LinkedIn has been forced to 'pause' a feature in Europe in which the platform emails members 'connections when they've been in the news'.
The regulatory action follows a number of data protection
The feature appears as a case study in the 'Technology Multinationals Supervision' section of an annual report published today by the Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC). Although the report does not stand out from the point of view of a professional networking site.
The data watchdog's report cites "two complaints about a feature on a professional networking platform" after LinkedIn incorrectly associated the members with media
"In one of the complaints, the details of the private life and unsuccessful career of a person in the same name as the complainant were circumscribed to the complainant's connections and followers
" The complainant stated that the article has been detrimental to their existence in the business, "it adds.
" The se
LinkedIn appears to have come to terms with simple name matching – with obvious potential for identity mix-ups between people with shared names.
"It is clear from the complaints that matching by name only is insufficient, giving rise to data protection concerns, the lawfulness, fairness and accuracy of personal data processing utilized by the 'Mentions in the news' feature, "the DPC writes.
" As a result of these complaints and the intervention of the DPC, the data controller undertook a review of the feature.
We reached out to LinkedIn with questions and it pointed to this blog posts where it confirms: "We
LinkedIn shares that it is reviewing the accuracy of the feature, writing:
As referenced in the Irish Data Protection Commission's report, we are pausing our Mentioned in the News feature for our EU members while we reevaluate its effectiveness. "
The company's blog post so points users to a page where they can find out more about the '
The Irish DPC's action is not the first privacy strike against LinkedIn in Europe.
La te last year, in its early annual report, on the pre-GDPR portion of 2018, the watchdog revealed it had failed complaints about LinkedIn related to it targeting non-users with adverts for its service.
The DPC found the company had obtained emails for 18 million people for whom they did not have consent to process their data. In this case, LinkedIn agrees to process the data entirely.
That complaint also led the DPC to audit LinkedIn.
The regulatory ordered LinkedIn to cease this "pre-compute processing" of
LinkedIn said it had "voluntarily changed our practices as a result."