LinkedIn's Sneaky Social Advertising FeatureDid you know that LinkedIn can now use your name and your personal photo as part of their advertising?

“Crudely put, LinkedIn will mine your usage habits to determine what products and services you’re interested in, and then use your name and photo in what amounts to an endorsement for those products and services when they’re advertised to other users.”

12 August 2011 Update: LinkedIn have now updated their advertising policy, taking into consideration the furore caused by their social media advertising policy. You should still opt out of social advertsing as per our instructions below.  You can read the full LinkedIn change of policy here

Thanks to  Paul Ducklin at security experts Sophos for that straight forward explanation of LinkedIn’s sneaky privacy strategy.

LinkedIn assumes that you want to grant this permission.  I suspect most people don’t realise that LinkedIn is taking advantage of it’s members in this way, and I also suspect it is going to receive a lot of complaints.

Fortunately, opting out of the social advertising is easy enough to do. And we suggest that you do it as soon as possible.

All you have to do is untick a little box that’s hidden away in your account settings.

LinkedIn Account Settings - Manage Social Advertising

To find this elusive little box:

  • Sign into your LinkedIn account.
  • Go to the “Settings” page.
  • Select the “Account” tab right at the bottom of the page.
  • Click on the “Manage Social Advertising” Link.

The following box should appear. Simply untick the box next to “LinkedIn may use my name, photo in social advertising”, and that’s it!

LinkedIn - Manage Social Advertising

You might also want to read this  blog post from Connection Agent

Update:  15 August 2011

The Huffington Post have also written about LinkedIn Privacy, and they have selected this post as one of their Top Links on This Topic:

LinkedIn Advertising Privacy


Read more:

Team Hallam Top Tips: Social media


4 responses to “LinkedIn Ads: protecting your privacy”

  1. Ian Lockwood says:

    Actually, LinkedIn changed their policy on using photos in the ads yesterday:

  2. Simon Johnson says:

    Wow! What an eye-opener – thanks for the heads-up.

  3. Sneaky indeed, I have just opted out. I’m not happy with these social giants making such assumptions on how to use my information. I’ve yet to see anything like this come from Twitter.

  4. Susan Hallam Susan Hallam says:

    Ah.. the dangers of modern technology….

    This post was written prior to the update, and we use the WordPress feature post-date posts in order to schedule when our blog posts appear.

    Nevertheless, LinkedIn users should still choose to opt-out of the social advertising as per Helen’s instructions.

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