Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Linkedin -- Takes First Prize in Ultra Aggressive Invasion of Personal Privacy. Read What They Just Pulled With Me Today

Linkedin, that networking site for executives that you supposedly need to maintain a presence on to get any job involving technology, has just taken first prize in being ultra aggressive, pushy, and totally irresponsible in trying to grow their member base. They have just put Facebook to shame.

Here is what they just did to the real life me. This is about my real world self, not "Eddi Haskell", my Second Life presence, who happily does not have an Linkedin account. My real life self does have a presence on Linkedin, although he does not go there that much. In general I am leery of social networking sites since I find them too intrusive and pushy.

I just received my second phone call from a personal friend of the families --  who is not working and will not go back to work -- thanking me for my personal invitation to join Linkedin, but explaining to me that they have no use for something like this.  When I explained to them that it must have been done automatically without my knowledge, they understood but asked that they not continue to be spammed, and if I could remove their names.

When I dug into the workings of my Linkedin account, I was blown away at what I saw. I have been a member of Linkein for four years. They have kept a record of every single name I had on my email list for four years, including names which I removed from that list a long time ago. In other words, one email send to anyone ended up with their name carried on my Linkedin contact list. There were over 400 of them. None were ever removed as I cleaned up my contact list. Once Linkedin has your names they do not let go.

These include people who you only contacted one for any issue, including casual business contacts, personal friends, family, etc-- including people you never want to hear from again.

Unbelievably, and without telling me, Linkedin went ahead and recently sent at least one invitation these over 400 names to join at my invitation.  I am feeling the impact now.

What a pushy, aggressive, nasty thing to do.  I did go into my account and try to change my settings. I did not find them. Linkedin does a real good job of making things difficult. Social Networking sites really has turned into some of the most hard-care nasty marketing tactics ever, all in the hope of emulating Facebook, whose stock was marketed at something resembling Bernie Madoff tactics so some inside trades and owners could make billions. Maybe someone will learn their lesson one day.

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