LinkedIn faces Italian probe after users’ data is hacked


The regulator said Italy has one of the highest number of subscribers to LinkedIn in Europe and called on affected users to ‘pay particular attention to any anomalies’ related to their phone number and their account. — Background photo created by ijeab - www.freepik.com

Microsoft Corp’s LinkedIn faces a probe by the Italian privacy watchdog following a leak of personal data, including users’ names and phone numbers.

The Italian authority said in a statement late Thursday that it started an investigation following “the dissemination of user data, including IDs, full names, email addresses, telephone numbers”.

The regulator said Italy has one of the highest number of subscribers to LinkedIn in Europe and called on affected users to “pay particular attention to any anomalies” related to their phone number and their account.

The company said in a statement that “this was not a LinkedIn data breach, and no private member account data from LinkedIn was included”.

“When anyone tries to take member data and use it for purposes LinkedIn and our members haven’t agreed to, we work to stop them and hold them accountable,” the company said.

The Italian move comes after Ireland’s privacy authority said it was looking into a leak over the weekend of the personal data of more than half a billion Facebook Inc users.

The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, took effect in May 2018, paving the way for national authorities in the region to levy fines on companies that violate the rules of as much as 4% of annual sales. – Bloomberg

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