LinkedIn Updates its Privacy Policy

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LinkedIn, the social network for professional networking, announced this weekend that it will be updating its privacy policy. Starting on Thursday June 7, the company's Privacy Policy and User Agreement will be updated for clarity and to provide LinkedIn members more control over where their data can be viewed.

Eric Heath, the director of legal for product at LinkedIn, announced the changes in a post over at the LinkedIn Blog. There are two major changes in policy. LinkedIn will now delete personally identifiable information obtained through their plug-ins and off-site advertising after 24 hours. This is likely a reaction to Facebook coming under pressure from European activists regarding its off-site advertising practices. LinkedIn has also "enhanced" its privacy controls by making public profile privacy settings for members also determine the information that can be accessed by search engines and third-party plugins.

"Ensuring more privacy and control over your personal data remains our highest priority," said Heath. That's probably the best place for a social network to prioritize privacy. As Facebook has found out in the past few years, privacy is not something that can be overlooked, and social networks have a responsibility to their members to make privacy policy crystal-clear.

The last time LinkedIn updated its privacy policy was almost exactly one year ago. At that time, the company allowed members to opt-out of being mentioned in ads for products they have recommended, and gave members the ability to opt-out of information sharing through LinkedIn's browser plugins. LinkedIn's privacy policy can be viewed on its website.

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