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Canada Dashboard Digest | Notes from the IAPP Canada Managing Director, August 3, 2018 Related reading: NIST launches development of 'privacy framework' in Austin

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On LinkedIn, I’m sent notifications that people have viewed my profile. In some instances, the identity of the person checking me out is revealed. Other times, the notice says that the person was in "private mode." Other times, LinkedIn encourages me to upgrade to Premium so that they can reveal to me everyone who has looked at my profile.

This feature of the social network for professionals has always puzzled me, and I can’t imagine I’m the only one.

Under PIPEDA, I’m allowed to access my own personal information but not if doing so would reveal the personal information of a third party. So, if I asked LinkedIn for the identities of the people who viewed my profile, presumably they would refuse because providing that information would reveal the personal information of third parties. But, if I pay the Premium fee, apparently I’m entitled to it. So, in a way, I’m able to purchase more rights than what is afforded under the law.

And, the fact that my own identity is sometimes protected but other times revealed makes me quite trepidatious about performing my own searches. If others have the same concerns, that means there may be lot of people out there that might want to check out my profile — or yours — but don’t want to because they aren’t sure if their own identity will be revealed.

All in all, while LinkedIn is, by far, my favorite social network to belong to and participate in, I’m just unsure that they got this aspect of it quite right. What do you think?

1 Comment

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  • comment Teri Campbell • Aug 3, 2018
    I don't think you get the entire list of views as a premium member. When I had the upgrade, there were still individuals who displayed as viewing my profile in private mode. The list that you see as a free member is truncated versus the list that you see as a premium member (including historical data). I agree that they should probably revisit/revise this aspect. I'm not sure I like the fact that you have to pay for premium to have the full list. Basically, you are purchasing the list of people who have viewed your profile or, to reverse it, LinkedIn is selling your data to the person who upgrades, if you haven't selected private mode.
    
    I agree that revealing identity may cause someone to avoid checking a profile; however, I do like the feature allowing me to know who is checking out my profile (e.g. is it a cyber-stalker, a friend, a potential networking contact, etc.). On the flip side, I will avoid checking someone's profile if I know that they will see that I visited, especially if I'm afraid it will prod them into reaching out to me. Can you tell that I have mixed feelings about this particular feature?