You are responsible for your information. It is important to understand how your information is being used.

LinkedIn updated their privacy policy and user agreement on 23 October 2014. It is easier to read and understand in comparison to earlier versions. If you read through the policy it will give you an understanding of the types of information collected about you when using LinkedIn (and similar platforms) and what your rights are to opt-out of certain forms of collection of your information.

Targeted advertising

You may choose to opt-out of your information being collected for targeted advertising. Before racing to click the opt-out button, remember that this does not mean that you will no longer receive advertising. It means that the advertising you receive will no longer be tailored to you based on the information collected about you through your demographic and online behaviour.

I often see website banner advertisements for shoes, bags and clothing, and unsurprisingly these are things that I would be interested in purchasing. Targeted advertising is not always a bad thing – if I opt-out of receiving the advertising that is relevant to me, I may end up receiving adverts for lawnmowers which are currently irrelevant to me. In addition, the information is used to send you relevant job opportunities.

The “internet of things” (the name given to connectivity between devices, for example phone to watch to computer to car to home) and big data (the name given to analytics of vast amounts of information) may result in targeting so accurate that you no longer need to remember when to purchase milk or buy your daughter a birthday present as you will be told when to do this, what to buy and how to get it.


Collection of cookies is regulated in some jurisdictions, such as the EU, where websites need to alert you to the collection and direct you to the opt-out facility. Similarly, turning off collection of cookies could result in a lower performance of the website features and functionality because it will not be able to store and remember what you like or which options you use most often. Cookies and other similar tracking technologies may also be used to track information about you on other websites unrelated to LinkedIn and its services.

Mail and syncing

Although you can opt-out of receiving some types of communications from LinkedIn, you cannot opt-out of receiving services messages. For example, the email you received to say that LinkedIn’s privacy policy was updated cannot be prevented. Information such as location data (e.g. IP address) is also collected for fraud prevention and security purposes, for example to identify malicious links and spam in your inbox.

When you sync your address books, LinkedIn stores that information which may include phone numbers and also uses that information to suggest connections to you.