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No Social Media Site is Safe

You might still be recuperating from the news that personal information from 533 million Facebook accounts has been made freely available online. Now there’s another huge batch of people’s data floating around the web, including data from LinkedIn. The potential scope of the leak is huge: an individual selling the data on a hacker forum claims it was scraped from 500 million LinkedIn profiles.

In a purported sample of two million of the profiles for sale, LinkedIn members’ full names, email addresses, phone numbers, genders, and more were visible. LinkedIn, however, says the data includes information from many places and wasn’t all scraped from the professional-focused social network.

“We have investigated an alleged set of LinkedIn data that has been posted for sale and have determined that it is actually an aggregation of data from a number of websites and companies,” reads LinkedIn’s statement.

The company also contends that “no private member account data from LinkedIn was included”, which perhaps means the scraped data only includes information you’d be able to see on someone’s public page. LinkedIn insists that this was “not a LinkedIn data breach,” which would be technically true if the data was scraped rather than collected by a hacker penetrating LinkedIn’s systems, but doesn’t do much for users whose data is now being sold on the internet.

LinkedIn has yet to tell us if it will notify users whose data was in the dataset. Facebook, if you were wondering, doesn’t plan to inform users if they are one of the people whose data leaked.

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