Linkedin has announced the March 7 demise of its creepy parasitic Intro application that a/ burrows into your iOS Mail app in a bizarro way, and which b/reads all of your email to get the data it needs to display contact information.
As I wrote back in October,
Currently implemented as an iPhone app, Intro takes a circuitous — and insecure — route to provide this snippet of info (and a lot more, if you click on the links). First of all, this is not a browser plugin, scraping information and fetching data from Linkedin. The app operates by pulling all your incoming email from your email service — in my case, Gmail — and sucks that into the servers at Linkedin. There it has access to everything in your email — the content, metadata, attachments, everything — which is at the least worrisome, and at the worst, totally insecure.
I am sure that this goes across the grain of most enterprise security policies.
Finally, the ‘app’ installs itself as some sort of parasite to the iOS Mail account, and to delete it you can’t use the normal iOS approach of pressing on the app icon and then clicking on the ‘x’ in the upper left hand corner. You have to deprovision from within the app. Strange.
After fooling with it for a few minutes, I deleted it. In a world in which the NSA is scooping up everyone’s email by secret doings with email providers, maybe I shouldn’t be worried that Linkedin wants to access my email too, but somehow, I do. I have a long list of other tools that want to help me learn more about those I am in contact with, like Rapportive, Tempo, and others, so I will simply avoid this radioactive mess.
Must have been too radioactive, and now going bye bye.
Linkedin’s Rashmi Singha also announced that they are discontinuing the Slidecasts audio service, intended to link audio with Slideshare presentations.