Apparently, LinkedIn has recently done us the “favor” of having a default setting whereby our names and photos can be used for third-party advertising. Here’s a link showing you how to opt-out.
These types of sneaky, trust-destroying tactics always amaze me. Do companies like LinkedIn, Facebook, etc., really think that they’re so clever that nobody will ever discover this stuff? Is the irony lost on them that the discoverers will promptly use the same networks to tell the world about the under-handed, brand-damaging tactic?
Due to consumer backlash, “opt-out” strategies were discredited in the earliest days of the Internet in favor of opt-in, i.e., where people must affirmatively grant permission, not be required to affirmatively revoke assumed permission.
Perhaps L/I and FB think that they’ve achieved such critical mass that they’re too big to be vulnerable to a new, more trustworthy social network. Switching costs right now are probably prohibitively high for most of us, but that may be a factor of how often, and how badly, they damage their brand trust.
In 1986, most people — including ABC, NBC and CBS — would have bet against the chances of another broadcast TV network cracking the big three’s absolute viewing hegemony, but Fox proved otherwise. The combination of your customers tiring of you abusing their trust and someone showing up with a better way has toppled countless category leaders throughout business history.