet today to research suitable companies, products and services. This means that websites and online shops as well as advertising around social media are essential for efficiency and success.


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An interim conclusion

The Facebook pixel cookie is a useful method for tracking users as a basis for creating online campaigns from which you and your company will benefit in the long term. But because Facebook Pixel collects data from users, the provisions of the GDPR apply in relation to cookies. What does this mean specifically for you as a potential user of the Facebook Pixel? As a website operator, what do you have to consider in order to set up Facebook Pixel GDPR-compliant?

These ten points enable you to implement Facebook pixel cookies with the consent of the user in accordance with data protection. Of course, this is a blanket standard. You can get the tailor-made solution for a Facebook pixel cookie from Consentmanager as a specialized consent management provider.

1. The correct Facebook Pixel privacy policy

In order to be able to use Facebook Pixel DSGVO-compliant, a Facebook Pixel data protection declaration for the website, the online shop or the Facebook page in question is an indispensable foundation. In this data protection declaration you have to indicate that you use cookies. They describe what kind of cookies – such as a Facebook pixel cookie – they are and what their purpose is. One thing is particularly important: inform the user that they have the right to object to the use of Facebook pixels and other tracking methods at any time. This right to object is a key right to be observed around the use of Facebook Pixel and GDPR regulations.

2. The consent text

Many website operators are of the opinion that point 1 (the reference in the data protection declaration to the use of Facebook pixels for GDPR compliance of the tracking) is sufficient. But that is not the case. The user must give consent to the use of Facebook Pixel Cookie Consent, i.e. actively agree that he approves the use of tracking. This consent is an essential criterion for a website to agree on Facebook Pixel and the GDPR in a legally secure and complete manner, in that the rights of the user are implemented in a legally secure and complete manner. The consent of the website visitor is prepared with the consent text.

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3. The placement of the consent text

It is important that users really recognize the text for consent or objection. Therefore, placing the consent text prominently is the be-all and end-all. There are two options for this, which are also GDPR-compliant. Either you use the classic banner for the Facebook Pixel Cookie Consent or you display a pop-up on the website that makes it easy for the visitor to give their consent to tracking. In this context, visitors can usually select several options of permitted tracking.

4. Define the scope of the tracking

The extent to which you as the website operator plan the tracking is also important for the data protection declaration and the consent text. An important term in this context is the so-called “extended comparison” . The name is program. Data collected by Facebook Pixel should also be compared with data from customers that has already been collected by the company itself. An example are customer lists, but also e-mail addresses that may have been generated by subscriptions to newsletters. This combination of data and Facebook pixels can have a significant impact on data protection, as it may be possible to identify users.

5. Make the right choice between opt-in and opt-out procedures

You should definitely be aware of these two procedures. Because they are of great importance for the correct implementation of making Facebook Pixel DSGVO compliant. The two methods for consenting to tracking by the user differ in that the user takes an active role in the opt-in process in order to give their consent. This is given, for example, by actively selecting the options (and the associated extent) of tracking. The requirements regarding the use of Facebook pixels in terms of data protection are better implemented in opt-in procedures . In the case of extended comparison of data, the procedure of explicit consent by the user is a legal must. With the opt-out procedure, on the other hand, consent is taken for granted by default, and the user may have to actively object to it.

6. Selection of dates

As the operator of a commercial website, you should carefully analyze what data you collect from users. This is also one of the principles of the GDPR that only data that serves a specific purpose is collected. Example from the area of newsletter subscriptions: In order to subscribe to the newsletter, it is of course essential to ask for the e-mail address of the user. But the phone number or gender are dispensable elements. The situation is similar with Facebook pixels and data protection: The more plugins are suitable for the fact that the anonymous pseudonym of users on the Internet is no longer preserved, the more questionable and critical the procedure is from the point of view of data protection officers.

7. Adhere to the chronological sequence

There are companies that use the tracking tool function before there is a possible revocation by the user. This is not legally permitted and is usually already punished with unpleasant fines. In principle , the user’s consent must first be assumed before the tracking methods are used. This is also particularly important if there is a later detailed comparison with customer lists and other data collected by the company itself. If a user does not give their consent and still uses the website and the content, this does not mean that they agree to the Facebook pixel cookie!

8. Implement evidence according to GDPR

In order to make Facebook Pixel DSGVO fair, it is also necessary that the user can be given information at any time about which data is collected, stored and used by him. Two aspects of the GDPR are particularly important in order to be able to prove such data processing. One is the so-called data protection impact assessment , the other the list of procedural activities carried out by the company. Both should be done by a professional data protection officer. Consentmanager can also fulfill such a function as a consent management provider.

9. Appoint data protection officer

It is essential to implement the guidelines around Facebook Pixel and GDPR. However, it also shows seriousness and transparency that users are informed as best as possible about the type and function of the tracking . Therefore, the data protection officer listed in the imprint and the data protection declaration should also be able to professionally and precisely handle the individual inquiries of visitors to the relevant websites. This is often even an advantage in online competition, since users or customers particularly prefer and trust companies that take modern data protection into account.

10. Use support

Linking Facebook pixels and data protection properly requires both technical and legal knowledge. And this know-how is important. Because non-compliance with the regulations of the GDPR is sanctioned by the data protection authorities. There are a few ways you can integrate the vital privacy protection into your online advertising activities.

Provide support to you:

  • Ready-made plugins that combine Facebook Pixel Cookie and consent query
  • the competent data protection officer who implements the linking of Facebook Pixel and GDPR in a legally compliant manner
  • the specialized web agency that also takes data protection into account when it comes to activities in social media
  • Consent Manager as Consent Management Provider

Consent management providers such as Consentmanager offer a high level of specialization when it comes to the consent of people to collect and store their data through tracking. If you decide to hire a CMP expert, you have the decisive advantage that they also integrate the legal changes to Facebook Pixel and GDPR that are introduced from time to time. Your advertising activities on the Internet are set up in accordance with data protection regulations and you can concentrate entirely on your core competencies.

FAQ: frequently asked questions about Facebook Pixel and GDPR

no Of course, the GDPR applies to all variants that serve the purpose of collecting personal data from users and then using it for their own business purposes. YouTube, for example, is also part of social media, where data is collected. However, Facebook pixels and data protection are particularly relevant because the tool is used extensively to measure the success and strategic alignment of ads.

Many companies feel that with the introduction of GDPR regulations, tracking is no longer compliant with the law. But there are definitely ways to make Facebook Pixel and GDPR compatible . Valuable support is available from relevant specialized agencies and consent management providers such as Consentmanager. With their professional insight into current legal regulations, they create clarity for the legally compliant implementation of the measures.

Problems with Facebook Pixel Cookie and Privacy? The CMP is a perfect partner for all activities on the Internet that are impeccable under data protection law. As with Consentmanager , you can recognize the right CMP by non-binding advice, good references, tailor-made concepts and a fair price/performance ratio. It is also a plus if a CMP also assumes the function of data protection officer.

There are two basic ways of using the competence of a data protection officer. You can – for example as a larger company – appoint a competent employee as data protection officer or commission this function as part of outsourcing .

Naturally. Compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation is essential for both the redesign of a website and the relaunch of existing websites. This is controlled by the data protection authorities as well as by the customers and especially the competition.

Basically when personal data is collected. The more these contribute to the fact that conclusions can be drawn about a specific person , the more critical methods are to be assessed. Collecting user data without consent is not legally compliant.

The General Data Protection Regulation applies to everyone who collects, stores, processes and uses the personal data of interested parties or potential customers. Typical examples are all online activities related to websites, online shops and social media, such as registering for an account, subscribing to a newsletter, participating in a competition, researching products or using forms.

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