1. Neil Sanderson Thursday, August 11, 2011

    This looks like an incredibly dumb move. I hope LI is pressured to release stats on the percentage of users who opt out of this “feature”. I will certainly read carefully any future changes to their privacy policy.

    1. It would be interesting to see that, I agree Neil. I noticed that they removed the photos and names, but the feature is still opt in by default.

  2. Shiromasa Yamamoto Thursday, August 11, 2011

    In the new era that’s being called Web 2.0, the one thing that will decide the winners from losers will be the social networking site that offers its users anonymity & privacy, yet an effective platform that allows personal, professional, and business social networking. There is only one site today that meets this criteria, ONLYMEWORLD.COM, no real names, no email addresses.

  3. I asked LinkedIn staff about this, long before it was blog-worthy. I was ignored each time.

    1. That’s interesting — it feels like they hoped it would slide by under the radar.

  4. Looks like there was a lot of pressure to get this changed. I have just logged on to LinkedIn and got a popup which asked me to confirm whether or not I approve of my profile to be used in social advertising.

  5. Heather Stark Friday, August 12, 2011

    I’m watching this with interest. LinkedIn has a shipload of unrealised value in it, but to my mind they have not really found the right formula yet for user engagement. All the LinkedIn groups I’ve joined just don’t have much going on in them. And the news stuff is just plain silly. I curate my own news as does every other person with a profile like mine. So I use groups like a badge.

  6. Facebook hasn’t suffer a thing for it’s privacy issues and neither will LinkedIn. Although privacy concerns are certainly relevant, the greater public is completely naive to it and in the end don’t care. Wish that wasn’t the case but it’s the truth.

  7. Missy Gottenfield Friday, August 12, 2011

    These companies never learn from others’ mistakes. Any opt-in feature/tool is a surefire way to gather ire and controversy.

    Fisher Capital Management

  8. Great catch. But a little more outrage is in order. Your update accepts without comment LinkedIn’s statement that they “could have communicated (their) intentions —- to provide more value and relevancy to our members —- more clearly.” You point out that they clearly were not interested in being clear on this. But where’s the outrage? The only acceptable response from LinkedIn would be to reverse the action and remove our opt in. But I just went to my settings and had to uncheck the box. So LinkedIn went into my private settings and changed them. Surely that contravenes some fine print on their agreement?

    I, for one, do not intend to get into the habit of reading fine print. It’s about trust. And LinkedIn has betrayed mine. I can’t imagine how they’ll regain it short of reversing this
    move that if not illegal, is enormously unethical.

    We cannot let these companies continue to lower the bar on acceptable company behavior.

  9. I know people whose only foray into social networking was having a profile on LinkedIn because it was perceived to be a business networking site that allowed professionals to build a personal brand online. People don’t want their mugs on advertisements for all their connections to see. I hope LinkedIn realizes that its value lies in sticking to what it does best – connecting professionals – and not in trying to morph into a wannabe-Facebook site.

  10. Kudos to Mathew Ingram, Gigaom and all the bloggers and the privacy advocates who have raised these questions which has resulted in Linkedin giving us the option to opt out of social advertising. It’s difficult to fathom that a ‘professional’ networking site as LI would just leverage its user’s personal information and photos in exchange for advertising dollars. Unlike!

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