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It turns out not many people were interested in giving LinkedIn unfettered access to their iPhone email.

At least, that’s what LinkedIn seems to be implying with its announcement today that it’s killing LinkedIn Intro. Launched last year, Intro gives you a full professional history of your email correspondents at the touch of a button.

The problem? It required you to send all of your email through LinkedIn’s servers, which puts the security of your data entirely in the company’s hands. You can just imagine the horror corporate IT admins felt when this thing was announced.

In a blog post today, LinkedIn SVP of products Deep Mishar explained that the company aims to focus on fewer products this year, hence the need to cut Intro. He also announced that the company is killing Slidecast, a service that allowed SlideShare customers to add audio to their online presentations.

“While Intro is going away, we will continue to work on bringing the power of LinkedIn to wherever our members work,” Mishar wrote. “Email, where the average professional spends more than a quarter of their time, is one of those places, so we’ll continue to look for ways to bring this kind of functionality to our members through existing partnerships.”

Naturally, Intro caused an uproar among the security community. Consulting firm Bishop Fox laid out 10 reasons why Intro was incredibly problematic, including potentially breaking attorney-client privilege, breaking secure email protocols, and putting your email in the hands of a company that got seriously hacked a few years ago.

Bishop Fox wrote:

“But that sounds like a man-in-the-middle attack!” I hear you cry. Yes. Yes it does. Because it is. That’s exactly what it is. And this is a bad thing. If your employees are checking their company email, it’s an especially bad thing.

LinkedIn will continue to run Rapportive, a service that integrates LinkedIn into Gmail accounts. The company will officially shut down Intro on March 7.


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