LinkedIn apologize for trying to sneak in a new update that informed some iPhone users that their "app" would begin sharing their data with nearby users without further explanation.
The update prompted outrage on Twitter after cybersecurity expert Rik Ferguson received a strange alert [twitter.com] when he opened the resume app to read a new message: “LinkedIn would like to make data available to nearby Bluetooth devices even when you’re not using the app. [vocativ.com]”
That gave Ferguson, vice president of research at the cybersecurity firm Trend Micro, a handful of concerns, he told Vocativ. Among them: “the lack of specificity, which data, when, under what conditions, to which devices, why does it need to happen when I’m not using the app, what are the benefits to me, where is the feature announcement and explanation, why wasn’t it listed in the app update details.”
A mobile app asking for additional permissions isn’t a novel occurrence, but broad requests are often met with skepticism from privacy advocates and security researchers. Many shopping apps, for instance, leave a user’s bluetooth connection turned on, allowing marketers to track you as you enter a store and linger near certain products.
Reached for comment, LinkedIn said it’s a mistake — that some iPhone users were accidentally subject to undeveloped test feature the company is still working on.
My take on how it would work is that whenever you come into the range of another computerphone with bluetooth active. Which for class 2 is 10 meters (33 ft). And then the LinkedIn app would pop up a quick summary of each others resume.
Perfect for those times when you visit a big meeting with people A and their LinkedIn app show you just recently had a gig with corporation B that they really hate. As for apologizing, do remember that large corporations only retreat if the alternative hurts economically. For background information it might be good to know that LinkedIn was bought by Microsoft in 2016 which happens to be very in on the phone-home theme. Now if Tinder [wikipedia.org] would auto-share in the same manner the various habits with any nearby phone during family gatherings, that would be a real hilarious circus starter.