LinkedIn does not appear to have a policy regarding inactive accounts. So if an account needs to be deleted for any reason, the user cannot rely on LinkedIn to remove it.
A LinkedIn account remains active until the user chooses to delete it or someone reports that the owner of the account is dead. The surest way is to contact LinkedIn yourself or delete the inactive account if you have the password.
Presumably, if someone searches for you, they will not be able to find your profile after 24 hours if you decide to delete your account. However, cached versions of your profile may still exist and can be found through web searches for a much longer time.
Additionally, even though LinkedIn will remove the user’s profile within 24 hours, it will not delete or “depersonalize” the data associated with the account for up to 30 days. If it has a legal reason to do so, it can keep your data indefinitely. For example, law enforcement may request the account and its information to remain public.
Do take note that these rules apply to many websites and not just LinkedIn.
LinkedIn says that it “cannot recover Invitations or Messages once they are permanently deleted by a Member, and cannot recreate evidence of Connections that have been severed.”
This means it is possible to permanently delete message and sever connections. However, other copies of the messages may still exist with the other senders or recipients, including recipients who subsequently received the forwarded message.
Because LinkedIn does not have a policy that involves deleting inactive accounts, it is important to shut down accounts yourself. LinkedIn allows users to close their accounts. Closing your account means permanently deleting your profile as well as removing access to all of your LinkedIn information from the website.
LinkedIn Premium Account
For those with a premium account, it is possible to just cancel the premium access and keep the free basic account to retain their profile, connections, and other information.
Here are the steps provided by LinkedIn on how to close an account:
Click the ‘Me’ icon at top of your LinkedIn homepage and select Settings & Privacy from the dropdown.
Under the Account management section of the Account tab, click ‘Change’ next to ‘Closing your LinkedIn account’.
Check the reason for closing your account and click ‘Next’.
Enter your account password and click ‘Close’ account.
Remember that once you have closed your account, you will lose access to your connections as well as all the information you have added to your account.
LinkedIn notes that search engines like Yahoo and Google may still display your information temporarily because of the way they collect and update their search data.
For more information about the website’s policies, particularly regarding the deletion of inactive accounts, contact LinkedIn directly.