Microsoft is improving LinkedIn’s privacy controls by adding a toggle to prevent your email address from being swept up in another user’s data archive.
LinkedIn currently lets users export their user data complete with the email addresses of their connections, providing big businesses and marketers a treasure trove of addresses that can be spammed with pitches or requests to connect off the network.
Now, according to a new report from TechCrunch, LinkedIn has now locked the email import feature in the latest unannounced privacy setting update. Users’ default setting for email sharing is set as “No.” Users have to actively choose to include their emails among data exports for them to be swept up in exports.
The new privacy setting could prevent future spam and protect users who may have not realized anyone who they’ve connected with on the social network could download their email address to a spreadsheet.
However, the new setting was released without any announcement or warning from the company, which may create some fallout with users who have “invested tons of time into the professional networking site in hopes of contacting their connections outside of it.”
“This is a new setting that gives our members even more control of their email address on LinkedIn,” the social networking platform confirmed to TechCrunch. “If you take a look at the setting titled ‘Who can download your email’, you’ll see we’ve added a more detailed setting that defaults to the strongest privacy option. Members can choose to change that setting based on their preference. This gives our members control over who can download their email address via a data export.”
To access the new setting, head to Settings & Privacy > Privacy > Who can see my email address — or just click here.