Professional networking giant LinkedIn announced it will abandon the controversial LinkedIn Intro offering in March, which was the subject of much criticism over privacy and security concerns.
“Intro was launched last year to bring the power of LinkedIn to your email inbox on your iPhone. While Intro is going away, we will continue to work on bringing the power of LinkedIn to wherever our members work.” said Deep Nishar, senior VP of products, in a statement.
“Email, where the average professional spends more than a quarter of their time, is one of those places, so we’ll continue to look for ways to bring this kind of functionality to our members through existing partnerships.”
The feature is intended to allow iPhone users the ability to access background information on contacts by routing their emails through the proxy service, but security experts warned that the feature is a threat to personal privacy, and potentially a serious concern for enterprise network security.
“Once you install the Intro app, all of your emails, both sent and received, are transmitted via LinkedIn’s servers. LinkedIn is forcing all your IMAP and SMTP data through their own servers and then analyzing and scraping your emails for data pertaining to… whatever they feel like,” said Bishop Fox, who had described the process as the equivalent to a Man-in-the-Middle (MitM) attack.
Others also contend that LinkedIn’s record on security matters on the whole are less than stellar, citing the loss of over six million users’ data, and the mining of sensitive information from the iOS calendars of some of its members.
“Users of Intro will be able to uninstall it between now and March 7 and switch back to their previous mail accounts. Members can continue to use Rapportive, which brings the power of LinkedIn to Gmail,” Nishar said.
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