100 million LinkedIn users may be in for a nasty surprise. Last week the company stealth added a feature to use your name and photo in advertising campaigns – and the company has set all users to accepting this abuse by default. This invasive feature came without any notice and it is a classic example of the really shoddy business practices that treat users with disregard.
Where was the announcement on user’s home pages informing you of the change and your choices?
These companies knowingly exploit you and your information for their next buck, and if this is what the company’s recent IPO represents, it will be time to dump the company.
Discovering how to opt out is ridiculously convoluted.
Not only does LinkedIn default you into their ad scheme without notice, opting out isn’t intuitive. To remove yourself from involuntarily becoming part of an advertisement take the following steps:
- Click on your name to see the dropdown with Settings
- Click on the Account option
- Select Manage Social Advertising
- Uncheck the box saying LinkedIn can use your name and photo in social advertising
Companies that respect their consumers work hard to give you full control over the information they collect and store about you. They are respectful of how they share any information about you and selective in choosing the companies with whom they share your information.
Right now, the public remains a sleeping giant, but naptime is over.
If you want a better internet experience, if you want to be respected, protected, secure and in control online it will only come by rewarding companies that do the right thing and letting companies disrespect you know you’re angry.
Trampling consumer privacy once is all any company should be able to get away with. If LinkedIn pulls a second stunt like this it will be time to dump the company – they will quickly figure out what that does to their IPO.
STORY UPDATE: LinkedIn responds to privacy uproar: LinkedIn is scaling back the level of detail it provides in its “social ads,” which showed if members in a users’ network followed certain products or services. In a blog post Thursday, produce management director Ryan Roslansky said that the company will now list how many members in a person’s network are following an advertised product instead of using individual profile pictures.
Chalk up one for the users – it’s not a perfect response, but certainly better than the full exploitation.