LinkedIn has long been a popular professional networking site that allows potential employees and businesses to communicate about job opportunities. When marketers have access to user email accounts, they can target specific user relationships they’d like to strengthen through advertising. However, a new privacy change to the platform has severely limited marketer’s abilities to export that important data. Here’s what that means, and how to know if you should be concerned.

This new LinkedIn privacy change gives LinkedIn users the ability to deny permission for connections to download their email addresses. Unfortunately for marketers, this change automatically selects ‘No,’ meaning users have to manually choose to share their email addresses. For marketers using this data to advertise both on LinkedIn and elsewhere, this new policy will trigger a slew of changes to current marketing tactics. A popular use for this data was by CEOs wanting to further develop their existing relationships with LinkedIn connections on a number of platforms, though it is easy to see why LinkedIn made the change.

According to LinkedIn, this change was meant to give users more control over their personal data. The change should also cut down on spam and the number of email lists users had no say in joining. While this may seem like a loss for marketers, it can also be seen as a chance to stop companies placing individuals on email lists that no one will benefit from. After all, if recipients aren’t opening the emails, how effective is that as a marketing practice?

Will this change affect you? Unless you’re a large corporation, probably. It’s the entrepreneurs and small business owners that are losing out on a marketing resource with this change. Previously, LinkedIn gave businesses access to the private data of users making up their ideal customer base as well as potential employee base. For those businesses using this data for good, they will have lost a huge resource for compiling targeted marketing campaigns both on and off the LinkedIn platform. For a small business, this could be a significant blow to their marketing plans.

Considering current data privacy laws, it really is no surprise that LinkedIn privacy changes took place. In fact, it’s surprising these changes did not take place sooner. While LinkedIn is still a valuable resource for business owners, marketers will have to adjust their tactics without the professional networking site’s data to inform their campaigns.