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LinkedIn pledges member data commitment

Thu 19 Sep 2013
FYI, this story is more than a year old

"Our core value at LinkedIn is Members First."

Claiming to hold a high bar when it comes to responding to government requests for member data, LinkedIn insists it's committed to earning and keeping member trust.

"We scrutinise and evaluate every request, and only provide data when we believe we’re legally required to, or in emergency situations," says Erika Rottenberg, LinkedIn.

"We also take steps to let members know before turning over their data, unless we’re legally prohibited to do so or the request is an emergency.

"Our goal is to be as open as possible about government requests for member data."

Since 2011, the networking website has published the Transparency Report every six months, telling members how many requests for member data they receive from governments around the world, the number of member accounts impacted and the percentage of requests we respond to.

"Today, we’re publishing our Transparency Report for the first 6 months of 2013," Rottenbeg adds.

Yet despite the claims, the Transparency Report doesn’t include requests related to US national security-related matters.

"This is because the US government prohibits us from doing so," Rottenberg claims.

"We believe our members and the LinkedIn community deserve to know this information, especially in light of recent revelations about the nature of US government surveillance.

"We’ve been in discussions with the US government for months in an effort to convince them to allow us to release these numbers as part of our Transparency Report and these discussions recently reached an impasse.

"Despite our best efforts, we are still prohibited from sharing information about national security-related requests in a way that’s meaningful to our members and community.

"So we’re left with no choice but to file legal challenges to the US government’s position."

For more information, read Rottenberg's letter to the LinkedIn community here.

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