- In what some are calling a win for privacy, LinkedIn has changed its default email export settings to prevent other LinkedIn members, including recruiters, from exporting contact information to spreadsheets, particularly email addresses of those to whom users are connected. The new settings, quietly changed recently, were confirmed to TechCrunch, with an explanation that the change "gives our members control over who can download their email address via a data export."
- The move could prevent email address access by spammers, according to TechCrunch, and also protects users who weren’t aware that any of their connections could download their email information to a spreadsheet. But others, perhaps recruiters, will be unhappy with the change, particularly since it came without warning, the outlet said.
- Users can still opt to allow their data to be exported by changing their privacy settings.
LinkedIn's change highlights a larger trend to protect users and subscribers from unauthorized data collection. For recruiters and others who source passive talent on the platform, the change may put a crimp in their ability to connect privately with users.
While many workers aren’t actively looking to job hop, a recent survey revealed that 55% of respondents are passively open to new opportunities. The shift in privacy settings may require recruiters to work directly through the LinkedIn platform, rather than compiling data for large-scale casting calls.
Other platforms have similarly switched to more aggressive privacy settings, especially those in social media, due to consumer concerns and complaints. The shift may be a way to protect users' data before problems arise.