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LinkedIn remove names and pictures from 'social ads'

Social network backtracks following complaints

LinkedIn has revealed it is removing pictures and names from its 'social ads' following complaints from users.

In early June the social network introduced 'social ads' that feature the names and photos of any members that follow the advertiser on the business-based social network. LinkedIn also changed its Privacy Policy  to include an "on-by-default" feature that meant users of the network had to opt-out to stop their names and photos being used in 'social ads'.

However, following complaints from users and security firms such as Sophos, which revealed it was "disappointed" to see LinkedIn following in the footsteps of Facebook and "introducing sensitive new policies without giving users the chance to say first whether they want to opt-in", the social network has now removed the names and photos from the ads.

"With regards to the social ads we've been testing, we're listening to our members. We could have communicated our intentions - to provide more value and relevancy to our members - more clearly," said LinkedIn's Ryan Roslansky in a blog.

"Even though our members are happy to have their actions, such as recommendations, be viewable by their network as a public action, some of those same members may not be comfortable with the use of their names and photos associated with those actions used in ads served to their network. So, we will be changing how these types of social ads look."

LinkedIn users that have not already opted-out of this feature, should access their account settings and disable 'Manage Social advertising' to opt-out of the changes.

LinkedIn also stressed that it never shares personal information with third party advertisers. The only information that is used in social ads is information that is already publicly available and viewable by anyone in your network

"Trust is the foundation upon which the LinkedIn platform is built. We'll continue to work hard to earn and maintain your trust, while delivering the most valuable and relevant experience we can," the social network said.

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