LinkedIn Tweaks Privacy Policy

By David Cohen Comment

Online privacy has been a hot-button issue of late, and LinkedIn is doing its part to address users’ concerns, announcing two changes to its privacy policy.

The professional networking site will now allow users to opt out of being mentioned in ads generated by their recommendations of products or services on company pages, and LinkedIn said user names and images will not be provided to advertisers.

And starting in August, users who share content with their networks using LinkedIn’s professional plug-ins will be able to opt out of sharing any information with LinkedIn when those plug-ins load.

A full revision to LinkedIn’s user agreement and privacy policy will be available later this week.

Director of legal, product Eric Heath posted on the LinkedIn Blog:

One of the key ways social media helps businesses grow is through word of mouth. On LinkedIn, one of the ways we facilitate that process is by letting you recommend products and services you use on company pages. The effectiveness of these recommendations is related to the people in a trusted network that it is shared with, and one of the upcoming privacy policy changes lets us share your public actions, like recommendations, following companies, etc. on the site with your business network in a commercial context such as an ad.

Moving forward, you’ll be able to opt-out of being mentioned in any of these ads. Most important, we do not provide your name or image back to any advertiser when that ad is served.

Additionally, we recently launched updated versions of our professional plug-ins for publishers on the Web. Now you can share articles and information with your LinkedIn network directly from any site you are viewing. To provide transparency and added control, starting in August 2011, we will be giving you the ability to opt out of any information (e.g. impression data) that may be sent to LinkedIn when those pages load in your browser.

Of course, there are other changes to the documents that we urge you to read through, and we will shortly provide you a summary of changes to help you find where the changes are. We know these documents are detailed, but we want to encourage you to look at them once they become available (we’ll update this blog post) so you better understand our evolving privacy policy changes, as well as how LinkedIn treats your data.

We’ve always worked hard to earn our members’ trust, and we’ll continue to provide you with clear controls around your LinkedIn information.