Reports from the New York Times and The Next Web indicate that the LinkedIn app for iOS collects and transmits confidential user data on activating an opt in feature. Researchers from Skycure Security managed to discover that users of LinkedIn’s app on iPhones and iPads were having their calendar data covertly collected and transmitted when they activated the optional Calendar Sync feature in it.
|via Wikimedia Commons
The researchers claim that the professional networking app would transmit data every time a user viewed the default iOS calendar from within the LinkedIn app. When that did happen, the app would collect data about meetings held up to five days before then, and would collect detailed information and notes related to each contact in appointments, etc. listed in the calendar.
Over and above that, the eventual transmission of calendar data to LinkedIn’s servers lacked any form of encryption, making the entire process even more unsafe.
Apple has made very explicit regulations regarding the usage and transmission of user data by iOS apps. Going by the rules, no app is allowed to access or transfer any personal data from iOS devices without the categorical permission of their users.
Julie Inouye, a spokeswoman for LinkedIn reacted to the impending controversy by telling a New York Times interviewer that: “We use information from the meeting data to match LinkedIn profile information about who you’re meeting with so you have more information about that person.”
Hence, LinkedIn's official point of view right now is that they collect and access calendar data primarily to make it easier for you to know more about the individual you're about to meet, and be prepared. It remains to be seen whether that will hold much water in Apple's eyes, as going by what happened to the likes of Path, Apple has tended to be extremely stringent while cracking down on apps that break its rules.