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LinkedIn Privacy - Details (Updated September 19, 2017.)


- Nothing on LinkedIn is private. The whole point of LinkedIn is to allow recruiters to search for candidates, salespeople to hunt for prospects, and people to connect with each other. Every LinkedIn member has basic search capabilities. Recruiters -- who may work for your current employer -- pay $9,000 per year for very powerful searching, tracking, and monitoring tools. In short, do not do anything on LinkedIn that you don't want your employer, managers, co-workers, or competitors to see. At LinkedIn, you are not the customer, you are the product.

- There are a few limited privacy settings. Click the pulldown arrow under your photo (next to "Me") and select "Settings & Privacy" then "Privacy."
1. Before updating your LinkedIn profile, click "Me" under your photo > "Settings & Privacy > "Privacy" > and change "Sharing profile edits" to "No." Otherwise, LinkedIn will notify all your connections -- including managers and co-workers -- about every change: "Congratulate Mary Smith on the new position" (if you have merely updated a position description) or "Check out Mary Smith's new photo." However, this does not prevent any LinkedIn member from seeing your profile.
2. To avoid exposing your list of clients to your connections, you may wish to change "Who can see your connections" to "Only you." 
3. You can limit what shows up when people search for you online. (Since almost every professional on the planet is a LinkedIn member, this doesn't provide much privacy.)


"Your LinkedIn profile will never be private" explains career blogger Laura Smith-Proulx. For example, if any member logs in and searches by your first or last name, they can see your full profile -- unless you've blocked that one specific member.

The LinkedIn Help articles What People Can See on Your Profile and LinkedIn Public Profile Visibility don't happen to mention recruiters.

The  4,100-word User Agreement says:
"3.1 As between you and LinkedIn, you own the content and information that you submit or post to the Services and you are only granting LinkedIn and our affiliates the following non-exclusive license: A worldwide, transferable and sublicensable right to use, copy, modify, distribute, publish, and process, information and content that you provide through our Services, without any further consent, notice and/or compensation to you or others."
https://www.linkedin.com/legal/user-agreement  (Retrieved August 8, 2017)

The 5,100-word Privacy Policy says:
"3.1 Your profile is fully visible to all Members and customers of our Services."
"4.1 Even if you only use our Services when looking for a new job every few years, we will retain your information and keep your profile open until you decide to close your account."
https://www.linkedin.com/legal/privacy-policy (Retrieved August 8, 2017)

You have no real privacy on LinkedIn.

Comments and questions welcome: operations@hpalumni.org

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