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LinkedIn opts 100 million users into sharing information with ads (yahoo.com)
107 points by evilswan on Aug 11, 2011 | hide | past | web | favorite | 25 comments

There would be no outrage if they simply put "we'll share all your stuff any way we want" on page 74 of EULA (if they haven't already).

At least URL for this setting is nice:


There are other settings you might want to opt out of:



and here is the link to close your account: https://www.linkedin.com/secure/settings?closemyaccountstart...

Finally I got around to figuring out where they opted me in to receive these weekly digests that started showing up last month.

Thanks for these links. I was only aware of the social advertising one because of twitter last night.

Opted out of the other two as well.

I have not once ever felt appreciative of being opted-in to something.

If I want it, I will opt-in. If I don't opt-in, that should be taken as an explicit opt-out. Why do so many sites go the other route, tarnishing their reputations (IMO) in the process?

For money- and while you might think it has tarnished their reputation, I guarantee that 90% of users have no idea about what's going on.

> I guarantee that 90% of users have no idea about what's going on.

Maybe so, but I took the added step of sending a link to an article about this to every one of my connections. It's a step I often don't bother with, but somehow this one pushed me past my indifference and made me take action. I think it's that I so rarely use LinkedIn, yet still vaguely feel like I should have one, being in a so called "profession". At least with Facebook, I check in pretty much every day so I notice changes and I keep up to date with potential security issues and know I have to spend time maintaining my privacy settings. With LinkedIn, I just let my account sit in the background and do whatever it is that it does when I'm not around. Being notified that they're doing some shady things when I'm not looking bothers me more than average, so I took steps that were more than my average.

The users I know are aware of it, I made sure of that. 5 down, several million to go...

Seriously though, I think they're only doing themselves harm by mass opting-in their users. Anecdotal Example: the deluge of 'opt-in' email that I receive has made sure I'll never opt-in to any advertisement program, and has at the same time assured that I un-check any box suggesting automated / marketing emails will be sent my way if it stays checked (such as those "Send me updates about the service" check-boxes that appear when you signup for many online services).

Now I'll be the first to admit there's no guarantee that if they didn't opt-in users that I would feel differently, but I have a feeling I wouldn't have such a grudge against companies and their automated emails if they behaved themselves. I think to some degree they are hurting their own cause.

Because features you might have opted in to originally didn't exist when you joined?

They can either promote new features on the site and hope you notice, force you to update your settings and make a decision, or just opt you in which is less work and ensures higher adoption for them.

In pursuit of $, I'm afraid.

Getting people to opt-in doesn't make much cents for them.

Wow, that was extremely annoying to disable.

- I didn't remember my password offhand, so each of my 5 attempts required me to fill out a captcha.

- On the settings page, the "Account" link is... less than visible. The word "Account" appears ~4 times on the page. One of them was a link entitled "Manage Account Settings", which you'd think would be it, but no --- that led to a FAQ.

This was done without my knowledge or consent. Not that I can do anything but post an HN comment, though...

You could delete your linkedin account

Or, a less drastic approach is still be on Linked In and now know they are a bunch of arsehats who aren't to be trusted with your personal data so make sure you delete everything that doesn't directly give you value.

You then move them way down in your list of admired companies and actively badmouth them whenever it's appropriate - with the long term goal that this information will spread, hopefully ruining the value of being on the network to the point where it is no longer a useful resource and THEN delete your profile.

That's what I'm going to do.

Actually, I think LinkedIn is a very interesting case for this kind of behaviour. I have long since removed a lot of personal information from my Facebook account because everyone on there is already my friend, and anyone who wants my phone number can just ask me for it.

However, LinkedIn contains a great deal of discovery and connection with people you don't know- if you removed your work history etc. then the site isn't going to be as much use to you. It isn't anywhere near as easy.

I did something like that.

I registered a new email at a disposable email address and set that as my main email while deleting the rest.

After that I changed some keydata in my profile to things that are incorrect and waved goodbye linkedin.

The only comment that matters here. LinkedIn is focused more on making a product out of the user than actually keep them linked - in.

We have a winner.

Yikes! I find myself using LinkedIn less and less these days as it seems people just add each other indiscriminately so the "curated" feeling gets lost. I think their design has also not aged well.

Happily, I got an invite to Careers 2.0, and I love both the look of it and the information they choose to display. It's very well thought out - kudos to the Stack* team! I realize it's not a networking site on the same sense as LinkedIn, but it turns out I wasn't using LI that way anyway - just using the profile page as an easily likable online version of my résumé.

Shameless plug: http://careers.stackoverflow.com/bengl3rt

Unfortunately this rings truer every day "If you're not paying for something, you're not the customer; you're the product being sold"

Perhaps it is just me but that check box was not checked by default for me. I don't remember doing anything specific and am not a paid subscriber.

The only thing I vaguely remember is setting this "Turn on/off enhanced advertising" to OFF sometime ago. So, it possible that this only happend for users who had accepted "enhanced advertising".

>There would be no outrage if they simply put "we'll share all your stuff any way we want"

There would still be outrage, it would just be outrage over burning users with sleazy practices. There would just be no outrage on HN because burrying something in the EULA that nobody ever reads is legally OK and therefore morally OK too.

Unless I'm missing something, they don't seem to send any of the data to advertisers as they host the ads themselves. It is just a ad template that has {user_photo} and {other_users} in it.

I saw something similar on Facebook ages ago.

Playstation network will be doing something similar today.

If you are in the United States or Canada, effective August 11, 2011, we will change the marketing options to allow Sony Computer Entertainment America ("SCEA") and SNEA to market to you about Sony Group of Companies' products and services.

easy solution: use social media to sell money making things and keep personal stuff out

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