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Justice Department Pays Linkedin $500,000 For Unlimited Access To Your Personal Information



(Elizabeth Harrington) The Justice Department is spending more than $500,000 to “enhance” its company profile on LinkedIn and increase its “brand awareness.”

The contract, awarded on Christmas Eve, gives the government “unlimited access” to each of the networking site’s 250 million users through LinkedIn’s “Recruiter” service.

The DOJ’s Criminal Division, which enforces federal criminal laws, will use LinkedIn Recruiter to post job advertisements and seek out potential employees. Carahsoft Technology Corporation, a government IT company, will receive $544,338 to administer the service, according to the award.

The contract will allow the division to “reach a large-scale professional network of existing and potential Criminal Division audiences,” the agency said.

“This will include an enhanced company profile within a large-scale, professional networking platform, and targeted online job advertising to attract highly-qualified Criminal Division employees and intern applicants as well as use the already existing Criminal Division presence,” the document said.

The DOJ’s procurement office stated that the contract will allow unfettered access to every user on LinkedIn, the “world’s largest professional network.”

“The LinkedIn services will … provide unlimited access to names and full profiles of all profiles in the LinkedIn database,” according to a description of the deal.

“No other vendor has access to this wealth of user information pertaining to professional backgrounds, experiences, achievements and aspirations, as well as other demographic information, on such a granular level,” the Justice Department said. “This will allow our ads to be served to qualified, potential applicants in a highly targeted manner.”

Doug Madey, corporate communications manager for LinkedIn, said the DOJ would use the recruiter product offered by his company. Recruiter Corporate, which costs $719.95 per month, allows companies to see the full profiles of every LinkedIn member.

Using LinkedIn will “provide a platform that gives the Criminal Division the opportunity to increase brand awareness beyond job advertisements, by engaging audiences and establishing relationships with users,” the DOJ said.

The Criminal Division currently has 906 followers on LinkedIn, and employs between 500 and 1,000 people.

The Justice Department said the contract would enable the division to weed out unqualified candidates for open positions, “freeing up staff time and workload.”

Other terms of the award include banning contract employees from text messaging while driving, and an affirmative action policy to employ and advance workers with physical or mental disabilities.

The DOJ did not respond to requests for comment