10/29/13
Posted at 0:08h, 29 Oct 2013 in List Archive by Bonnie Halper No Comments 135 Likes Share

Good morning, All,

When LinkedIn launched their social network nearly ten years ago, they were the underdog. Facebook was miles ahead of them, but LI had a niche: they meant business, and that was their focus. And LinkedIn means business. With their diverse revenue streams, their revenues jumped 59% last quarter, and the company is still going strong, and growing.

We’d like to know why so many companies in tech that start out as the underdog, grow and then decide that they’re the new sheriff in town?

We’ve mentioned in the past that, as a recruiter, we find ourselves using the service less and less frequently, as functions formerly available to premium members are now only available at superpremiums. Which is tame compared to what LinkedIn pulled last week with the introduction of Intro. From the description on the LinkedIn blog, sounds like it could potentially be a handy feature. But wait! There’s more! Remember, that’s the corporate spin. What it doesn’t tell you is precisely what’s going on behind the curtain. “Intro reconfigures your iOS device (e.g. iPhone, iPad) so that all of your emails go through LinkedIn’s servers. You read that right. Once you install the Intro app, all of your emails, both sent and received, are transmitted via LinkedIn’s servers. LinkedIn is forcing all your IMAP and SMTP data through their own servers and then analyzing and scraping your emails for data pertaining to…whatever they feel like.” It’s what’s called a man-in-the-middle attack, and all your email – and confidential information – are belong to them (sic). Even correspondence between you and your lawyers will no longer enjoy client-attorney privilege, since, through the LinkedIn Intro, a third party will have been introduced, through this new ‘service.’ If you read no other article this week, read this. LinkedIn basically wants to hijack your email, and we’re simply reporting. We also believe that LinkedIn has been up to shenanigans for quite some time. We noticed about a month or ago that when the ‘People You Might Know’ page popped up, it did feature people we know, some of whom we’re already connected to, but on the page were emails that dated back to the 90s, and which we still have in our database – but how did LinkedIn get them?

Many of our service providers – and LinkedIn is a service – seem to forget that they’re there to serve the customers, but as security expert Bruce Schneier says, Don’t make the mistake of thinking you’re [the] customer, you’re not – you’re the product. We prefer that some products stay where they belong: on the shelf. Onward and forward.