LinkedIn pulls a Facebook on its Members

So LinkedIn seems to have decided to go the Facebook way in terms of not caring about its members’ privacy. It covertly made a few changes to its privacy policy some time back, that allows it to use members’ names and photographs in third-party advertisements on LinkedIn. These new features are ‘opt-in’ by default, and you’ll never even know they’re there unless you are in the habit of constantly tinkering with your account settings. They call it “social advertising”. I think we can safely call it an invasion of privacy.

The last thing one expects to experience on a ‘professional’ networking site is to be turned into some sort of shill for products or services one has no intention of endorsing to begin with. Here’s how you can opt-out if you haven’t already:

  • Go to your Home page
  • Click on your name (at the top-right corner of the page) and select ‘settings’
  • Click on ‘account’ (lower left corner of the page); you should see several options in the box right next to ‘account’ now, grouped under ‘privacy controls’, ‘settings’, ’email and password’ and ‘helpful links’
  • Click on the first option ‘manage social advertising’  under ‘privacy controls’ and turn off the feature by unchecking the box that is displayed

You also might want to opt-out of the feature that shares your data with third-party applications on LinkedIn (yes, that’s ‘opt-in’ by default as well):

  • Go to your Home page
  • Click on your name (at the top-right corner of the page) and select ‘settings’
  • Click on ‘groups, companies & applications’ (lower left corner of the page); you should see several options to the  right, grouped under ‘groups’, ‘companies’ , ‘applications’ and ‘privacy controls’
  • Click on ‘Turn on/off data sharing with 3rd party applications’,  under ‘privacy controls’