LinkedIn stops collecting calendar meeting notes through its mobile apps

LinkedIn updated its Android and iOS apps to no longer send calendar meeting notes back to its servers when calendar integration is enabled

LinkedIn has confirmed researcher claims that the calendar integration feature in its mobile apps sends complete details about people's upcoming meetings back to the company's servers, and it has updated the apps to limit what's being collected.

Back in April, LinkedIn added an opt-in feature to its iOS and Android apps that uses calendar event details to identify the LinkedIn profiles of individuals with whom users of the apps are scheduled to meet.

Researchers from security vendor Skycure Security have analyzed how this feature works and found that LinkedIn's iOS app doesn't only inspect calendar meeting details locally on the device, but actually sends the information back to LinkedIn's servers.

This poses a serious privacy risk because some of the collected information can be highly sensitive. For example, calendar meeting notes tend to include conference call numbers and passcodes, Skycure co-founder and CEO Yair Amit said in a blog post on Wednesday.

"In order to implement their acclaimed feature of synchronizing between the people you meet and their LinkedIn profile, all LinkedIn need is unique identifiers of the people you are going to meet with, not all the details of your planned meetings," Amit said. "Details such as meeting schedule, location, title or notes, which tend to be sensitive in particular for organizations, are irrelevant for this task."

In addition, the LinkedIn app does not provide clear notification to users that their calendar event details are being sent from their devices. This is possibly a violation of Apple's privacy guidelines which state that apps can't transmit user data without obtaining user consent and providing information to users about how and where this data will be used, Amit said.

Joff Redfern, LinkedIn's head of mobile products, confirmed that the company's mobile apps send complete meeting details from users' calendars back to its servers, if they opted into the feature. That information is used to make LinkedIn's profile matching algorithm increasingly smarter, Redfern said in a blog post on Wednesday.

Calendar data is sent to LinkedIn's servers over Secure Socket Layer (SSL) connections, but the data is not stored on the servers and is not used for purposes other than profile matching, Redfern said.

In light of the privacy concerns raised by Skycure's researchers, LinkedIn has decided to stop collecting calendar meeting notes and to add a "learn more" link inside its mobile apps to provide detailed information about how calendar data is being used.

"These improvements are live on Android now and have been submitted to the Apple store and will be available shortly," Redfern said.

Users who previously enabled the calendar integration feature, but no longer want their calendar details to be shared with LinkedIn, can turn the feature off from the app's settings. The calendar integration will remain an opt-in feature, Redfern said.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Lucian Constantin

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?