Today, when my boss talking with me, he suddenly said: No you don't need to worry about it, everyday you have 3 or 4 messages with agent in Linkedin right?

I am very very surprised, because :

  1. I work at home.
  2. I don't use VPN.
  3. I use Linux (Ubuntu) system which installed by me.
  4. I login with my Chrome / Gmail account.
  5. I use my personal outlook.
  6. everytime I talk with interviewers, I use my Zoom account.
  7. I use myself mobile phone, my sim card.

The only thing is I daily use laptop provided by company. But as a 15 years IT engineer, I can not see how possible company can view my data. Especially he know there are 3 or 4 people I talking with everyday.

The only possible is is there any possible Linkined provide service that would send my data to our company?

  • 81
    I get messages nearly every day from agents on Linkedin. I would assume that's the case for everyone with anything related to software engineering in their profile. So the probability, that your boss is just guessing, is very high i would say.
    – dunni
    Apr 30, 2021 at 6:15
  • 1
    @dunni you get even more messages if you set your account to looking for a job.
    – rtaft
    Apr 30, 2021 at 11:43
  • 6
    This hardly seems like a information security question. They certainly could theoretically see anything you do on their device, a device you installed something they provided on or a browser/app/website using their account or an account they have access to, access any password-only account you ever used on their device, listen through the mic or see through the camera of a device that appears to be inactive (some of those may be legally question, even if possible). All of which you should know as a "15 years IT engineer". But more likely than not they're just guessing.
    – NotThatGuy
    Apr 30, 2021 at 11:52
  • 1
    It could be that you've interviewed with multiple of the boss's friends or colleagues. Another possibility is that multiple headhunters have contacted your company presenting you as a great candidate who's actively looking for a job.
    – workerjoe
    Apr 30, 2021 at 13:22
  • 1
    No possible, now everyone work at home. And I myself install my Linux system, as 15 year IT engineer, I think I understand the rule. The unique possible is that because I interview. I need to switch my account from company to myself, so my boss could see I from time to time log off company Zoom account, If he notice. @reffu
    – Elisa
    Apr 30, 2021 at 18:26

3 Answers 3


Your employer is possibly using a service like "Keeper" from HiQ Labs, which can provide forward-looking attrition risk analysis based on LinkedIn data.

Keeper analyses LinkedIn user data and can inform employers of employees who might be job seeking. This technology has received media attention since 2017 when an ongoing legal battle began between HiQ Labs & LinkedIn.

Since legal proceedings can force disclosure of technological methods and capabilities, I will include information regarding this dispute:

  • LinkedIn issued cease and desist orders to HiQ Labs.
  • LinkedIn made efforts to block HiQ activity.
  • HiQ files and prevails in motion for preliminary injunction in the Northern District of California.
  • LinkedIn files and loses appeal in Ninth Circuit.
  • LinkedIn Petitions the US Supreme Court (ongoing).
  • 5
    Wow, this is crazy. I'm not sure which side I'd like to win. On the one hand it is unacceptable for a service to reveal such private data of yours to anybody. One the other hand these private social media are endangering our private data and people need to know it. That service gives a perspective of what other analysis on our data is running on unofficially in even more shady areas. May 1, 2021 at 20:12
  • 1
    shXt... I nearlly confirm what you said, because my boss work with one of this project sponsors!!!!!! Too crazy technology!!!
    – Elisa
    May 1, 2021 at 23:42
  • 1
    @akostadinov I'm not sure how you define "private data". Quote from hiQ labs: "hiQ’s retention platform scours the web for any publicly available information about a company’s employees". People publish a lot about themselves. This company uses essentially pattern recognition in this public data to make predictions. You don't want people to know? Don't upload it. May 2, 2021 at 19:24
  • 2
    @Peter-ReinstateMonica, a lot of data is public, but it doesn't mean it is ethical or even legal to use it in such a way. If somebody is to monitor all my activity, where I go, what I do, what I'm buying from the shop, etc., what would you recommend? Don't go out from home? btw it is also a problem what others post about you, not only what you yourself post. In either case, people need to be more aware what can happen with their data. May 3, 2021 at 12:43

Your boss is likely making assumptions. They can't read your messages on LinkedIn (unless you have your inmails forwarded to your work email and your company is monitoring your inbox....unlikely)

The data LinkedIn publishes suggests that 80% of its users are open to hearing about new career opportunities and these days if you can even spell security then you're likely already getting many inmails with recruiters hitting you up for jobs.

I think maybe your boss is just probing....Don't address it, it's not their business.

  • 8
    This. I get headhunter calls all the time despite I tell them all that I'm not looking for a job, unless it is something really special. What they think falls under that definition is funny. As a boss, I would definitely assume that all my people are getting offers on whatever job-related sites they are on and also probably by phone. It's a pretty safe assumption.
    – Tom
    Apr 30, 2021 at 9:21
  • 13
    So, basically, it's just cold reading? Like the one psychics and mentalists use, first probing you with general questions which are likely to be true for the majority of people, and then getting more and more specific depending on how you react to them...
    – vsz
    Apr 30, 2021 at 9:26
  • For information, check accepted answer, it wasn't a wild guess from the boss apparently.
    – Walfrat
    May 3, 2021 at 14:00

There is not only technology that can bring information about your job searching to your boss.

There is a couple of possible premises that can explain your case.
Without prior knowledge or by observing behavior patterns of employees looking for new opportunities, your boss might be probing you by making you believe he knows something, so depending on how you respond to him he can make an educated guess.

That is one of many assumptions.

  • 4
    Sadly, this is not my case. After they told me they will fire me, they "casually mentioned that" I have 3 to 4 agents talking to me every day. So, they already make the decision first, and then tell me that sentence.
    – Elisa
    Apr 29, 2021 at 22:30
  • 2
    Those agents might be acquainted to your boss entourage.
    – elsadek
    Apr 29, 2021 at 22:46
  • comparing to the employee, because those "agents" are in "dark" side. If their moral could not control themselves, no one would believe them anymore @elsadek
    – Elisa
    Apr 30, 2021 at 0:09

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