After Facebook, data of 500 million LinkedIn users appears online; company says ‘not a LinkedIn data breach’


While we are still shaken by the Facebook data leak that involved 533 million accounts, another huge batch of user data is floating around the web, and this time LinkedIn is in the hot seat. An individual selling the data on a hacker forum claims it was scraped from 500 million LinkedIn profiles. This was first reported by CyberNews. Reportedly, as proof, two million records have been put up for sale. These records include LinkedIn users’ full names, email addresses, phone numbers, genders, and other data.

However, in a statement released by the company, LinkedIn claims that the data includes information from many places and wasn’t all scraped from its platform.

 After Facebook, data of 500 million LinkedIn users appears online; company says not a LinkedIn data breach

LinkedIn app. Image: Unsplash

“We have investigated an alleged set of LinkedIn data that has been posted for sale and have determined that it is actually an aggregation of data from a number of websites and companies. It does include publicly viewable member profile data that appears to have been scraped from LinkedIn. This was not a LinkedIn data breach, and no private member account data from LinkedIn was included in what we’ve been able to review,” LinkedIn’s statement


Essentially, LinkedIn claims that the leaked data only includes information that you’d be able to see on someone’s public page. The company also insists that it is not a “data breach”, which holds true considering the hacker has “scraped” the data instead of gathering it by hacking into LinkedIn’s systems.

However, this does not change the fact that 500 million users’ data is in the hands of hackers and two million of it is up for sale.

A recent report by Bloomberg reveals that Italy’s privacy watchdog has begun an investigation into LinkedIn.