LinkedIn has been ordered to stand trial by a U.S Federal judge over allegations from users that they have been sending and accessing emails without consent.
LinkedIn has been found to be accessing users email accounts, copying their address books and using this information to solicit business. This is seen as a loophole by some as users do agree upon sign up to allow LinkedIn to use their contacts to send an initial recruitment email – but give no authorization to send further reminder emails.
US district Judge, Lucy Koh (San Jose, California) stated:
“This practice could injure users’ reputations by allowing contacts to think that the users are the types of people who spam their contacts or are unable to take the hint that their contacts do not want to join their LinkedIn network.
“In fact, by stating a mere three screens before the disclosure regarding the first invitation that ‘We will not … email anyone without your permission,’ LinkedIn may have actively led users astray.”
Koh has given customers the green light to pursue their claims that LinkedIn has violated their right of publicity. She has dismissed other claims however, such as violation of federal wiretap laws.
Crystal Braswell declared on behalf of LinkedIn:
“We are pleased that the Court rejected plaintiffs’ unfounded “hacking” claims and found that LinkedIn members consented to sharing their email contacts with LinkedIn. We will continue to contest the remaining claims, as we believe they have no merit.”
View the full information on the class action lawsuit here.
Image courtesy of Ben Scholzen