LinkedIn cracking down on privacy

Posted on March 20th, by Sourcing Ninja in Uncategorized. No Comments


I ran into the issue of not being able to select any text from LinkedIn profiles a few weeks ago. The first thought that popped into my head was “they’re on to me”… but then I realised that it could just be a technical problem on my end so I decided to investigate.

After doing a quick Google and ‘LinkedIn answers’ search on the issue I realised I wasn’t the only LinkedIn customer experiencing this problem. After clearing all my cookies and caches’ and using three different browsers I deduced that this was problem perpetrated by LinkedIn.

I recalled a subscription news site that had a similar security feature which presumably prevented their competitors from copying and pasting their work and at the time I laughed at the notion because I simply ran a screenshot of the page through an OCR software then proceeded with my task. In this instance, considering that I copy & paste a substantial amount of data from LinkedIn for relevant projects I knew that this work around was not going to fly. Alternatively I figured out that I could download each profile as a PDF and from there be able to manipulate the text but this again seemed to me as too much an encumbrance to my workflow.

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After more research I found that this issue could be resolved by disabling Java in your browser.

Here’s a screenshot of how to disable JavaScript for the Mac inclined Firefox users.


The problem with the above solution is that you’re disabling JavaScript for your entire browser meaning all the other sites which play nice and require JavaScript to run properly will be effected. Seeing as I only wanted to disable JavaScript for LinkedIn I downloaded a free add-on for Firefox (also available for Chrome) called ‘YesScript’ that allows me to do just that. I suggest this approach for a more permanent solution.

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Solution 2: Setting up YesScript

Step 1: In Firefox or Chrome, Select Tools –> Add-ons

Step 2: Select ‘Get Add-ons’ on the left of your new tab then use the search bar on the top right of your screen.

Step 3: After following the prompts and restarting your browser you need to configure YesScript to only prevent Java from running for LinkedIn. Go back to your ‘Extensions’ and select ‘Preferences’.

From there a new dialogue box will appear and you can go ahead and add ‘LinkedIn’ to the blacklist.



I note that solution 2 does not help our colleagues who are running Internet Explorer. For those of you who are, you have my condolences. The next best thing is to just disable Java for your browser outright (solution 1). You can do this in the preferences/tools –> content/advanced setting.

Let me know if you’ve experienced the same or if you need help getting unstuck.


Image: Thanks to Jascha


Update: Recently I decided to re-enable Java as some of the other parts of LinkedIn rely on it. When I tried selecting the text on a few profiles I able to do so, so I’ve left Java enabled. Perhaps they decided to bin the restriction given the spate of complaints I’d imagine they would have received.

Update #2: Upon writing this article I came across a LI Answers post and it appears that Irina Shamaeva and Glen Cathey (the Boolean Blackbelt) have already addressed this issue. Trust them to be at the forefront of sourcing issues! 😉

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