Posted August 11, 2011 7:43 am by with 1 comment

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I have to admit, this one surprised me a little. We seem give (me included for sure until now) LinkedIn a free pass on exactly what they are doing with the data they have. The social media world has both barrels pointed at Facebook, Twitter and Google at all times but LinkedIn plays it cool off in its own world and flies under the radar while having some serious success.

Well, not this time. According to The Naked Security blog, a blogger, Steve Woodruff brings to the forefront a change in LinkedIn’s privacy policy from about two months ago which states:

LinkedIn may sometimes pair an advertiser’s message with social content from LinkedIn’s network in order to make the ad more relevant. When LinkedIn members recommend people and services, follow companies, or take other actions, their name/photo may show up in related ads shown to you. Conversely, when you take these actions on LinkedIn, your name/photo may show up in related ads shown to LinkedIn members. By providing social context, we make it easy for our members to learn about products and services that the LinkedIn network is interacting with.

In other words, LinkedIn is doing the same thing that ticked off so many Facebook users earlier this year.

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If you would like to LinkOut of this particularly annoying Facebookian tactic you can do it very easily by:

1. Clicking on Settings
2. Click on Account
3. Click on Manage Social Advertising
4. Uncheck box which has conveniently been checked by LinkedIn on your behalf

Here’s a visual for you if that’s easier.

What you want to do after that is your call. Naked Security suggests you drop an email to and they even give you some neat copy to use that was leftover from their “WTF, Facebook?” phase when the ‘bookies’ trampled user privacy recently.

Dear FacebookLinkedIn,

Why not lead the way on privacy?

Become truly opt-in – not just on the basis that a new user opts in altogether by joining up in the first place, but on the basis that everything is locked down until a new user opens up each feature.

Don’t wait until the regulators in the world’s developed economies start legislating to make you do so. Take the lead. People will love you all the more in the end.

Honestly, I am disappointed in LinkedIn doing this. I get what they are trying to do but to stoop to Facebook’s privacy practices level is not cool.

What do you think?

  • eri

    The real issues most people have today about privacy is the amount of information these sites are collecting about its users, the way this information is being collected, and how this information is being used. With all this information social networking sites today have about it’s users, add a real name, add an email, and add facial recognition, not only do people loose their privacy, they also expose themselves to cyber crimes, and predatory advertising & manipulation, etc.,

    Regardless of what sites today promise regarding security, any site can be hacked. An example would the government & banks who have so called state of the art security systems. Social networking sites such as Google+ & Facebook are open door gold mines for cyber criminals. The obvious solution to address these security problems is simple, no real names, no emails. You don’t need a real name and an email address to social network effectively yet with some anonymity, you need this information to sell to advertisers & companies, you also need this information to sell someday to private interest, governments, companies, etc.,

    Although only 20% complete and still in Beta, ONLYMEWORLD early on seems to realize that respecting its users Privacy Rights is paramount to both longevity & success in the industry. Their platform is similiar to Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Linkedin, yet differ because of their approach to privacy by not asking for real names, and email addresses.