LinkedIn is being sued by a group of users who claim the social network hacked their email accounts in order to spam their contacts with LinkedIn requests.
In last weeks filing four individuals claimed that the social recruiting platform was “hacking” into their email accounts and then sending invitations to their friends.
According to the plaintiffs, while they knew LinkedIn asks for users’ emails, the site does not make clear that it will bombard those users’ friends with up to three email invitations.
Filed in U.S. District Court in San Jose, California, the lawsuit claims that LinkedIn has violated federal wiretap laws and California privacy laws.
The four plaintiffs aren’t just a bunch of nut jobs trying to earn a few quick bucks. The plaintiffs include Paul Perkins, a former manager of international advertising sales for The New York Times; Ann Brandwein, a statistics professor at Baruch College in New York; Erin Eggers, a film producer and former vice-president of Morgan Creek Productions in LA; and Pennie Sempell, a lawyer and author in San Francisco.
We don’t know the true motivation behind the lawsuit but LinkedIn has been quick to defend its spammy actions. In a blog post titled “Setting the Record Straight on False Accusations” LinkedIn writes:
As you may have read recently, a class action lawsuit was filed against LinkedIn last week. The lawsuit alleges that we “break into” the email accounts of our members who choose to upload their email address books to LinkedIn. Quite simply, this is not true, and with so much misinformation out there, we wanted to clear up a few things for our members.
-We do not access your email account without your permission. Claims that we “hack” or “break into” members’ accounts are false.
-We never deceive you by “pretending to be you” in order to access your email account.
-We never send messages or invitations to join LinkedIn on your behalf to anyone unless you have given us permission to do so.
Do you think LinkedIn engagement in unethical email spamming without proper notice for users?