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Privacy is for old people says LinkedIn founder

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  • Marc Freedman
    The following from Reid Hoffman is quite interesting, especially since LinkedIn portrays itself as so protective of member privacy and has canceled or frozen
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 10, 2011
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      The following from Reid Hoffman is quite interesting, especially since LinkedIn portrays itself as so protective of member privacy and has canceled or frozen the accounts of users (like me) for merely sending emails to connections and contacts.  Marc


      Marc's Monday Newsletter

       
      Good Monday morning, Marc,

      Meet Reid Hoffman, the billionaire founder of LinkedIn. In this video, he shares with an audience at Davos his opinion about your privacy concerns:




      Yep, I think it's just as unbelievable as you do — the founder of LinkedIn, the largest social network for professional people in the world says "all these concerns about privacy tend to be old people issues."

      "Old people" issues? Are you even allowed to say something like that these days? And that's how the founder of LinkedIn feels about your privacy?

      Well, I can't speak for every internet company founder, but I can tell you that most of us think privacy issues are very, very important, and that Reid's viewpoint does not represent internet executives as a whole.

      Those of us in the job industry have a special duty and responsibility to treat your privacy with care, because privacy issues are especially important in the job search. When the economy is bad, and your company might be looking to cut employees, and you're trying to make your mortgage… privacy issues aren't old people issues, they're normal people issues.

      So I suppose I find it offensive that a billionaire founder, speaking at Davos — the world's most discriminative "old boys' network" event, held each year in the Swiss Alps — ridicules your concerns in such a condescending way.

      It's probably the most arrogant comment I've heard from a business executive since Leona Helmsley said "Only the little people pay taxes." It's sad, disappointing, and yet, characteristic.

      Barack Obama LinkedIn Town hall

      Reid Hoffman listens to President Obama speak at his LinkedIn Town Hall.

      When you signed up for LinkedIn, they never asked for your permission to sell your information to recruiters and HR departments, did they? They never told you that your actions, and your behaviors, and your privacy were going to be sold off to recruitment firms and HR departments. Even today, their User Agreement makes no mention of executive recruiters or human resources. (I mean, c'mon, if it was all on the up-and-up, they'd mention it to you when you sign up, or at least in the User Agreement or Privacy Policy, wouldn't they?)

      Layoffs have increased 212% this year compared to last year because of the lousy economy, but you shouldn't be concerned about the fact that LinkedIn has the legal right to sell your job-hunting information to advertisers, show it in their advertisements, and leak it to your current colleagues or boss, if they want to.

      No, you shouldn't worry about that, at all, says Reid Hoffman, billionaire founder of LinkedIn, because "all these concerns about privacy tend to be old people issues."

      At TheLadders, we don't agree.

      We don't agree that you're just inventory to be pushed off to the highest bidder.

      We don't believe that in this economy, companies should be so cavalier about your privacy.

      We don't agree that "all these concerns about privacy tend to be old people issues."

      We don't agree and that's why we've always been different.

      It's why we screen every recruiter and job listing before it's allowed onto our site. That's why your co-workers, your colleagues or your boss can't see your profile on TheLadders. That's why we don't sell your private information to advertisers — because we've never accepted display advertising on our site.

      It's also why we launched a survey on privacy issues last week to thousands of Americans like you, and I'll be reporting back to you on the results in the weeks ahead.

      So, if you agree that all privacy issues are just "old people's issues", well, godspeed to you.

      But if you'd prefer to work with a company that cares about you, your privacy, and making you successful in your job search, then we're honored by your patronage, and we thank you for it.

      Have a great, safe, private week in your job search!

      I'll be rooting for you,

      Marc Cenedella

      Marc Cenedella, CEO & Founder

      P.S. Join the conversation on my blog » "Privacy is for old people says LinkedIn founder"
       
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