LinkedIn Terms: The Terms of Use

There is currently hardly a network that receives as much (positive) attention as LinkedIn. More and more users are streaming to the platform without reading the Terms of Service and the Privacy Policy. But what is actually in the LinkedIn terms and conditions?

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.

LinkedIn Terms: The Terms of Use

In addition to the significant security issues, there is also criticism of the Terms of Use that the LinkedIn user must accept.

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

LinkedIn has updated its Terms of Use. However, the rights that LinkedIn grants to users remain very large. The user remains “owner of the content and information”.

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

Also critical are the terms that are legally prohibited in the LinkedIn Terms of Use. In the “Disclaimer”, LinkedIn declares “not responsible for the quality, safety or reliability” of its services.

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.

The reason: LinkedIn writes in its Terms of Use that “some laws” do not allow for certain disclaimer or limitation of liability, and therefore some of the restrictions may “not apply to the user.”

Such non-transparent formulations which require the user to have knowledge of which laws apply to him or her, are inadmissible in the terms of use in Germany and as a legal consequence regularly make such clauses on the exclusion of warranty or disclaimer inadmissible.

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.

Users should definitely be on the screen that LinkedIn – as well as other social networks – ultimately want to use as much as possible the data of users. This is attempted by the platform in its Terms of Use, the Privacy Policy and the LinkedIn Terms and Conditions.

Also interesting:

  • 13 tips for a more successful LinkedIn profile
  • I downloaded my LinkedIn data – and I know that now
  • Basics for newcomers: This is how the LinkedIn algorithm works
  • Image gallery: This is how the LinkedIn office in Munich looks like

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