LinkedIn Lets Me Opt Out

Last week I complained that LinkedIn’s new privacy policy lets them use your image and name for their ads and the opt-out links didn’t work.  I sent LinkedIn email on Friday telling them their opt-out system didn’t work.  I didn’t hear anything, so Tuesday I wrote a letter to their legal department, and sent it to their legal notification address yesterday.

Today, I received a straight-forward response from a paralegal at LinkedIn giving me a different opt-out link that works. I’ve updated my account, and I think you can use the same link for your LinkedIn account.

Of course, It really should not take so much effort to opt-out. Certainly it should require spending $5-something to send their attorneys a certified complaint.

From: [paralegal]
Sent: Thursday, July 07, 2011 2:13 PM
To: [email protected]
Subject: Opting out of Social Ads on LinkedIn (re: your letter of 7/5/11)

Dear Mr. Workman,

LinkedIn received your letter regarding problems opting out of having your name, picture and other personal information used in our advertising.

The link to the opt-out that you cited in your letter is a little different than the URL I’m seeing when I click through the policy from the link at the bottom of our main page: https://www.linkedin.com/settings/?tab=account&modal=nsettings-social-advertising.  Please give that one a try, as it should take you to a login screen and then straight to the “Manage Social Advertising” box, which looks like a pop-up.

If you are still having problems, you can also access the opt-out by logging into your account, clicking on the “Settings” drop down (under your name at the top right corner of the screen) and then selecting the “Account” tab at the bottom left.  The first selection under the Privacy Controls heading is “Manage Social Advertising,” and clicking on that will bring up the box where you can opt out.

LinkedIn Opt Out Link

We appreciate that you took the time to write and call this to our attention.  I don’t know why the link in your letter is different than the one I got when I clicked through the policy, but I will share your letter and the problematic links with our product team to see if they can reproduce what you experienced and repair any bugs they find.

Regards,
[LinkedIn]

LinkedIn Makes You Be Their Pitchman

The media and social media threw a fit when Facebook unveiled its plan to feature users in pitches to their friends. Facebook at least provided a working way for me to opt-out. LinkedIn now wants to use you and they don’t let you opt out.

The new LinkedIn privacy policy gives them the right to use me in their ads. Or, as they put it:

Uses of personal information …

K. Advertising and Endorsements on LinkedIn

In order to deliver relevant and valuable ads to you and your network, LinkedIn may use your name and profile photo in connection with social advertising based on content shared on LinkedIn. This advertising may include the fact that you have recommended or endorsed a product or service on LinkedIn, followed a company, joined Groups or conversations, established or added content to your profile, etc., and will only be displayed to your LinkedIn network. You can opt-out of allowing your name and/or profile photo to be used in social ads here.

When I clicked on “here”, yesterday I was taken to a LinkedIn log-in screen. I entered my credentials and submitted them, and the log-in page refreshed.  I tried logging in again and again, and I got the same result.  I used a different browser, and I got the same result.  I tried again this morning (in case there was a bug yesterday), and I got the same result.

Yesterday afternoon I decided to take them up on their offer:

How to contact us

If you have questions or comments about this Privacy Policy, please email us at [email protected] or contact us at:

LinkedIn Corporation
Attn: Legal Department, Privacy Policy Issues
2029 Stierlin Court
Mountain View,CA 94043
USA

The [email protected] link actually isn’t an email link, it goes to: http://www.linkedin.com/redirect?url=http%3A%2F%2Flinkedin%2Ecusthelp%2Ecom%2Fapp%2Fask%2Fsubject%2FPrivacy+Policy+Question&urlhash=Q_jC

When you click on the link, you get page not found error message:

Link Error

We’re sorry, there was a problem with the link you followed.

If you are following a link from an email, please be sure the link was not broken by your email client. If the link extends onto multiple lines, you may need to cut and paste each line into the location bar of your browser (beginning with the first line, then second, immediately after each other) until the full and complete link is recreated.

If you are coming from elsewhere in our website, we apologize for the inconvenience.

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Yesterday, I sent them email to [email protected], typing the address in myself.  I have received no reply (it was late afternoon when I mailed my complaint).   I will write LinkedIn at their USPS address, too.

But, really!  Apparently going public has made LinkedIn either incredibly greedy, incredibly careless, or both.