LinkedIn and data insecurity

10 06 2014

I’ve never trusted LinkedIn

I’ve known for some time that LinkedIn are particularly bad, of all the social networks, for pinching information from places you don’t want it pinched from. They ask you to give it your email details so you can easily import your contacts. It doesn’t tell you that this will be a permanent link and that every time you email someone and they’re added to your contact list, they will also pop up as a LinkedIn suggestion. LinkedIn claims they don’t remember your password, but this is obviously a lie – so not a great start

I put up with it

I know I can’t trust them with my information, yet still I use them. Maybe that’s where I’m going wrong! But there is an expectation of being on LinkedIn, a findability that only LinkedIn provides in the professional world. Damn them.

If I felt there was a viable alternative, I would probably use that, but there isn’t, so I just suck it up. Maybe it’s because I’m inherently lazy. Maybe it’s because although I know a lot about risks, security, what not to do etc. etc. I’m still not always very good at doing it if it inconveniences me. I want the easy life, so I enable them to carry on willfully misusing my information by not standing up and doing anything about it

Blatant misuse of data

It was stupid, I know, but I added my date of birth to LinkedIn. Well, no I didn’t, not really. They asked for a birthday at some point, probably as a requirement, so I put in a false date. I set it as ‘only me’ to be able to see it, because it was false and didn’t want to get a load of birthday wishes when it’s not! So when I logged on this morning to a raft of birthday wishes, I was rather surprised, to say the least. I checked the setup, I checked Help to see what they said about it, I checked again. The setting still said ‘Only me’

I got the hell out of Dodge. Well, to the outskirts, anyway

I’m still wavering with the fact that there isn’t another network that compares to LinkedIn (despite it being rather horrible to use and flagrantly doing things with my data that I don’t want it to). But I am strongly considering whether I want to be part of it. I have now removed my birthday details from it, so that won’t happen again. If I felt it wouldn’t be more of a disadvantage, I’d get rid of my membership entirely, but I feel rather like they have me between a rock and a hard place


Have you had any similar issues with LinkedIn, or other organisations? I’d love to hear about what happened, and what you did about it.




5 responses

10 06 2014

Reblogged this on Shannon Robalino is a(n)… and commented:
I’m on LinkedIn, but don’t really use – is it time we all upped sticks?

12 06 2014
Sarah George

Thanks for this, an interesting read. I’ve only just joined and have few connections. I specifically told it NOT to look in my email. But it suggested an ex-collegue of my husband’s as a contact. He has only 2 contacts, both merchant bankers in London. I have about 10, mostly archaeologists in Bradford. My husband is not on Linkedin, how on earth would it have made the connection if not by finding his address in both of our email directories? Spooky…

12 06 2014
Megan Roberts

That’s really interesting, Sarah. I did let it access my emails originally, so thought it was keeping it from then, but the fact that you told it not to look at them and it seems to have anyway is even more worrying!

I’m not normally the ‘activist’ type, but this is rather making me want to see if we can do anything about it! The Information Commissioner would surely be interested to find out what they’re doing, because I’m pretty sure it’s not legal

29 06 2014
Karen Blakeman

LinkedIn have just removed £71 from my bank account for a personal premium sub that I cancelled well in advance of the renewal date. I have raised a “ticket” with LinkedIn and shall be reporting it to my bank as an unauthorised transaction.

29 06 2014
How to alienate and seriously annoy your users

[…] Megan Roberts recently reported her experiences of the network’s data insecurity on her blog LinkedIn and data insecurity ( But it seems […]

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