LinkedIn opts 100 million users into sharing private information within advertisements

Digital Trends
LinkedIn opts 100 million users into sharing private information within advertisements
.

View photo

LinkedIn opts 100 million users into sharing private information within advertisements

LinkedIn users are upset that the company has taken the Facebook approach in regards to online privacy with a recent change to the privacy policy. Under the guise of providing more privacy control to the user, the social network has automatically opted-in its 100 million users into the social advertising program without informing them of the change beyond a blog post. When a LinkedIn user views a third-party advertisement on the social network, they will see user profile pictures and names of connections if that connection has recommended or followed a brand. Any time that a user follows a brand, they unwittingly become a cheerleader for the company or organization if it advertises through LinkedIn.

In order to opt out of social advertising, the LinkedIn user has to take four steps to escape third-party advertisements:

Hover over the user name in the top right hand corner of any LinkedIn page and click ‘Settings’. On the Settings page, click ‘Account’. On the Account tab, click ‘Manage Social Advertising’. Uncheck the box next to “LinkedIn may use my name, photo in social advertising.” and click the save button.

Users also may want to opt out of receiving email from LinkedIn advertisers. This setting also allows LinkedIn advertising partners to spam users with promotions during email marketing campaigns if the user follows the brand. To opt out of this setting, click the Email Preferences tab and click on the ‘Turn on/off partner InMail’ link to locate the check box. 

It’s also been reported that LinkedIn likely broke Dutch privacy law after opting all Netherlands users into the new setting.  The Dutch Data Protection Authority requires social networks and other online agencies to ask users before allowing consent for using portraits within advertisements. Legal authorities have faulted LinkedIn for opting users into the service without initial consent as well as failing to educate users about the change. LinkedIn has yet to respond to recent criticism of the new social advertising policy through a press release or an official blog post.

View Comments