Security Researcher’s Spine Shivers Over LinkedIn Intro

ItEUs rare for a social network to roll out a new sharing feature without raising privacy advocatesEU eyebrows. LinkedInEUs new Intro service is no exception.

While many are complimenting the business social media platform for its innovation, others are concerned that the company is rolling out an app thatEUs ultimately going to expose iPhone usersEU data.

LinkedIn Intro is based on technology from Rapportive, which the company acquired in 2012. Intro is supposed to be a groundbreaking mobile product that tackles mobile e-mail challenges. It brings RapportiveEUs technology to the Apple Mail app on the iPhone.

EUIntro shows you LinkedIn profiles in your iPhone Mail app,EU explained Pahul Vohra, who co-founded Rapportive and now works for LinkedIn. For example, with Intro you can put faces to the names of people who e-mail you. LinkedIn basically serves up the senderEUs profile. The idea is to help you write more effective e-mails, establish rapport, and grow your professional network by connecting with people on LinkedIn.

Is It Trustworthy?

It sounds like a good idea on the surface. You can see the e-mail senderEUs strongest mutual connections. You can scroll down and see the senderEUs occupations, past and current, and his full description. You can even see where the sender sent to school. But is it overkill?

We asked Greg Sterling, principal analyst at Sterling Market Intelligence, for his take on the drama. He told us The app adds some valuable context and contact data to iOS email, however there will be concern about privacy and LinkedIn's access to users' mail.

EUMost people, to the extent they understand that e-mail has to be routed through LinkedIn's servers to deliver the additional information, will be unlikely to trust and adopt the new service,EU Sterling said.

EUThe timing of this is unfortunate, against the backdrop of heightened online privacy concerns...

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