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Yesterday, we posted an article by one of our Approved Career Experts where he cited a report by Yahoo.com that indicated LinkedIn had shared the personal information of its users with its business partners by changing the privacy settings on users accounts. The goal of the post was to show readers how to change the settings in their LinkedIn profile if they didn't want their information made public. (See the article here.) Soon after, we were contacted by a PR agency representing LinkedIn and asked to change the article headline, citing it was not an accurate statement. We did decide to change the post title, based on their explanation. Here's what they had to say:

"This is untrue. LinkedIn has never shared personal information with third party advertisers. That was true prior to the launch of the social ads test, and remains true today. The only information used in social ads is information already publicly available and viewable by anyone in your network. See this blog post for additional clarity: http://blog.linkedin.com/2011/08/11/social-ads-update/."

From what we can tell, the confusion lies in the privacy policy change LinkedIn made this past June. It appears they automatically changed the settings of all users to make their information public, but sent out communications to users in advance letting them know, as well as instructions on how to adjust the settings. So, if you were one of the millions who most likely didn't read the announcement sent by LinkedIn, you can see how this would appear as if they did it without your knowledge. As I see it, the two takeaways from this experience for us social media users are: 1. Read your social media policy changes. 2. Regularly check your privacy settings. J.T. O’Donnell is founder and CEO of CAREEREALISM.com and CareerHMO.com. Photo credit: Shutterstock
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