LinkedIn disables its tailored ad feature in accordance with EU tech regulations

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LinkedIn disables its tailored ad feature in accordance with EU tech regulations
LinkedIn disables its tailored ad feature in accordance with EU tech regulations

LinkedIn said on Friday that it has ceased utilizing a system that allows it to use sensitive personal data for targeted advertising in order to comply with EU restrictions on online content.

In order to abide by EU regulations on online content, LinkedIn has stopped using a mechanism that permits it to exploit sensitive personal data for targeted advertising, the social media network announced on Friday. The company’s action came in response to a complaint filed with the European Commission, which serves as the 27-nation bloc’s tech watchdog, by civil society organizations. Online intermediaries are required by the Digital Services Act (DSA) to provide users with greater control over how their data is used, including the ability to disable personalized information.

Sensitive personal information, such as race, sexual orientation, or political beliefs, cannot be used by businesses to target advertisements. After the groups claimed the tool may allow advertisers to target LinkedIn users based on racial or ethnic origin, political viewpoints, and other personal data due to their membership in LinkedIn groups, the Commission issued a request for information to LinkedIn in March. In a LinkedIn post, Vice President Patrick Corrigan of LinkedIn stated, “We’ve decided to adjust those tools by removing the ability to create an advertising audience in Europe that uses membership in LinkedIn Groups as an input.” We made this adjustment to dispel any misunderstanding that advertisements to members of the European Union could be indirectly targeted by using unique data categories.

Thierry Breton, the head of the EU industry, praised the action. “The Commission will monitor the effective implementation of LinkedIn’s public pledge to ensure full compliance with the DSA,” he said. Bits of Freedom, Global Witness, Gesellschaft für Freiheitsrechte (GFF), and European Digital Rights (EDRi) were among the complainants who applauded LinkedIn’s decision. Global Witness’ Nienke Palstra stated in a statement that LinkedIn “must now widen this policy to users everywhere and ensure it’s not just those in Europe who are protected from invasive ad targeting.” The statement said that LinkedIn was forced to respond by Europe.

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