I'd be curious to know if anyone on HN thinks that this is morally and ethically ok?
What happened to the good old days when "growth hacking" was building a good product that people want to share with each other and then making it easy for them to share?
1. Yes. Absolutely. What could be morally unacceptable about this?
2. I very strongly believe in business ethics. And consumer protection, and worker protection. I don't think that this, in general, rises to the level of even being an issue with regard to consumer protection or worker protection. I don't know what about this would be unethical.
3. If you are going to say "user tracking" then I am just at a loss. This is categorically no different than any of the many dozens of user tracking services already in use. Except that, unlike many of those services who are very, very explicitly shady and fly-by-night, LinkedIn is, overall, an ethical player. When I visit NYTimes.com, my ghostery registers:
* Dynamic Yield
* Facebook Connect
* Facebook Custom Audience
* Google Analytics
* Netratings Site Census
* New Relic
* ScoreCard Research
In these cases, the NYT isn't getting private information about me from the third party. Facebook won't give the NYT a list of Facebook users who viewed an article on their website. Google Analytics won't tell me visitors' Gmail addresses.
Obviously, there are lots of trackers out there. But the fact that those trackers exist, and we're sorta, kinda, maybe ok with it, or at least resigned to it--that doesn't imply that we're ok with any third party using leaks of that information to track us.
Probably the reasonable thing to do is say "if we're ok with X tracking us, we're ok with everyone tracking us, because the information will leak." But that's not the same as saying it's ok for everyone to try and make it leak.
It wouldn't at all surprise me if it's against LinkedIn's TOS, and the author admits as much.
What about this is not unethical?
It's certainly not a grave matter in and of itself, but he doubles down by publishing a post to encourage people to join him in making a promise in bad faith.
So they replaced latinum with data. Essentially implying that data is money/wealth.
This goes a lot further than an ad broker that knows I am the person that visited sites X,Y and Z and therefore probably have an interest in something (without, still, knowing really who I am).
I know Facebook (and the likes) could technically know where I've been, but I have no clue on whether they really do that, is there proof for that? And is that really accepted? And even then, it's a step further because Facebook at least knows who I am because I 'willfully' told them and chose to 'trust' them.
> What happened to the good old days when "growth hacking" was building a good product that people want to share with each other and then making it easy for them to share?
Business came in. The Internet became serious money, and with it came the "entrepreneurs". What you see is what happens everywhere where competition is intense enough - ethics are one of the first thing to fly out of the window. They harm the bottom line.
I personally now use two browsers for different reasons:
* Chrome = Gmail, Drive, Docs, Search that I wanted tracked (work related usually)
* Chrome Incognito = Social media (Twitter, Instagram) and sites I stay on most of the time (HN)
* Firefox Private Browsing = Search that I do not want tracked (shopping research usually), shopping, news sites, media sites, LinkedIn
One can also view these in terms of cookie/data retention periods:
* Chrome = +1 week
* Chrome Incognito = 1 day maximum
* Firefox Private Browsing = Session (created and destroyed for a specific purpose, short-lived)
And yes, it's not convenient as if I get an email with a link in it I will copy the link into the appropriate browser and then browse to it. But then the upside is that I don't get tracked relentless by tracking stuff that expects cookies.
Oh, and I'm aware of IP tracking too. I tend to use PIA VPN for this reason and do not autoconnect to the closest place, but instead semi-randomly pick somewhere in Europe to surface from each day.
* Chromium = google services only
* Firefox = work, normal browsing (e.g. HN)
* Firejailed firefox = useful for sites too broken in regular Firefox
Both Chromium and FF are set to destroy cookies upon session termination and block third party cookies. I use uBlock Origin in "default deny" mode which blocks all third party content by default. I never sign into accounts from google, twitter, linkedin, or any other advertiser purveyor within FF.
The firejailed firefox is for such advertising purveyors and/or for sites which are cumbersome to make work properly by selective whitelisting in uBlock origin. I use firejail, rather than incognito / private browsing, so that the browser will behave exactly as if it were freshly installed when I visit these sites. Some settings (and in the case of FF, add-ons) will impact incognito/private browsing; firejail allows me to run a browser "wide open" safely.
Chrome + umatrix = Legit news and Google sites
Opera = Facebook, Instagram
Firefox + FoxyProxy + Ghostery + noscript = Shady places
saves the time to login to accounts [unless thats the whole point for you].
But having a marketing person send me a personalized email slapping me in the face with that tracking by explicitly telling me that they know what web page I visited on their site... that would be a pretty big turn off for me.
After I send them an email explaining why.
This linkedin feature has always been a pure money grabbing ploy with no merit other than the premium revenues generated from exploiting the emotional vulnerability of people and #growthinghacking needs of recruiters.
Having said that, we still can't know whether or not the profile view information is harvested from the server-side logging of the main page view or not without testing it.
There's no money in it outside of selling data to businesses but LinkedIn, Facebook and tons of other major internet properties all share login data specifically to identify users across the web.
(I work in digital advertising)
For the vast majority, it's demographics and interest based stuff. LinkedIn for example will keep lots of 1st party data to itself for it's own ad business but will share generic data like: female, 30s, IT engineer, new york, etc. This is how much of the ad targeting works. Trying to target a single person/identity just isn't easy, scalable or worth it so big overlapping buckets are used.
On the other side, specific identity data is also shared, called PII (personally identifying information), in a hashed format with other data networks. This is often used in retargeting by profile, an example being if a company wants to target all of it's current customers, it'll upload it's CRM database full of emails and data providers will match this up to cookies or other identifiers and let that company target these users with ads online. It's anonymized in that the advertising company doesnt know your identity, just that you're in this bucket of "XYZ email address list".
The way providers get to know your identity is major sites that share your profile data when you login, because they definitely know that it's you. LinkedIn will set a cookie when you login and then they'll have an API or data dump to other providers that can request your info or if you fit a bucket (in a hashed format).
Data is usually on a CPM (cost per 1000 impressions) basis although ranges widely from $1-$100 depending on quality and depth of targeting.
About me being downvoted - yeah, I figured I would be, because lots of people here use voting as "I (dis)agree" or "I (don't) like" button instead of "post is (not) useful" button. For the record: I would rather live in a world where such tracking was not possible and/or allowed, however, this is just not the case. As business you would be stupid to not consider using such data though. I personally would welcome a browser with privacy built in (for instance, browser which would disallowed all references to external domains - including images, JS and similar). But in reality this probably wouldn't fly.
The major companies like Google, Facebook, LinkedIn and other sites with logins will have more personal info because people provide it willingly, but they also keep this as valuable 1st party data since it's their edge in the ad business. Advertisers don't get access to it but can target against it if they advertiser on that specific platform.
On a high profile/traffic blog, web app, or site - could just include some targeted, random, or interesting LinkedIn profiles, and then all of these people would be bombarded with misinformation about who's viewed their page.
Want to confuse sales team at XYZ Startup Corp., sure have all of their profile links in hidden IFrames too...
This has probably already been an exploit used by some people..
All the recruiters, resumes, cover letters, and interview prep pale in comparison to just having a bunch of people that want to work with you again. Ultimately whether you use LinkedIn or Facebook or a paper rolodex of phone numbers, the key thing is that you need that collection of weak connections. These are not my 20 friends, these are the 150 people that have been in a company with me and know my reputation but probably don't know much more than that.
I find LinkedIn is a good tool for that. Sure there are some negatives, but I haven't found anything better. I don't necessarily want to be Facebook friends with all of the people I currently or previously worked with, and there is no way to keep an up to date contact list by yourself.
Agreed. Maybe I never felt the need of using LinkedIn for this because I'm already well connected with most of my former colleagues via other channels, since before this, I was at a pretty small startup.
My friends with management jobs love LinkedIn as a job finding tool, and some even claim that being connected to influential people in the industry on LinkedIn helps them stand out somehow, but most of my programmer friends do not like the type of recruiters on LinkedIn. In my personal job searches, I almost never needed anything other than a CV, a cover letter and Github/StackExchange accounts (as opposed to "connections" with famous people).
Other than keeping my profile up to date I'm a very passive LinkedIn user though - I don't use it to look people up. It's also a source of a huge amount of worthless recruiter spam.
iFrame wont work on modern browsers: Refused to display 'my linkedin url' in a frame because it set 'X-Frame-Options' to 'sameorigin'.
Image also probably did not work, though Linkedin might delay reporting profile visits, any ideas?
The only issue I have with this is that it tracks people on yet another part of the Internet. Same reason as why I don't have Google Analytics or Youtube embedded videos or embedded Google Maps on my website (let alone Google Ads).
If the WHO isn't logged with any js Magic it will work all the same.
<iframe src="LINK TO YOUR LINKEDIN PROFILE" height="1" width="1" frameBorder="0"></iframe>
We fear for our current business model.