UPDATE: It seems the Dutch government are already asking questions about whether this new behaviour breaches their data protection legislation.
Having seen this blog post, the first “victim” of social advertising has come forward and he’s one of my own colleagues he tweeted a few days ago:
In my periodic trawl through the account options and settings of the social networks I entrust with my data, I discovered a few new “features” on LinkedIn that really made me angry.In a move reminiscent of some other social network providers *cough*Facebook*cough*, LinkedIn have decided to introduce targeted advertising and “social advertising”.
“Yeah, big deal, I expect advertisements on web sites” might be your initial reaction. Well, do you expect your own name, face and personal information to be used in those advertisements? If you don’t and you’re a LinkedIn user, you might want to log in today and have a look at your new default settings.
Once logged into LinkedIn, look to the top right corner where you will see your name in a drop-down menu, hold the mouse over your name and choose “Settings” in the menu that appears. This is where you can opt out of these new “features”.
Once you select the Privacy Controls you will be able to untick the boxes that have allowed your personal information to be used without your consent.
While you’re in there, I hope you’ll be inspired to have a look around the other account settings, I’m sure you’ll find a few more that you will want to disable, like this little gem (in the Groups, Companies & Applications section)…
LinkedIn have added these new features and opted all their 120 million users in without any form of notification, even though in my profile at least the option to get feature update mails was ticked (another default). I called the Information Commissioner’s Office in the UK and they confirned that this would be a breach of the Data Protection Act if the data were stored or processed in the UK.
At the risk of repeating advice from yesterday be very careful what information you are sharing online, not only can you not trust strangers, but it appears you also can’t trust your social netowrk provider of choice to keep your details confidential, or even to notify you that they have statred sharing them, don’t forget, it’s not just LinkedIn…