Story image

Why the acquisition of LinkedIn annoys LinkedIn users

20 Jun 2016

Your data is for sale. It’s something we’ve all known for a while now but $26.2 billion later the conversation has been reignited, if not a bit buried, in the story of Microsofts acquistion of LinkedIn. 

Ironically, news of the intent to acquire hit while I sat in the keynote for Gartner’s Security and Risk Summit where I am in attendance to talk about customer expectations for data privacy. About six months back, a colleague and I started delving into the topic of customer data privacy expecting to write a research note on customers’ concerns with the over 750 data breaches that occurred last year in the US.

Getting to the ironic part, what we found is that while security professionals scramble to secure their data from being hacked, the majority of customers are more concerned (~80% to ~30%) that the information they voluntarily share with companies is being resold or used in a way that they had “no knowledge” of.

I put “no knowledge” in quotation marks because we are signing away the rights to our digital interaction data daily by clicking the “I agree” text boxes at the bottom of licensing agreements so that we can hurry up and access the latest application everyone is talking about.

Legally, we consumers have agreed to share just about everything with just about everyone, so why do people get so bent out of shape when they think of a company like Microsoft having direct access to the data we’ve been populating LinkedIn with? Whether users knew it or not, LinkedIn was a fairly closed off social network.

If organisations wanted access to spins of LinkedIn data, they needed to purchase one of LinkedIn’s enterprise solutions. This is a lot different than what it’s like to work with Facebook’s free page API or Twitter’s public API that limits data volume but not access to specific types of metadata. The acquisition of LinkedIn by Microsoft means access to the social profile and networking data of over 400 million professionals who use the social network. Are those profiles alone worth $26.2 billion? Don’t think so highly of yourself.

But even though we’re not worth about $60 a pop, doesn’t mean that users aren’t concerned with what this acquisition might mean for the future of the preferred professional social network.

Microsoft and LinkedIn’s joint plans make mention of the development of an economic graph, the synergy of the graph data both companies have built to better identify employee skills gaps, and the general blending of external social profiles and internal productivity applications.

At the end of the day, if LinkedIn doesn’t clearly remain a distinct entity in more ways than name, we’ll have a lot of annoyed LinkedIn users questioning if this is what they signed up for. 

Article by Jenny Sussin, Gartner Blog Network.

How Red Hat aims to accelerate business value with container technologies
Red Hat announced that leading global companies are creating, extending and deploying integration services across hybrid and multicloud environments using agile integration architectures based on Red Hat technologies.
IT employers having to up salaries and bonuses to attract talent
As the modern economy relies increasingly on data, it’s certainly a good time to be working in IT.
Red Hat expands integration product capabilities
Adds end-to-end API lifecycle support and new capabilities for agile integration across hybrid architectures.
Electric car infrastructure needs to be a high priority
“Australians should be able to drive all over this massive nation with complete confidence in a zero-emission vehicle.”
Oracle updates enterprise blockchain platform
Oracle’s enterprise blockchain has been updated to include more capabilities to enhance development, integration, and deployment of customers’ new blockchain applications.
BMC adds IBM Cloud, Watson to Helix solution
BMC Helix with IBM Watson delivers cognitive insights across structured and unstructured federated knowledgebases.
Hyundai works with IBM to create a new blockchain-based platform
The network for commercial financing will supposedly provide participants with a single view of all the transactions happening in the network.
Why businesses should invest in energy automation
In industrial applications digital transformation allows businesses to do more with less.