How to Rescue Your Friends

Is LinkedIn Holding Your Contacts and Calendars Hostage?

linkedIN privacy

1. It started innocuously. You were in a hurry and doing multiple things at once. (A normal day.) You were creating your LinkedIn account. The screen showed you a nifty little prompt that encouraged you to enter your email address, so you could “See Who You Already Know on LinkedIn.”  That seemingly helpful offer seemed logical.   You were quickly following all the sign-up steps; the suggestion "to see who you already know"  was in a bold print on a blue background, and in large type.  

2. Their second largest selling point and getting us to do what they wanted was this phrase,  “Syncing your contacts is the fastest way to grow your network. “ The phrasing made it easy for you to see the benefit of doing what LinkedIn wanted. 

3. The third element to catch your attention was the familiar text box prompt, “Your email address,” followed by a cheerful bright blue Continue button. 

Most of us don’t notice or read the even smaller print located above the email prompt that says, “We’ll import and store your contacts."  What does even mean?!

We might have noticed where they were leading us if the words had said something like, "We now own all your emails, phones, names,  and other information in your contact lists and we will do whatever we want with them. " But -  maybe not. 

And - by the way, they might have added, - "We also have and are storing the information in your online calendar"

When you clicked the “Continue” button   LinkedIn took your entire contact list without paying you a single penny for total access to your friends, family, business contacts, doctors, and clients. 


Why LinkedIn (owned by Misrosoft) does this to new  account sign ups? LinkedIn accomplishes its marketing goals by mining and leveraging your personal information for FREE. They do not pay you as they continuously use your personal information to get more advertiser income and to sell a myriad of add-on products to you, your family and your friends.    

Although GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) has done little to measurably impact LinkedIn’s standard business strategy and behavior, it is now a little easier to reclaim your calendar, your entire contact list, or any of your individual contacts.  

How to Reclaim Your Contacts and Calendar

1. Log in to LinkedIn

2. Select “My Network”

3. Locate “Manage Contacts and Calendar Sync

4. Choosing “Remove All” from Calendar line Rescues Your Calendar

5. Choosing “Remove All” from Contacts Reclaims Your Friends, Family and Business Contacts

Option 2 - With more time and difficulty, you can also navigate to an option allowing you to remove a contact's information one at a time. 


Whether you choose to rescue all your contacts and calendars or just your kids and grandmother or leave it all unchanged,  you now know much more about what is going on.  Use of knowledge gives you privacy power. 

ARTICLE UPDATE: LinkedIN may do another "data grab" on your after you changed your settings and delted all contacts.  Several people have let me know that it has happened to them.  This is the perfect time to check back on your LinkedIn account. 

 Margaret Ross CEO
Author and Columnist, Margaret Ross
, CEO of Visible Strategies , is a regularly featured guest on America’s top media channels and a guest blogger on topics of marketing, technology, privacy and cyberbullying prevention and business technologies.




Popular / Trending Topics

Visible Strategies About
Visible Thinking Strategies
Visible Thinking Resources
Visible Strategies Blog
Contact Visible Strategies
Improve Privacy & Security
What We Do – Visible Strategies
Columnist, CEO – Margaret S Ross