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New Linkedin 'active status' feature lets your boss know when you're online

Linkedin’s new feature could land unsuspecting workers in trouble (NurPhoto/Getty Images)

If you’re fed up with work and trying to do a bit of sneaky job hunting during office hours, you’ll want to know about this.

Linkedin has introduced a feature which shows everyone – including your boss – when you are online.

A little green circle by your profile picture indicates ‘Active Status’ – and will be visible to all those connected to your account. It shows a user is available to chat via the Linkedin messaging platform.

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The feature is on by default – an increasingly common feature employed by various sites to push engagement numbers – although users can easily turn it off in the settings.

Sammy Shreibati, senior product manager at Linkedin, said: “With this new ability to see when connections are active and available, members can know the right moment to reach out and have live conversations.

“Ultimately, we want to make it easy for people to have productive conversations that can help them get ahead in their careers.”


However, if you are not aware of the green circle it could prove a little embarrassing should you be trying to do a little networking or job hunting on the sly.

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Paul Armstrong, of Here/Forth, a technology adviser, said described the move as “incredibly invasive”.

Linkedin, which boasts some 500 million-plus members worldwide, was dealt a blow earlier this week in the US courts.

A district judge ruled in favour of a company that specialises in working out when people are planning to leave their jobs, allowing it to continue to scrape data from public user profiles on Linkedin.

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The company, hiQ, sees when people are updating their LinkedIn profiles – often when about to search for a new job – and can use that information to alert employers of potential leavers.

Linkedin used “various blocking techniques” to try to stop hiQ from harvesting data, arguing it was violating the 1986 Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, but that argument was rejected by the court.

On its company website, hiQ says: “We provide a crystal ball that helps you determine skills gaps or turnover risks months ahead of time, and a platform that shows you how and where to focus your efforts.”