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RABiD BUNNY FEVER
K.T.K

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LinkedIn Policies Part 2
Tech Support Hell

Continued from Part 1. Once again, I received another notification of a friend joining from an email I gave to the LinkedIn system. I contacted LinkedIn before writing the previous post on the topic with the following message:

For reference, your privacy policy states the following
Information about your Contacts
In order to invite others to connect with you directly in LinkedIn, you will enter their names and email addresses. This information will be used by LinkedIn to send your invitation including a message that you write. The names and email addresses of people that you invite will be used only to send your invitation and reminders.
I decided to search for accounts through your "Address Book Contacts" function, and manually entered my email contacts. I only used this function to find existing users, and not invite new ones. I expected the information to be immediately deleted from your servers, as it had no more use for the contacts I gave, but I found out today they were still there when one of said addresses was used to sign up a new account and LinkedIn informed me of such. While this is a nice feature, it would have been appropriate to allow the user to opt out of having LinkedIn keep the emails for further use, and downright shady that the user is not informed at all that given email addresses are kept by LinkedIn on your servers.
And this is the non-auto-generated response I received back 2 days later:
Dear Jeffrey
We are aware of the issue you are currently experiencing and we are working diligently to resolve the issue. We appreciate your patience while this issue is being resolved.

I thought it obvious from this reply that they did not take what I said into consideration, and a high probability that they didn’t really even read it. I mentioned in the last post this exact thing happened to my friend who was trying to communicate with LinkedIn about a problem he was having with errors with their site code. This kind of thing is typical from large corporations that receive a large amount of communications and do not have the staff to handle it. I consider this practice almost as bad as out-sourced tech support (usually India), another pet peeve of mine, as communication is often hard and the tech support agents often don’t know what they are talking about... at least very much more so than when with other first-tier tech support channels provided in-country ^_^; . I went ahead and contacted eTrust a few days ago in hopes that I get a more personal response from them.

LinkedIn Policies
It's always a bit of a risk giving out email addresses

Since I just added my résumé which mentions my LinkedIn page, I thought I’d mention something else I just discovered about LinkedIn.


I would normally never give out any of my contacts’ email addresses to third parties under any circumstance, but I decided there was very little risk to do so at LinkedIn because it is a largely used website with many users that is also eTrust certified. Unfortunately, I have also heard eTrust certification isn’t exactly hard to get and shouldn’t have too much stock put in it, but it is still something.

Anyways, after reading LinkedIn’s privacy policy, I decided it would be ok to list some of my email contacts to discover if they also used LinkedIn or not. I, of course, added in a dummy email address of mine into this to watch for spam or advertisements, and it has to date not received anything, though I’m sure any company that illegally released email addresses wouldn’t be stupid enough to let go of newly acquired addresses immediately, but then again, I always assume too much of people/corporations... but I digress. I have discovered that they keep all the emails you give them because one of the emails I gave was recently used to sign up for a new account and LinkedIn immediately informed me of this.

While this is a nice extension to the "find your contacts through their emails" function, LinkedIn really should have given me an option to opt out of this, or at the very least informed me that it was keeping the emails I gave it on record. Unfortunately, even if they do have a good privacy policy and abide by it, there is still the chance a rogue staff member could harvest the emails and sell them.


Oh, LinkedIn is also a very buggy system in and of itself. I very often get timeout errors and many other errors to the extent of “The server cannot perform this operation at this time, please try again later”. A friend of mine has also been having trouble linking our profiles together for more than a week now, with no response to his email to them… besides a type of auto response he got back that had absolutely nothing to do with the reported problem.