How to keep your face out of LinkedIn ads

How to keep your face out of LinkedIn ads

Summary: After all this talk about Google's new privacy policy and Facebook's Timeline, people are now waking up to the fact that LinkedIn too may be making use of your information in ways you don't want.


LinkedIn can use your personal info in advertising.

LinkedIn can use your personal info in advertising.

Google has unified its privacy policies, Facebook is rolling out its Timeline feature, and the FBI is looking for help to monitor all the social networks. All that has people feeling a little twitchy about the personal information they've placed online. And, now some people have noticed that LinkedIn, the business and jobs social network, may use some of your public information in advertising. Whoops!

A note that's going around LinkedIn circles reads: "I received the following message from a contact and I am posting it for your awareness and consideration. Without attracting too much publicity, LinkedIn has updated their privacy conditions. Without any action from your side, LinkedIn is now permitted to use you name and picture in any of their advertisements."

That's sort of true. Actually LinkedIn has long claimed the right to use your name and picture in advertisements.

In fact, there's really nothing new here at all. LinkedIn first used public network information in ads in the summer of 2011. After a test run, the popular social network stopped using photos, and came up with its current policy.

LinkedIn comes right out and spells out what's what in its Privacy Policy: "We use the information you provide to ... Create and distribute advertising relevant to your or your network's LinkedIn experience. If you share your interactions on LinkedIn, for example, when you recommend a product, follow a company, establish or update your profile, join a Group, etc., LinkedIn may use these actions to create social ads for your network on LinkedIn using your profile photo and name." That's been the social network's policy since at least June 16, 2011.

But, as LinkedIn also says, "You can control whether LinkedIn uses your name and picture in social ads." Here's how you do that:

  1. Place the cursor on your name at the top right corner of the screen. From the small pull down menu that appears, select "settings"
  2. Then click "Account" on the left/bottom
  3. In the column next to Account, select the option "Manage Social Advertising"
  4. Un-tick the box "LinkedIn may use my name and photo in social advertising"
  5. And Save

You can also do it from the Privacy Policy page. The link there, after the clause explaining how LinkedIn can use your name, likeness, and information in ads, takes you straight to the Manage Social Advertising box.

Personally, I like that LinkedIn makes it so straightforward to control how the company uses my information. Facebook, in particular, is always changing its privacy settings and makes it difficult to control who can see what. LinkedIn makes it simple... just so long as you knew in the first place that your information could be used in advertising without your express permission.

Related Stories:

FBI to monitor Facebook, Twitter, MySpace

Google's new privacy policy: The good, bad, scary

Facebook starts rolling out Timeline to everyone

The Definitive Facebook Lockdown Guide - Securing your privacy settings (Sept. 2011)

Topic: Social Enterprise

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  • Good one Steve. Thanks.

    Dietrich T. Schmitz *Your
    • RE: How to keep your face out of LinkedIn ads

      @SJVN: The "Manage Social Advertising" does not exist at the location you mentioned.

      Have you noticed that?
  • RE: How to keep your face out of LinkedIn ads

    I keep my face out of it because I never submit actual photos of my face. Those who know me already know what I look like, and anyone else can go fish.
    • RE: How to keep your face out of LinkedIn ads

      Ditto. I also only put the bare minimum in any profile.
    • RE: How to keep your face out of LinkedIn ads

      @Starman35 You do know that LinkedIn is more or less for your business use and job hunting?

      Imagine getting called for an interview and the picture on the profile ain't what you appear to be; what will be the first impression to the interviewer? Sorry, wrong call.
      • RE: How to keep your face out of LinkedIn ads

        @MrElectrifyer I believe Starman35 meant that he leaves the picture blank. I do as well. No one needs to see a picture of me at this point.
      • RE: How to keep your face out of LinkedIn ads

        I leave the picture blank as well. They'll get to see me if and when I come in.
  • thanks for the info

    I just opted out, although I never uploaded a photo to begin with. I don't get that much use out of LinkedIn anyway except occasional emails from overly-aggressive headhunters with little or no technical knowledge offering me jobs I am not qualified for at half my present salary. (Let's see them put THAT in an ad). I do enjoy seeing where former coworkers are currently employed without actually having to talk to them.
    Tater Salad
    • RE: How to keep your face out of LinkedIn ads

      @Tater Salad I opted out right from day one. Yes folks, nikacat is and always has been Google FREE!
  • RE: How to keep your face out of LinkedIn ads

    I get e-mails saying they were sent through Linked-In, but I don't have an account with them.

    BEST YET, as I do "Control" the information, about you, your incorporated self - off The Clouds - as even my BANK is now 'keeping' my profile, made from YET PRIVATE key-information - I HOPE no one will be able to even see... are we going to be "Driving on HOT ROADS of Cyberspace" because IT Greed ignores WISDOM of USCIIIIII - CODE for Universal Automated Intercultural Comprehension, the most secured yet to be way for managing natural human logic over automated machine intelligence...
    • RE: How to keep your face out of LinkedIn ads

      @Mr. Electifyer... So it was a bad idea to use the cat's picture on LinkedIn?

      @surfins@... Oh no not that! We are doomed! GREED, the evil instrument, played like a bagpipes!
  • Thanks for the info

  • RE: How to keep your face out of LinkedIn ads

    Thanks for the tip, nice one!
  • RE: How to keep your face out of LinkedIn ads

    All this talk about privacy this and privacy that...I'm hard pressed to find even one case where one of the social networks has used someone's information and they had issue with it.

    I can't find a single one. Lots of "Sky is Falling", but no clouds.
    • RE: How to keep your face out of LinkedIn ads

      @barrettp How much are those privacy invaders paying you to troll and do their dirty work?
    • Employers

      Employers are using social media to get information about prospective employees. Then there was the story about two teen brits who made a couple of twitter comments that Department of Homeland Security use to deport them back to England after a day.
  • RE: How to keep your face out of LinkedIn ads

    I use LinkedIn all the time. While I don't like these media using my data sneakily, I ask myself, why would I care if LI uses my name and photo? My purpose in using LI is to connect and promote, so if LI gives me some free promotion, how is this a detriment?
    Mike Van Horn
    • RE: How to keep your face out of LinkedIn ads

      @Mike Van Horn
      Imagine for a moment that you had a moral objection to a particular product or service. Then imagine that product or service being advertised with your photo and apparent endorsement. Then imagine your friends, who share your beliefs, seeing your endorsement of something they (and yourself) consider immoral. How would everyone feel?
  • RE: How to keep your face out of LinkedIn ads

    I have an account with LinkedIn but don't think i've actually gotten any real use out of it... think it's time to cancel my account.