Changes to LinkedIn Privacy: aka “Pulling a Facebook”

LinkedIn came under some fire this past week for a change in their privacy settings. In essence, they introduced a setting that allows them to use user names and photos to target third-party advertising.

The big rub? The setting is ‘on’ by default. Yes: members can turn it off .. if they know about it and can navigate to the proper settings.

Note that Facebook has quietly made similar changes over the past few years, followed by member outcry and articles on how users can make changes to their account.

In fairness to LinkedIn: the change occurred a few months ago, and they did warn users of the change by updating the LinkedIn Privacy Policy on June 16, 2011. I’m sure an attorney could advise that users were notified .. after all, we did click the ‘okay’ button, or the ‘I accept’ link .. however, both under the duress of being denied our use of the application.

Granted, some self-employed types (me, for example) might enjoy exposure to a wider audience, or an implied association with a favorable advertiser .. but conversely, I’d not enjoy just any implied association, or an advert for a competitor. As the new policy doesn’t give me any control, I would resist this change.

The firestorm started when blogger Steve Woodruff posted “A Box You Want to Uncheck on LinkedIn”, including a number of follow-on updates as the story progressed.

In light of the member response, LinkedIn has reconsidered this strategy. See the LinkedIn blog post: “Privacy, Advertising, and Putting Members First”. A kudos to them for rapid reconsideration and their public response.

About Michael Coates
I am a pragmatic evangelist. The products, services and solutions I write about fulfill real-world expectations and use cases. I stay up-to-date on real products I use and review, and share my thoughts here. I apply the same lens when designing an architecture, product or when writing papers. I am always looking for ways that technology can create or enhance a business opportunity .. not just technology for technology's sake. My CV says: Seasoned technology executive, leveraging years of experience with enterprise and integration architectural patterns, executed with healthy doses of business acumen and pragmatism. That's me. My web site says: Technology innovations provide a myriad of opportunities for businesses. That said, having the "latest and greatest" for its own sake isn't always a recipe for success. Business successes gained through exploiting innovation relies on analysis of how the new features will enhance your business followed by effective implementation. Goals vary far and wide: streamlining operations, improving customer experience, extending brand, and many more. In all cases, you must identify and collect the metrics you can apply to measure your success. Analysis must be holistic and balanced: business and operational needs must be considered when capitalizing on a new technology asset or opportunity.

2 Responses to Changes to LinkedIn Privacy: aka “Pulling a Facebook”

  1. Pingback: Changes to LinkedIn Privacy: aka “Pulling a Facebook” | Blogs About Google+ , Google, Twitter , LinkedIn, FaceBook, Skype |

  2. Pingback: Changes to LinkedIn Privacy: aka “Pulling a Facebook” | Jaideepkhanduja’s Weblog

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