LinkedIn is one of the most visited sites in the world, with more than 610 million registered users. The network continues to grow in German-speaking countries as well. In February 2019, the platform reported 13 million users in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
Therefore, it is time to take a closer look at this platform from the user’s point of view.
Who uses LinkedIn?
LinkedIn is allowed for users over the age of 16. The most frequently represented age group, however, are the 30- to 39-year-olds according to Statista’s market researchers. Close behind them follow the 40- to 49-year-olds.
Security and privacy
Due to the increasing number of users, it is appropriate to take a critical look at LinkedIn itself, the LinkedIn terms and conditions, security vulnerabilities and the handling of users’ data.
For example, LinkedIn in the US has already been sued for alleging hacking of e-mail accounts and spamming. It was also revealed that LinkedIn intercepted users’ e-mails, moved them unnoticed to LinkedIn servers, and thus gained full access.
There were also security problems in Russia. A Russian hacker had posted passwords of 6.5 million LinkedIn members on the Internet. Cause were only simply encrypted passwords.
LinkedIn transmitted the authentication token only unencrypted. This made the accounts vulnerable and easy to take over.
In 2016, LinkedIn had to ask its users in Germany to change their password. Hackers had captured over 100 million passwords and sold them online. The profiles of the users were therefore no longer safe.
If you also used your LinkedIn password for other services, you should also change your access data there.
In its review, Stiftung Warentest came to the conclusion in 2010 that LinkedIn limits the rights of users on the one hand. On the other hand, however, the platform already granted far-reaching rights. This leads to an imbalance to the detriment of the users.
Extensive rights granted
However, LinkedIn has the “worldwide, transferable and sublicensable right” to use, copy, modify, distribute, publish and process the information and content “without further consent or communication and / or compensation.”
In addition, LinkedIn sends “invite emails” to Outlook contacts from its members’ email accounts. A consent request is not recognizable as such. For the “invited” the impression arises as if the owner of the account had sent these invitations themselves.
If there is no response to the invitation, LinkedIn will warn you several times. So it is not only to annoy the recipient, but also throws an unprofessional and intrusive picture on the sender.
Illegal phrases in the LinkedIn terms and conditions
In the “Disclaimer”, a maximum liability limit of US $ 1,000 is agreed. However, the user has to decide for himself or, if necessary, have this clarified in court, whether these regulations are legally tenable.
Applicable law and data responsibility
However, Irish law is agreed as applicable law. The Data Manager for Germany is the LinkedIn Ireland Unlimited Company (“LinkedIn Ireland”).
Conclusion to the LinkedIn terms and conditions
Despite security vulnerabilities and fairly liberal handling of users’ data, LinkedIn’s popularity continues to grow. This may be due, on the one hand, to the increased importance of the business network.
On the other hand, one has probably gotten used to living as an illuminated human and allowing others to trade in their own data. However, the question arises as to whether users can make any other demands on a business network.
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