LinkedIn has a feature (People You May Know) to suggest possible connections. In my case, most of the suggestions are Chicago area psychologists. Sometimes I know them, but more often I don't. My assumption has been that we're matched by LinkedIn because of our shared profession and locale. That seems like a safe assumption, but sometimes I see no obvious reason that a person is identified as someone I may know. In these instances, I assume that the suggestions are persons mined from contacts of people with whom I'm connected. Presumably, they did not take the precaution I took of using a virgin email account exclusively for LinkedIn activity.
One suggested connection baffled me. That person was a high school classmate. I hadn't thought about her in decades, and there is nothing in my LinkedIn profile or the associated email account that even remotely connects me with her. It's possible she's an email contact of one my few LinkedIn connections, but that strikes me as unlikely.
There's nothing in my profile referencing my childhood or schools attended on the East Coast. My profile begins with college and grad school, which were in the Chicago area. All of my connections are with other psychologists, none of whom are tied to my high school community.
It seems more likely that she browsed my profile, which is fine, but she might not appreciate that I was given an indication that she browsed my profile.
As a free LinkedIn subscriber, one is given the option to anonymize member searches. If you anonymize, and I think most people do, you can browse other profiles without the person seeing that you checked their profile. I don't browse casually, so I haven't anonymized my profile. I don't mind if people know I've looked at their profile. They're all psychologists and, in most cases, I'm checking the profile of someone who has invited me to connect.
If you do anonymize your own profile, you can't view identities of those who've searched you. If you don't anonymize, you can see all other non-anonymized members who've browsed you. Since most people anonymize, I don't see their identities in my stats. If the high school classmate browsed my profile, she must have done so anonymously like most members, because her name didn't turn up in my stats. And yet, LinkedIn is giving me her name as someone I might know.
This just reinforces my preexisting feeling about Silicon Valley creepery in an industry full of frank ethical compromise or moral indifference. I realize that much of the business is about getting information and using it for growth and profit, but they seem so devious and underhanded about it. They offer assurances that you can lock the doors, but then you come home to find that a burglar climbed through a window and rifled through your closets.
Now I just recalled one other case of a suspect suggestion by LinkedIn. It's a person I worked with long ago outside of psychology. Again, nothing in my bio would connect me with this person and I probably haven't thought about him in decades, yet there he was, suggested by LinkedIn as someone I may know.😬