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The app that reveals your age on LinkedIn

by on October 19, 2015

Thanks to BuzzFeed for this article about a new app (called Age Insights) that uses data from your LinkedIn profile to calculate your age. LinkedIn is apparently not happy about this and wants to shut it down. The app itself is described – rather apocalyptically – as ‘new and horrifying Chrome extension that estimates peoples’ ages and displays them on their LinkedIn profile page‘.

So what’s going on? The app – which you download and install – works by analysing data points on an individual’s public profile, such as the date of their university graduation and dates of their work experience; it uses these to give an estimated age range of a couple of years. Of course, it isn’t always accurate.

The creator of the app seeks to justify on the basis that he personally intends to use it for what appears to be some age/career benchmarking, which raises interesting questions about age norms and notions of career success. He says: “I just like to browse the profiles of other people who have similar backgrounds and experience as me, and just use the age benchmark to see how well I’m doing and to evaluate where I want to be when I’m 30, 35, 40, etc…

The concern is that an app could be used to assist employers acting in a discriminatory way in relation to a candidate’s age. Interestingly, the link to the app site from the BuzzFeed article is broken so maybe the app has already been pulled.

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