Social media app LinkedIn has processed the Email address of 18 million non-users in order to targeted ads on Facebook without permission, it has been revealed by the Data Protection Commissioner in an Audit. The commissioner conducted an audit of multinational LinkedIn Ireland, which is home to the company’s EU headquarters.
A non-LinkedIn user complained to the Data protection office that their Email ID has obtained and used by the company with the aim of targeted ads on Facebook, as per the commissioner’s annual report outline. The investigation revealed that LinkedIn Corporation in the US possess data on behalf of LinkedIn Ireland and processed the Email ID of about 18 million Non-LinkedIn users and attack individuals on the Facebook platform.
“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,” the commissioner said.
The Email IDs were added in the coded form which allowed Facebook to deliver ads to LinkedIn’s intended targets. In the commissioner’s report, LinkedIn in the US had attacked the 18 million users on Facebook in the unavailability of the instructions.
The audit identified that LinkedIn Corp was undertaking the pre-computation of a suggested professional network for non-LinkedIn members.”
“As a result of the findings of our audit, LinkedIn Corp was instructed by LinkedIn Ireland, as data controller of EU user data, to cease pre-compute processing and to delete all personal data associated with such processing prior to May 25th, 2018,” the report said.
Moreover, after the investigation of the complaints the Data protection commissioner explains it is the matter of concern that “wider systemic” issues identified which initiated the audit to confirm that the LinkedIn app had better privacy rules but after this issue it is difficult to rely on the company policies, particularly data handling about non-members.