Facebook Inc once allowed academic researchers to access the data of the users for academic research. But this didn’t end on a positive note as we all heard about Cambridge Analytica Scandal which heavily impacted the image of the company.
Now LinkedIn Corp, social media giant owned by Microsoft Corp announced that they would allow academic researchers to mine some of its data. For this, Igor Perisic, the chief data officer at LinkedIn on Monday 20th August 2018 made an announcement in a blog post that the data trove will be in full control of the company to protect the LinkedIn user’s privacy.
The usage of data will be restricted to those whose academic proposals which is legally approved by the company. Perisic said in a blog post that the researchers only can access comprehensive and anonymized data for which a secure “sandbox” will be provided to them. This means the researchers won’t be able to download the data themselves from the sandbox.
The company mentioned that “the academic researcher will not be allowed to obtain, use or edit the data beyond the span of the research projects.
Apart from this, LinkedIn’s security and legal terms will keep an eye on the academic proposals that would ask for the access of data. Only those projects whose purpose is to come up with an economic opportunity will be allowed to use the data.
In the last week’s interview, Perisic said – the company is looking forward to upgrading the advanced state of the knowledge about the economic and the labor market. He further said, “This is not about having a direct product impact.” Last time when they collaborate with the academics they come up with some leads which improved the site.
For instance, at Tufts University a researcher named ‘Laura Gee” used the data from the LinkedIn for posting jobs. With the useful data, Laura Gee made the post which engaged more men and women and encouraged them to apply for that job post because that advertisement included information on the current number of other applicants. Now LinkedIn is using the same insight to help its customers in improving their job posting experience.
Perisic also mentioned that the collaboration with the outside academics related to such interesting economic projects helps LinkedIn to retain their own internal data scientists.
LinkedIn is inviting the academic researchers to submit ideas about their projects in three broad categories that include – economics, analytics, and artificial intelligence (AI). The teams will be selected on the rolling basis and at one time only a dozen teams will be allowed to access the data.
The program so called as LinkedIn Economic Graph Program is said to be an expansion of the previous collaboration of the company with outside economics researchers in the year 2015.
According to LinkedIn, the previous initiative ended on a positive note as it helped in achieving astonishing results. For example, World Economic Forum research took the help of LinkedIn data for finding the gender gap. University of Chicago’s assistant professor in finance, Jessica Jeffers examine the impact of non-compete agreements by making use of LinkedIn data.