Is Linkedin uploading profiles of minors including email addresses?





Note – Overall,  I like what Linkedin is doing including the new publishing platform . I also ‘trust’ Linkedin to upload all my contacts because its a great networking feature. I only have a problem with the specific issue (as a father) as below

Like many people, I uploaded my contacts on Linkedin

Its a useful feature

But ..

I was surprised to find my son’s name (and email address) as a Linkedin profile as ‘People You May know’

My son is aged 10 ..

And is very tech savvy .. Here is a book we are writing together – Python in Schools – A Computer Science perspective – By Ajit Jaokar and Aditya Jaokar

But as far as I know, he does not have a Linkedin profile

At first, I thought he had created one

The poor child denied it ..

And then I realized that Linkedin is creating dummy profiles from all emails I unload – whether they have a existing Linked in profile or not

Why supposedly respected / corporate sites should use such tacky techniques is beyond me!

And then companies complain when they are under the cross fire of EU regulation

Who ELSE can see my son’s email address I don’t know ..

But behavior like this deserves to be highlighted because its a lack of trust

If minor’s email addresses are visible to others – it could have serious legal and regulatory implications for Linkedin

If anyone in Linkedin writes back I shall update this

See also this post – which I suspect is the same issue.

 How LinkedIn lies to increase its user numbers 

Update from Linkedin

Linkedin has formally contacted me about this. Their response is: They do not store profiles. However, they have no way of being able to distinguish an email address i.e. when they upload an address book, they upload all contacts (including in this case, my son). Apparently, this cannot be avoided.

My thoughts

Its good Linkedin does not expose this email address to others. But still sounds very opportunistic. After all, this is the company that has invented ‘Big Data’ and email addresses can be hacked(as has happened to Linkedin itself). So, all in all, it does not seem to be that bad – but could be improved none the less