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LonelySilhouette posted 1/23/2014 15:18 PM

I know that the topic of Linked In has come up before, and I know how it generally works but how does Linked In know exactly who to recommend to someone there as someone they think you know?

I was looking at WH's page last night. He's not really into it. In fact, he says he doesn't even remember his password to it (I believe it) so I reset the password and I have it and he doesn't. He doesn't know that, and the fact that he doesn't know and doesn't care is what makes me believe his lack of interest in it. His BIL sent him a link to it originally, WH essentially typed in his own name and really didn't add much more than that. One guy he used to work with added WH to his connections, and most recommended connections come through that former co-worker's page.

I was looking at the page last night, as I said, and Linked In was making 3 recommendations of people they thought my WH knows. One was his former boss - obviously, a very legit recommendation although WH certainly wants nothing to do with that guy now. The next is a woman that WH was having an EA with. They have no work connections. He literally met her on the street walking dogs and had phone/text contact over the next 3 years. They are NC now. That "recommendation" from Linked In had me on the verge of a meltdown until I looked at recommendation #3, who is someone that bought a puppy from us 18 months ago. Again, they have no professional connection and really no personal connection. I have all of the contact with her and her husband. I am the person who sells the puppies and maintains the contacts. My WH probably wouldn't even recognize her name if I said it. I would have to say her name, which puppy she has, and where she lives for him to remember her. I have absolutely no suspicion that there is anything untoward going on there, none.

I see that Linked In has an area where you can check who has looked at your profile. There was only one person there, and it was also a legitimate, former (male) co-worker.

So, where did the 3 "recommended" contacts come from? How did they draw a connection to the EA woman and our puppy owner?

(FWIW, I'm going to delete his Linked In page if I can figure out how to do so. He told me to go ahead and get rid of it.)

TrustedHer posted 1/23/2014 15:33 PM

I'm pretty sure that LinkedIn harvests your email contacts, and I think it does it whether you allow it or not. I think Facebook has taught slimy behavior to all the social media sites.

Certainly, it suggests people I find odd, that I have exchanged emails with in the past.

It may have done so from his email account when he was using LinkedIn, and again with your email when you were using it.

LonelySilhouette posted 1/23/2014 15:57 PM

I have always used Linked In through his e-mail, not my own, so there'd be no harvesting through mine. He's never had any e-mail contact with our puppy buyer. That much I'm pretty sure of. He says he never had e-mail contact with the EA person, it was all phone and texting. He's really not into e-mail that much, in general. Yes, he used it to contact some of the prostitutes - that was how I found out about his cheating. He doesn't use it that much and wasn't smart about it.

seenow posted 1/23/2014 16:57 PM

I have no idea if this is how it works but maybe she searched him and linkedin thinks they may know each other?

JerseyCowgirl posted 1/23/2014 17:10 PM

I had similar bizarre things also. I setup an account for my boss. Immediately it was also pulling up names from my personal email (not even work email) as possible people my boss would know. The clincher was it grabbed my aunt's name & email. A techie person said it can see these from other address books with the use of the "cookies". Not sure if he's right but only explanation that made it possible.

LonelySilhouette posted 1/23/2014 17:34 PM

I have no idea if this is how it works but maybe she searched him and linkedin thinks they may know each other?

I wondered that, too. But you'd think if someone searched his name, they would have looked at his profile when they found it and then it would be listed as people who have looked at your profile, as it was with the one guy listed as people who looked at his profile. ???

seenow posted 1/23/2014 17:45 PM

LonelySilhouette: You can set your profile to anonymous so people cannot see it was you looking at their profile.

Toodevoted posted 1/23/2014 17:50 PM

I had similar bizarre things also. I setup an account for my boss. Immediately it was also pulling up names from my personal email (not even work email) as possible people my boss would know. The clincher was it grabbed my aunt's name & email. A techie person said it can see these from other address books with the use of the "cookies". Not sure if he's right but only explanation that made it possible.

I had similar to this, I've got 2 email addresses used on my laptop. I joined LinkedIn with one, and it used the contacts from the other as possible people that I'd know

blinders_off posted 1/23/2014 18:31 PM

Don't let LinkedIn get your imagination racing. There are many blogposts on tech sites about how creepy LinkedIn is in terms of data mining for recommendations. There are things even serious coders cannot figure out. There is a lawsuit about them pulling all email contacts (not just our address book, but all email addresses you've ever sent or received mail from) without permission.

Here's an essay on Medium about this very aspect of LinkedIn

"Ghost Interactions, Real Human Consequences"

purplejacket4 posted 1/23/2014 18:59 PM

It's sci fi creepy. Reminds me of that Person of Interest show.

LonelySilhouette posted 1/23/2014 20:25 PM

Thanks for the replies. It is creepy. I don't have any reason to think the EA is continuing or that there is any contact. I just found it really odd that Linked In was able to make the connection. Hell, it took me some time to make this particular connection! When her number turned up on the first phone bill I saw for his cell, I completely chalked her up to be a telephone solicitor! When she turned up another time, then the questions started and he confessed right away.

Chicky posted 1/23/2014 20:48 PM

The ways that it gathers info that I am aware of are:

1. It scans your email contacts and makes connection recommendations from them. (Still haven't figured out how, but I know it does)

2. It gathers connection recommendations from your current connections. ("You may know this person")

3. It gathers connection recommendations of current and former coworkers from current and former employers.

4. It gathers connection recommendations from your job industry. (If you're in Healthcare in Chicago, it will recommend other professionals in Healthcare in Chicago)

5. It gathers recommendation connections from any LinkedIn groups you join or have the potential to join.

Really creepy. I only use it for professional purposes and I have made it explicitly clear to my contacts that unless it has to do with a job, do NOT message me.

As an aside, I had to straighten out a former coworker when he wanted to "meet up with me because he hadn't seen me in years". He always had a crush on me and I had to rudely remind him for the 3rd time that I would not under any circumstances meet up with him on any level because I loved and respected my husband and maybe he should try to do the same with his current (3rd that is) wife so that she doesn't become another EX wife. Don't know what his response was because I deleted him after that.

eta: Just thought of something else - if you have a smartphone and you sync it with your computer, it just may be able to scan that for contacts as well particularly if you have the LinkedIn app on your phone. Seems extreme but I don't put anything past social media.

[This message edited by Chicky at 8:52 PM, January 23rd (Thursday)]

LonelySilhouette posted 1/23/2014 22:28 PM

We don't have smart phones. We are not that techie. We have old flip phones. As I mentioned, my WH is not that into e-mail either. He doesn't have a contact list, and as I mentioned, there was nothing on his Linked In profile. It was literally just his name. He was linked to his BIL, who works in a completely different industry and to one former male co-worker. That was it. He's not on facebook or any social media. If he had some kind of web presence, I'd find it much easier to see Linked In making connections.

blinders_off posted 1/24/2014 08:47 AM

The recommendations are not coming from *your* end.

For example, the "EA woman" -- if she either has the LinkedIn app on her phone, or syncs her phone with her computer, LinkedIn harvests ALL of her email and phone contacts over ALL time, and continually tries to entice people to use LinkedIn more by recommending people to one another to make more connections within the network, which will then make people spend more time on LinkedIn, and so on and so on.

LinkedIn even has connections recommendations set up for *people who aren't yet on LinkedIn*!! So then, the second they answer an invite or visit LinkedIn when they are logged in to their email, LinkedIn will show a list of "people you already know" to entice the person to join. Facebook does the same.

For the puppy woman, I would guess that you and your husband both use the same IP address. LinkedIn has a record of the IP address he used when he answered his BIL's invite.

Puppy woman (or her husband) probably, and completely unknowingly, gave LinkedIn "permission" to scan their email. Once it has that permission, it scans every time you log in. You have to find and revoke the permission. It would be my guess that LinkedIn scanned the puppy woman's email, found you as a contact, used an algorithm to associate that with your husband's IP which is the same as yours, and recommended her to your husband.

This is exactly why they're being sued, all this murky weird invasive stuff.

LonelySilhouette posted 1/24/2014 11:12 AM

Thanks for the responses. I did manage to delete the Linked In account yesterday. At least, I think I did...

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