LinkedIn, the professional networking giant, has recently been under scrutiny by the Berlin Regional Court due to its tracking policies. This comes as a result of a lawsuit from the Federal Association of Consumer Organizations (vzbv). The court has ruled that LinkedIn can no longer claim on its site that it disregards “do-not-track” signals, which users use to object to the tracking of their online activities. This ruling is a significant step in ensuring that users’ privacy rights are respected.
The court also took issue with LinkedIn’s default settings that made a member’s profile visible on other websites and applications. The ruling prohibits the company from activating the “Profile Visibility” function during initial registration. This ensures that a user’s LinkedIn profile is not publicly visible to non-members or outside of the network, such as on search engines, without their consent.
Previously, the court had banned LinkedIn from sending unsolicited emails to non-members. This ruling was in response to LinkedIn sending email invitations to consumers who were not members of the network and had not agreed to the use of their email addresses.
The court also disallowed the use of several provisions in the company’s terms of service, including clauses stating that only the English version of the contract would be binding and that any legal disputes would be settled in Dublin, Ireland.