HomeWinBuzzer NewsLinkedIn Halts Group Data Ads in EU After Regulatory Complaint

LinkedIn Halts Group Data Ads in EU After Regulatory Complaint

LinkedIn has chosen to disable the feature that enabled advertisers to use LinkedIn Group memberships for targeting purposes.


has ceased allowing advertising firms to target users based on their activity in LinkedIn Groups. This action follows a complaint from civil society groups to the European Commission (EC), which questioned whether LinkedIn's practices complied with the Digital Services Act (DSA).

Effective since February, the DSA aims to enforce transparency in online content and advertising regulations. It addresses the use of algorithms and advertising methodologies. The complaint, filed over three months ago, suggested LinkedIn might be leveraging sensitive personal data, such as race, political views, and sexual orientation, for targeted advertising.

The complaint, which prompted this regulatory attention, specifically addressed the use of group participation data for ad targeting. This follows the EU's broader intent to ensure that personal data usage adheres to stringent privacy norms.

LinkedIn's Adjustments and EU Commission Response

Responding to the EC's notification, LinkedIn chose to disable the feature that enabled advertisers to use LinkedIn Group memberships for targeting purposes. Patrick Corrigan, LinkedIn's Vice President for legal and digital safety, stated that the company disagreed with the allegation that its platform targeted users based on sensitive data indirectly, yet decided to turn off the feature to avoid any confusion. Corrigan added that this change is being implemented for all new ad campaigns, intending to align with the DSA and reduce regulatory challenges.

“After consultation with DG-CNECT and others, we've decided to adjust those tools by removing the ability to create an advertising audience in Europe that uses membership in LinkedIn Groups as an input. We made this change to prevent any misconception that ads to European members could be indirectly targeted based on special categories of data or related profiling categories. The change is effective now for all new advertising campaigns. We appreciate the constructive engagement with DG-CNECT on this project.”

EU internal market commissioner Thierry Breton noted LinkedIn's adjustment, stressing that the DSA is influencing substantial modifications in digital advertising norms:

Following a civil society complaint, in March we asked LinkedIn to explain how they comply with the DSA ban on targeted ads based on sensitive personal data, like sexual orientation, political opinions, or race. As a result, LinkedIn is voluntarily discontinuing the functionality in question. The Commission will monitor the effective implementation of LinkedIn's public pledge to ensure full compliance with the DSA. While we will remain vigilant, it is positive to see the DSA delivering change that no other law has attained so far, in Europe and beyond.”

, LinkedIn's parent company, is already navigating various regulatory issues in Europe, including potential fines and privacy-related complaints. By revising its ad targeting strategies, LinkedIn aims to avoid further regulatory actions and demonstrate compliance with the DSA. LinkedIn's move to adjust its ad practices points to a wider trend of digital platforms aligning with stringent European rules to avoid penalties and uphold user trust.

Last Updated on June 9, 2024 11:04 am CEST

Markus Kasanmascheff
Markus Kasanmascheff
Markus is the founder of WinBuzzer and has been playing with Windows and technology for more than 25 years. He is holding a Master´s degree in International Economics and previously worked as Lead Windows Expert for Softonic.com.

Recent News