LinkedIn has been forced to pause in Europe a feature that alerts users by email when they have been mentioned in a news article. The reason is that this option has generated several complaints about data protection after the algorithms have notified their appearance in news articles to wrong contacts. This has led to the suspension of the option and the revision of the same internally.
“An error in LinkedIn’s notification algorithms has caused notices of appearance in the news to notify the wrong people.”
The help center on LinkedIn shows a message that users of the social network in the European Union, the European Economic Area and Switzerland can still receive notifications when one of their contacts outside these areas is mentioned in the news. But nevertheless, if contacts are within these areas, they will not receive such notifications.
The problem has been unleashed when the Irish Data Protection Commission has received two complaints from users who have been alerted to their appearance in news articles incorrectly. The DPC report is what has led LinkedIn to reevaluate this function.
One of the complaints originated through an article that mentioned details of the private life and professional failure of a LinkedIn user. Due to an error in the algorithm, a person of the same name as the protagonist of the article was selected as the real protagonist, which caused all his contacts to receive notification of his appearance in said article.