Uncover These 12 Hidden Privacy Hacks on LinkedIn & Twitter
Privacy, besides being a fundamental right, is also about having autonomy and decision power regarding your personal data. Having privacy does not necessarily mean being inaccessible. It means understanding and having choices on how your identity is communicated to organizations, governments, and other people, both online and offline.
In this context, online privacy settings matter. Sometimes a single setting change can cause a meaningful improvement in making your experience more private and adequate to your values and preferences. In today's newsletter, I will uncover some hidden LinkedIn & Twitter privacy settings so that you can have more control over how your data is collected and processed by these social networks.
I post almost every day about privacy and data protection on Twitter & LinkedIn, follow me if you enjoy this type of content.
These are 12 hidden privacy hacks on LinkedIn and on Twitter:
1. "Represent company"
LinkedIn can present your information (name and/or profile information) "with content such as job postings, company pages and insights, sponsored content, and other content related to your publicly expressed interests. Public interests can include a service you like, public events you are attending, or a company you follow or have interacted with on LinkedIn by sharing or commenting on its posts)." If you do not want to allow this, configure these settings here.
2. Who can see your email on LinkedIn?
Do you want anyone on LinkedIn to see your email and be able to contact you? All your connections? Only you? Do you want to allow your connections to export your email for further use? Configure these settings here.
3- You can download an archive of your LinkedIn data:
You can request to download the data archive, including all your LinkedIn activities and also "key inferences we make about you based on your profile and activity on LinkedIn." One of the data archives takes 10 minutes to be ready, and the other takes 48h, and this is what you should expect from each of them. In the latter option, they add that "if you would like access to data that's not included in the data files described above, you may complete LinkedIn's Data Access Request Form. Completed forms will automatically be sent to us for review, but note that it may take several days to receive a response."
4- Messaging privacy:
If you are typing a message on LinkedIn, do you want the other person to know when you are typing? Do you want to let them know when you read a message? Configure these settings here.
5- Interests derived from your LinkedIn profile:
Do you want to allow LinkedIn to use interest categories derived from your profile, as well as actions from you and similar members to show you ads? To see what interest categories LinkedIn has derived from your profile, check this link. Interestingly enough, they did not derive "privacy" from my profile.
6- More on ads:
Can LinkedIn show you personalized ads outside of LinkedIn? If you do not agree, check your preferences here. Can LinkedIn use your age and gender info to personalize ads? Configure these settings here.
I did not talk about all possible LinkedIn privacy settings. You can explore more here.
1. Your timeline is algorithmically curated by default. If you prefer, change it to "latest tweets":
The Twitter timeline ("Home") shows you algorithmically chosen tweets by default. According to Twitter, "Home, or top Tweets, are ones you are likely to care about most, and we choose them based on accounts you interact with frequently, Tweets you engage with, and much more." This means that Twitter defines what they think are the most relevant tweets for you according to their chosen criteria. If you prefer not to be influenced by Twitter's curation and see the latest tweets as they happen, here is how you switch.
2. Topics and interests:
Twitter has a list of topics and interests that they matched to you and will use to personalize your experience. This is the list of your interests. Do they make sense? If not, you can alter them.
3. Location, location, location:
Using this link, you can deactivate content personalization based on your location, as well as the "trends for you" feature, where you would be shown trends based on your location and whom you follow. Twitter can also personalize your experience based on places that you have been to. You can check the list of "places you've been" and opt out of this personalization here. In this other link, you can remove all location information attached to your Tweets.
4. You can download an archive of your Twitter data:
Using this link, you can download an archive of your Twitter data and understand what type of information from you they have.
5. Inferred identity:
Twitter may personalize your experience based on inferences about your identity - meaning devices & browsers you haven’t used to log in to Twitter or emails & phone numbers "similar to those linked to your Twitter account." This is how Twitter describes it:
"if you commonly use Twitter for Android around the same time and from the same network where you browse sports websites with embedded Tweets on a computer, we may infer that your Android device and laptop are related and later suggest sports-related Tweets and serve sports-related advertising on your Android device. We may also infer other information about your identity to help personalize your Twitter experience. For example, if the email address associated with your account shares components with another email address, such as a shared first name, last name, or initials, we may infer that your account is associated with hashes of other email addresses containing those components and later match advertisements to you from advertisers that were trying to reach email addresses containing those components."
You can opt out here.
6. Ad personalization:
"Twitter may further personalize ads from Twitter advertisers, on and off Twitter, by combining your Twitter activity with other online activity and information from their partners." They say that you will always see ads on Twitter, but you can opt out of this further personalization here.
I did not talk about all possible Twitter privacy settings here. You can explore more here.
Have you changed the privacy configurations above? Were there meaningful changes in your LinkedIn/Twitter experiences? What other privacy configurations would you add? Privacy needs critical thinkers like you: share this article and start a conversation about the topic.
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See you next week. All the best, Luiza Jarovsky