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LinkedIn Faced Probe For Facebook Ads Targeting 18 mn Non-Members

It is still not clear how LinkedIn got hold of those 18 million email addresses

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LinkedIn faced probe for Facebook ads targeting 18 mn non-members. Pixabay

An investigation by Ireland’s Data Protection Commission (DPC) found that LinkedIn had processed hashed email addresses of approximately 18 million non-LinkedIn members and targeted these individuals on Facebook without necessary permission, a new report has revealed.

The investigation covered the activities of the Microsoft-owned professional networking platform during the first six months of 2018, The Verge reported on Saturday.

In its report published on Friday, DPC said that it concluded its audit of LinkedIn Ireland Unlimited Company (LinkedIn) in respect of its processing of personal data following an investigation of a complaint notified to the DPC by a non-LinkedIn user.

The complaint concerned LinkedIn’s obtaining and use of the complainant’s email address for the purpose of targeted advertising on the Facebook.

The investigation revealed that that LinkedIn Corporation in the US did not have the required permission from the data controller – LinkedIn Ireland — to process hashed email addresses of 18 million non-LinkedIn members.

India has witnessed nearly 80 per cent growth in Human Resource (HR) analytics professionals in the past five years, global professional network site LinkedIn said on Tuesday.
LinkedIn reports that HR professional number grew by 80% in last 5 years in India. Pixabay

The complaint was ultimately “amicably resolved”, with LinkedIn implementing a number of immediate actions to cease the processing of user data for the purposes that gave rise to the complaint, DPC said in its report.

However, the body was “concerned with the wider systemic issues identified” in its report, and undertook a second audit to see if LinkedIn had adequate “technical security and organisational measures.”

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DPC found that the site was “undertaking the pre-computation of a suggested professional network for non-LinkedIn members,” and ordered them to stop and delete associated data that existed prior to May 25 of this year, the day when General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into effect.

“We appreciate the DPC’s 2017 investigation of a complaint about an advertising campaign and fully cooperated,” Denis Kelleher, Head of Privacy, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, for LinkedIn, told TechCrunch in a statement.

Facebook
Facebook, social media. Pixabay

“Unfortunately the strong processes and procedures we have in place were not followed and for that we are sorry. We’ve taken appropriate action, and have improved the way we work to ensure that this will not happen again,” Kelleher said.

As TechCrunch pointed out LinkedIn did not get fined in this process because until the implementation of GDPR at the end of May, the regulator had no power to enforce fines.

It is still not clear how LinkedIn got hold of those 18 million email addresses. (IANS)

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Here’s Why Facebook can Still be Your Best Friend

And students with low self-efficacy have more to gain from prioritising Facebook use over traditional media when making new college friends

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FILE - The logo for Facebook appears on screens at the Nasdaq MarketSite, in New York's Times Square, March 29, 2018. VOA

Transitioning from high school to college can be stressful for some students and to maintain connections with pre-college friends and form new relationships, Facebook can still be your best friend.

A new research led by Indian-origin researcher Surinder Kahai reveals that Facebook can help college students maintain relationships with high-school friends and assist them in creating new friendships.

The study, published in the International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, shows that when it comes to making new friends, those with higher confidence in their social skills have less to gain from relying on Facebook, while people with lower confidence in their social skills have more to gain from the social media platform.

“Transitioning from high school to college can be stressful for many students. To help them adjust to life in college, it is critical for them to maintain connections with pre-college friends and to form new relationships,” said Kahai, Associate Professor at Binghamton University in the US.

For the study, the researchers focused on first semester college students by asking undergraduate college students, mostly sophomores, about their experiences with different channels used to maintain and grow relationships.

facebook, personal data
FILE – A man poses for a photo in front of a computer showing Facebook ad preferences in San Francisco, California, March 26, 2018. VOA

Accounting for Facebook’s effect on relationships versus the impact of more traditional media face-to-face interaction, phone calls, etc., researchers also incorporated how each student’s social self-efficacy like confidence in their social skills affected the use of both Facebook and traditional media to build and maintain relationships.

In terms of how “best” to use Facebook to maintain and build new relationships, some of the findings include; Facebook can compensate for the lower use of traditional media to maintain relationships with close friends from high school.

According to researchers, Facebook works best when supplementing traditional media when it comes to making new college friends, students with high self-efficacy have more to gain from prioritising traditional media over Facebook when making new college friends.

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And students with low self-efficacy have more to gain from prioritising Facebook use over traditional media when making new college friends.

“New college students often stress about trying to maintain their high school friendships while struggling to develop new ones. These findings can help counselors advise students on how to balance the use of social media and traditional media to enhance their new and older friendships,” Kahai said. (IANS)