LinkedIn Intro, a service that attaches profile information about the sender when you receive an email, has received a lot of attention in the week since its launch. But while it’s designed to help you be more efficient, security experts aren’t so sure it’s worth the risk.
Similar to Rapportive for Gmail, which LinkedIn acquired in 2012, Intro will display more information about the sender. The product was designed to help you write more effective emails through the Apple Mail app on your iPhone.
It also helps recipients differentiate between spam and legitimate emails. With Intro, you can immediately see what the sender looks like, where he or she is based, and what he or she does. You’ll also be able to see past work experience as well as how you’re connected.
Security experts, however, have deemed the service insecure, stating that it creates a potentially weak link between sender and recipient. It also requires LinkedIn to temporarily store emails on its servers while it adds information using its data.
Over the weekend, LinkedIn published a blog post in hopes of alleviating some of those concerns. In it, the company highlighted some of the actions it took in advance of launching Intro. Most importantly, it explained that once someone has retrieved the mail, the encrypted content is deleted from LinkedIn’s systems.
“It’s important to note that we simply add an email account that communicates with Intro. The profiles also sets up a certificate to communicate with the Intro web endpoint through a web shortcut on the device. We do not change the device’s security profile in the manner described in a blog post that was authored by security firm Bishop Fox on Thursday.”
Intro is a third party that to some extend reads email data. That’s something to keep in mind before employing the service, and definitely something that should be discussed with your team beforehand. Some businesses might prefer employees use Intro with their personal LinkedIn account and not their company email address.