In a lawsuit filed by a number of LinkedIn users, the known company is accused of ‘hacking’ accounts of its members and using them to spread marketing messages to the members’ contacts. The famous social network for professionals has allegedly accessed the address books of its members and stealing pertinent information of their contacts to send different information about their company. Angry members filed a class lawsuit to stop the alleged practice of the said company and to stop the unlawful access of their private data and credentials. The lawsuit was filed in a district court in San Jose, California and complainants are asking for unspecified damages and LinkedIn to cease its continuing violations against its members.
Using Members’ Info to Gain More Members and Sell Products
According to the handful number of members who filed the complaint, LinkedIn is using their information primarily to invite more members to sign up for their company. They also added that the company is able to access their external e-mail accounts without their consent and download addresses of their contacts. The company already hass more than 200 million users found in more than 200 territories and countries across the globe and an interface available in 19 languages. Although these numbers are already high, the company is still aiming to increase significantly their membership and reach. The complainants stated that the company is using their photographs, names, likenesses and identities to advertise LinkedIn’s services and products without their consent. They also labeled this practice as “unfair and deceptive” form of business strategies. According to them, LinkedIn does not provide a function to stop multiple advertising emails sent subsequently using their members’ accounts. The company is also exploring all possible ways just to gain more memberships, added by the complainants.
LinkedIn Denies Allegation; Says They Are False and Without Merit
The official response from LinkedIn came in a form of a blog post from their senior director of litigation. According to Blake Lawit, the claims of the complainants are not true and “without merit”. He denied that their company is accessing their members’ email accounts and that they are sending invitations without the consent of their members. He also added that LinkedIn cares about their members and respects their privacy. They are also reaching out to persons that members have given permission to access and contact.