[Addendum 08/13: after a day of harsh criticism, LinkedIn yanked the photos and names from their ads. There is still a checkmark that you might want to uncheck but it doesn’t feel as invasive any more.]

When web companies look at you, they don’t see people, they see wallets. You would think companies would have learned from Facebook’s long line of privacy gaffes but the lure of advertising money is too strong. LinkedIn is the latest company to experiment with the dangerous world of “opt-out” advertising.

LinkedIn decided it would be swell to serve up advertisements that include your name and your picture. People linked to you get to see your name or photo in ads that are tangentially related to something you’ve done on the service – followed a company, recommended something, or “other actions.” LinkedIn has opted you into the ads without your knowledge or permission.


Creepy, eh? You might want to opt out. Boing Boing has the instructions:

1. Click on your name on your LinkedIn homepage (upper right corner). On the drop-down menu, select “Settings”.

2. From the “Settings” page, select “Account*”.

3. In the column next to “Account”, click “Manage Social Advertising” .

4. De-select the box next to “LinkedIn may use my name, photo in social advertising” .


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