Raza Dotani

LinkedIn violated data protection, used email addresses of 18M non-members

Ireland’s Data Protection Commission (DPC) issued a report last week (via TechCrunch) that covered its activities during the first six months of 2018, in which it highlighted a complaint against LinkedIn. It found that the company used millions of e-mail addresses of non-LinkedIn users to target ads on Facebook.

According to a report issued by Ireland’s Data Protection Commission (DPC) last week, the social networking platform of Microsoft LinkedIn has used about 18 million email addresses of those users who are even not LinkedIn members.

A non-LinkedIn user had complained to the DPC, monitoring and investigating LinkedIn activities were started. After a 6-month long audit of the company, the DPC fount LinkedIn violating the data protection regulations.

In a bid to grow its user base, LinkedIn “processed hashed email addresses of approximately 18 million non-LinkedIn members,” and then used them to target those individuals with ads on Facebook. As TechCrunch points out, numerous companies moved their data processing operations to Ireland prior to the implementation of new European data regulations. The DPC says that the “complaint was ultimately amicably resolved.”

Ireland’s DPC was “concerned with the wider systemic issues identified” in its report, and undertook a second audit to see if LinkedIn had adequate “technical security and organisational measures.” It found that the company was “undertaking the pre-computation of a suggested professional network for non-LinkedIn members,” and ordered them to stop and delete associated data that existed prior to May 2018.

What LinkedIn says:

LinkedIn admitted that it was using people’s email addresses — some 18 million in all — in a way that was not transparent. LinkedIn has since ceased the practice as a result of the investigation.

In a statement to TechCrunch, the company says that it cooperated with the investigations and that the strong processes and procedures we have in place were not followed and for that we are sorry. We’ve taken appropriate action, and have improved the way we work to ensure that this will not happen again.”

So … the company LinkedIn is trying to say a big “apology” to those non-LinkedIn users, whose email addresses were used illegally, — AND say SHUT-UP NOW.

You Know what the actual hell is happening in the digital world?

LinkedIn and hundreds of more such companies love to ask for forgiveness but hate to ask for permission.

Not only LinkedIn but Yahoo, Facebook & WhatsApp, and other Microsoft products are also cursing its users with such illegal data & privacy breaches. They will ask permission for a single email you use for login, but they steal all the linked and stores emails in your email-address book.

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