Identity, Application security

LinkedIn deploys new secure identity verification for all members

The LinkedIn icon is seen on a device

All LinkedIn members are getting a boost in secure identity verification, as the networking platform deployed new measures that will be offered free of charge.

The platform announced three new identity measures for users, which join previous security methods deployed by LinkedIn in October 2022.

Announced April 12, LinkedIn will now allow users to verify their identity with the secure identity platform CLEAR, which can be displayed on their profile beginning this month. Users will need to provide a U.S. government-issued ID and phone number for verification.

Along with CLEAR, users will also be able to verify where they work using their company email. Currently available to 50 million members worldwide and more than 4,000 companies, the measure is designed to ensure each profile is authentic.

LinkedIn also partnered with Microsoft, which enables the use of the Entra Verified ID platform. Microsoft announced the collaboration on April 12, as well, noting that Verified ID is designed to be easy for users and able to digitally verify users’ identity, including education, skills and workplace affiliation.

The tool is built on open standards for decentralized identity through a “triangle of trust” model, or three parties: the issuer, holder and verifier. As an issuer, a company could cryptographically sign a digital credential and provide it to workforce members as a digital employee ID, for example.

In short, the Microsoft tool issues digital workplace IDs for free and will let employees display the verification on their profile.

The measure is expected to be rolled out by the end of the month to “dozens of participating companies” and more than 2 million LinkedIn members. Officials say they intend to expand the availability if and when more companies participate in Entra.

LinkedIn also set up a help page for users to simplify the process and better secure user identities. Officials said the move confirms that “on LinkedIn, when you show that you're the real you, you'll have an even greater chance of finding the professional opportunities that matter to you and your community.”

“We believe verification should be for everyone on LinkedIn, that’s why every feature will be available and free to all our members,” officials said in a statement. The goal is to give users “the confidence that who you’re connecting with and the content [provided] is trusted and authentic.”

The announcement is a staunch contrast from Twitter’s removal of two-factor authentication for all unpaid accounts last month without offering a free alternative for users or education for just why a stronger authentication method is needed for account security. The decision was mercilessly mocked by security leaders, as an alleged effort to make users pay for the platform.

LinkedIn noted that while the announced measures are not currently available on a global scale, the company intends to expand the availability and participation methods over time.

Jessica Davis

The voice of healthcare cybersecurity and policy for SC Media, CyberRisk Alliance, driving industry-specific coverage of what matters most to healthcare and continuing to build relationships with industry stakeholders.

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