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How to opt out of LinkedIn sharing your data with third parties

August 10, 2011 |  6:42 pm

Consumers are protesting changes to account settings on LinkedIn that automatically give permission to third parties to access their information or use it in ads.

Here's what's going on: LinkedIn notified users last month that it was making some changes. You can read the blog post on privacy policy changes and another post on social ads

Basically, the professional networking site now allows third parties -- people, products or services you have recommended on the site -- to use your name and photo in ads unless you opt out of a default setting.

It also allows LinkedIn partners to send you promotional content as part of a marketing or hiring campaign –- again unless you opt out of the default setting.

Ditto for third-party applications that have access to your data on LinkedIn unless you opt out. LinkedIn says these are applications you either installed or granted access to while you were using LinkedIn.

LinkedIn spokeswoman Krista Canfield said in an emailed statement: "The privacy and trust of our members is central to what we do at LinkedIn and, as such, we strive to remain true to our commitment of providing our members consistent, clear and easy-to-use controls for their LinkedIn account settings."

For those who want to opt out of sharing with third parties and social ads, here are step-by-step guides.

Linkedin To opt out of "social advertising:"

1. Click on your name in the upper right corner. Select "settings" from the drop-down menu.

2. Click on "account."

3. Click on "manage social advertising."

4. Uncheck the box next to "LinkedIn may use my name, photo in social advertising" and click "save."

To change your settings for promotional content from partners:

1. Click on your name in the upper right corner. Select “settings” from the drop-down menu.

2. Click on "account."

3. Click on "email preferences."

4. Click on "turn on/off partner InMail."

5. Uncheck the boxes and click save.

To change your settings for the data third-party applications can access:

1. Click on your name in the upper right corner. Select "settings" from the drop-down menu.

2. Click on "account."

3. Click on "groups, companies and applications."

4. Click "view your applications."

5. Check the boxes next to any applications you don't want to access your information.

6. Then click on "Turn on/off data sharing with 3rd party applications."

7. Uncheck the box "Yes, share my data with third party applications."

8. Click "save changes."

Hat tip to Steve Woodruff


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Photo: Reid Hoffman, co-founder and chairman of LinkedIn, left, and Jeffrey Weiner, chief executive of LinkedIn, center, stand with traders on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on  May 19, when the company began being publicly traded. Photo credit: Michael Nagle / Bloomberg