LinkedIn opts you into being used in advertisements; here's how to opt out

LinkedIn have rolled out a new line of advertisements in which their customers' faces are used to advertise their sponsors' products. Helpfully, LinkedIn have decided to opt all their users into this. Here's a guide to keeping yourself from being an unpaid shill by opting out again.
1. Click on your name on your LinkedIn homepage (upper right corner). On the drop-down menu, select “Settings”.

2. From the “Settings” page, select “Account*”.

3. In the column next to “Account”, click “Manage Social Advertising” .

4. De-select the box next to “LinkedIn may use my name, photo in social advertising” .

A Box You Want to Uncheck on LinkedIn (via Making Light)


  1. Thank you for the reminder to review all those settings in my account. While I was there I opted out of a few other things… 

    1. Thank you for the reminder to review all those settings in my account. While I was there I opted out of a few other things…

      Heh. Netflix just staged a little price coup that would have bumped me from $28 to $30 per month. I took the opportunity to drop to a $16 plan.

      Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus

  2. Also worth hitting:
    Settings > Account > Turn on/off enhanced advertising
    Settings > Email Preferences > Turn on/off partner InMail
    Settings > Groups, Companies & Applications > Turn on/off data sharing with 3rd party applications
    Settings > Email Preferences > Turn on/off invitations to participate in research
    Settings > Email Preferences > Turn on/off LinkedIn announcements

  3. Off topic but has anyone else noticed that facebook has taken phone numbers from your smart phone and put them online without asking for permission?

    In Facebook, go to the top right of the screen, click on ‘ACCOUNT’.

    Click on ‘EDIT FRIENDS’, left side of screen and click ‘CONTACTS’.
    – You will see ALL of your phone numbers (friends on FB or not) that you have
    stored in your smart phone..

    Scary stuff!

    1. @boingboing-58dcb9014f04cec05cb181e8ed6e6c2d:disqus

      Actually, it’s not your phone numbers it’s displaying…it’s theirs. I don’t have my phone tied to my facebook account and it’s showing me those numbers also (and it’s showing me phone numbers of people I don’t have on my phone).

      So, if you have given facebook your phone number, it’s showing that number to everyone on your friends list…whether you want them to have it or not.

      1. Wait a minute, g-clef… If you *don’t* have your phone “tied to your facebook account” (and I suspect the actual issue is with having a Facebook app on your phone, anyway) then how do you claim to have any way of knowing what happens when you *do*?

  4. The best way to opt out is with the delete account button that I used last year. People still use LinkedIn?

  5. An even better way out of all these stupid dilemmas (other than simply not using the service) is to have a profile full of misinformation. The more bogus info is out there floating around, the more useless all their data-retrieving and tabulation will be. Fill up all your personalized spaces with complete bullshit and let them go to town convinced that 53% of females under 30 in Wales think “Treasure of the Sierra Madre” is their favorite film.

  6. There’s a feedback link on the right hand column; I sent them a note telling them default opt-in like this is amateur hour antics and they should stop.

    1. I too left them feedback, and told them it was a “stinking, underhanded thing to do.”

      Maybe if hundreds of others leave them feedback they’ll feel bad… yeah, right.

  7. I quit linkedin when I heard they were selling stocks. When trying to please stockholders, it seems these people lose focus on their original clients. I knew they’d have to start making more and more money, and thus this sort of thing. 

    plus linkedin never gave me work. It was like quitting friendster, it was so over for me already.

  8. I never saw a reason to give them my picture in the first place. Seems to me that if you’re job-hunting, a picture is more likely to trigger someone’s prejudices than to be helpful.

    1. Job hunting isn’t really the point of the site though, although I suppose you could use it for that. It’s mostly a way to keep track of work contacts the way stacks of business cards used to be  — and a picture is certainly more informative for reminding one who these people are.

  9. hahaha the LinkedIn homepage section “LinkedIn Today” currently depicts a Yahoo! News article titled “LinkedIn opts 100 million users into sharing private information within advertisements”

    Is this what happens when you only use automated content aggregators for your news section?

    1. It could be worse: your security site could start spamming malware links in its automated, unmoderated Twitter feed.

  10. Didn’t even realise some of those options existed on my linkedin profile, thanks for the heads up Cory, tbarribeau.

  11. “If you’re not paying for something, you’re not the customer; you’re the product being sold”

      1. I’m the other way round. I still get benefit from LI – but Facebook was abandoned years back…

      1. It’s often thrown around on the web, but I’ve had trouble sourcing it aside from a few usernames. Anyone know?

  12. I must be missing something. Are they just showing my own photo within an advertisement shown to me or to others?

    Depending on how it’s implemented, they don’t need to share any information with advertisers to do that since they are the ones displaying the ad.

    1. For me it’s not the data – it’s the implication that I’m in some way endorsing a company without my consent.

  13. I don’t mind. They give a great service for free! They can use any of the information I give them as much as they want.

  14. LinkedIn — The “Facebook” of business. 

    I’ve got an account on both.  Never use either.  Don’t know why I keep them. I guess it’s part of my “hoarder” mentality.   Thanks for the heads up though.

  15. I found the “Account -> Cancel” link to be more useful.

    When they asked why, I replied with the URL of the original web page which explained this.

  16. Thanks!  I actually have a linkedin account in my meatspace name, so I’m vulnerable.  (And I can’t cancel the account, since it seems to be getting me work, a little, maybe.)

  17. Closed my Linked In account explaining how I don’t appreciate being opted in automatically to features that will be sharing my private information with third parties.

    As for the Facebook contacts thing, I do have the Facebook app on my iPhone, I never opted in to having my contacts sync, and sure enough the contacts from my phone have NOT been uploaded to Facebook. They’ve had problems in the past, but I’ve found these past couple of years (since I decided to turn security up to 11 and all sharing to be with specified groups only, as a result of a stalker problem) that Facebook have been a lot better with regards to keeping your security settings as you set them. The OMG rant of the day is invariably overblown and inaccurate.

  18. Just deleted my account, told them why.  Thanks for this heads-up.  Too bad – it was marginally useful, too.

  19. Thanks for this head up.  I immediately changed this setting and sent them a feedback indicating my lack of appreciation of being by default assumed to agree to them using my photo (which doesn´t exist anyway) in their advertising. The only reason I have an account with them is curiosity. There is absolutely minimal information of mine on it and I cannot see it ever being useful to me.

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