MediaFile

LinkedIn “alert” shows users still on edge about privacy

By Gerry Shih and Himank Sharma

Looks like social media users are getting twitchy about their online privacy rights.

Days after Google made known its decision to establish a common privacy policy across  its scores of products,  a chain-message of uncertain origin began circling on the Internet, claiming LinkedIn had quietly changed its own policy on the treatment of user data.

The chain message — which contained step-by-step instructions on how to opt out of this supposed new policy — took on a life of its own, ricocheting across Twitter and spawning numerous discussion and email threads. It suggested LinkedIn had given itself the right to use personal information and photos in ads — without notification .

The catch is, LinkedIn had indeed made the changes last year — only to partially roll them back after users complained.

“Without attracting too much publicity, LinkedIn has updated their privacy conditions,” the message read. “Without any action from your side, LinkedIn is now permitted to use your name and picture in any of their advertisements.“

Fear not Google’s bid to rock ‘n’ rule your world

 

Stop me if you’ve heard this one:

Big social media company changes its privacy rules. The Internet goes nuts. The tech press fuels the flames. Much hand-wringing and shouts of promises not kept ensue.

Sound familiar?

This time it’s not Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg who’s losing sleep. It’s Google’s Larry Page. The search giant changed its rules mid-game, and it’s getting an earful.

Google’s privacy changes are both less and more than meets the eye. The less: Google has been collecting all the data in question already, most for a long time. The more: It’s one thing to collect data, quite another to change how you use it without giving your customers any flexibility. Google should be lauded for über transparency, but it’s hard to like ”Our Way or the Highway.”