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    Radio Netherlands Worldwide: LinkedIn may have broken Dutch law

    Radio Netherlands Worldwide reports on a privacy question concerning social-networking site LinkedIn in the Netherlands:

    Social networking site LinkedIn may have breached Dutch privacy law with a recent change it made in its members’ profile settings. The Dutch Data Protection Authority (CBP) says LinkedIn should have asked its users to give their explicit consent to the use of their portraits as illustration material in its advertising.

    Instead, the networking site has done exactly the opposite. A recent change in LinkedIn’s Terms of Use states that the company may use members’ profile photos for advertising purposes, unless the member forbids such use; a practice known as ‘opt-out’. […]

    The Dutch privacy watchdog’s view is shared by an EU Data Protection Working Party, which recently presented a definition of “consent” that is widely accepted. Even though the definition is considered too narrow by some critics, lawyers agree that LinkedIn is in clear breach of the opt-in rule. […]

    Apart from a posting on its company blog, LinkedIn has not reacted to the privacy concerns expressed by critics.

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