Updating LinkedIn’s Terms of Service

September 26, 2014

At LinkedIn, we’re always thinking of our members when we make decisions, and pride ourselves on being a “members first” company. With that in mind, we feel it’s important to give you advance notice about some changes that are coming on Thursday, October 23, to the LinkedIn Terms of Service, which include our User Agreement and Privacy Policy.

First off, we know that most terms of service are traditionally dense and hard to read. So, we’ve rewritten our User Agreement to try to make it easier to read and simpler to understand. This includes cutting the length by half and using more plain language that is easily understood.

We also saw this as an opportunity to improve the way we explain the rights that you, and we, have to the content (like posts, photos, and presentations) that you post on LinkedIn’s services (like LinkedIn.com, SlideShare, and Pulse). The language in our previous Terms of Service asked for broad rights to use your content, but in practice, we didn’t exercise all of these rights because it didn’t always seem like a “members first” thing to do. Therefore, some of the rights in the new Terms of Service have been narrowed to better reflect our long-standing practices.

Here are a few updates from our Terms of Service that we want to highlight:

  • You own your content that you post on our services. You always have, and that hasn’t changed.
  • If you delete anything from our services, our rights to it will end. But we obviously can’t control what others do with content you shared before you delete it. For example, before you delete a presentation, one of your connections may have cut and pasted it to a blog post they’ve authored.
  • We don’t have exclusive rights to your content. It’s yours, so you’re free to repost your content on other services on the terms of your choice – like one of the Creative Commons licenses.
  • We don’t license or sell your content to third-parties (like advertisers, publishers, and websites) to show to anyone else without your express permission.  
  • We won’t alter the intent of your content. But we may need to translate it, adjust the formatting, and make other technical changes to show it properly on our services.

Check out this video about the updates to our User Agreement:

We also want to point out an update we made to our Privacy Policy following our July acquisition of business-to-business marketing company Bizo. Before the acquisition, LinkedIn worked with partners to be able to deliver targeted ads to our members on and off LinkedIn. Now, we use our own cookies and technologies to do the same thing. Please note that we don’t share your personal information with advertisers without your express permission.

So for example, if you’re an architect, we will try to show you ads related to your profession that we think will be of interest to you -- like ads related to home design software. We believe there is a benefit to our members who receive ads that are professionally relevant to them. But we also understand that not everyone may be interested in this, so we’ve created an easier way for you to opt out that will be available when the updated Terms of Service go into effect on Thursday, October 23. In the meantime, you can opt out under our current Terms of Service here.

You can check out our updated Terms of Service here: User Agreement and Privacy Policy. Summaries of the updates we’ve made are available here: User Agreement and Privacy Policy.