LinkedIn introduced a new setting on Privacy that enables users to protect their email addresses. This was spotted first by TechCrunch. Users can now protect their email address from being shared with all connections. From default, the option to share the email address on data exports is off.
Before this setting was in place, just by accepting a connection, users on LinkedIn were providing their email address via user data export, and not only on the profile. Now users can hide their email addresses not only in the data export but also for first party connections.
How email addresses are used in online marketing?
Email addresses are not only used for email marketing. Email addresses can be used for targeting, profiling and to build similar audiences on Display. Email addresses are uploaded in platforms like YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, and DMPs and matched with the available audiences.
LinkedIn’s history with Email Addresses
LinkedIn was one of the companies using email addresses to grow their user base. LinkedIn had access to a database of emails that were not in their platform – LinkedIn invites users to upload their contacts in the platform, but the source of the emails was never clarified. LinkedIn was targeting these non-users with facebook ads. 18 million email addresses targeted on Facebook.
In 2014, LinkedIn faced a lawsuit in the US over sending unwanted emails. The unwanted emails were coming from LinkedIn’s Add Connections feature, which would send out connection requests to people in a user’s contact list who did not already have a LinkedIn account. The case was settled by LinkedIn paying 13 million USD and allowing users to cancel reminder emails.