Linkedin have betrayed our trust

Posted on 20.03.2017

This blog post will be incredibly short. Social media is not exactly known for its respect for user's privacy, but generally Facebook do a fairly good job of allowing people to restrict access to information.

LinkedIn appear to have taken the information they were entrusted with and abused it massively. LinkedIn networks are described by first, second, third degree connections, members of group and out of network. It certainly used to be the case that your full profile was not available to people you were not directly connected to - here's an example of a recruiter web page discussing how to get around the fact third party and out of network profiles are invisible to them.

This is no longer the case. Armed with a free email account I set up a new LinkedIn profile and was able to read everything on my own profile, with just my name as an identifier. This fact is explained in the LinkedIn Help Center:

If any member searches by your first or last name, they can see your full profile unless you’ve blocked them. Learn more about blocking. Note that our predictive, type-ahead functionality allows for a name search to be performed with a few letters of a name, even if it includes typos.

I cannot find absolutely any evidence as to when this policy change occurred, but I can prove it has occurred and even worse it is right there in the help centre.

This is utterly disgusting. LinkedIn will hand out your entire CV to anyone who has a login with them.