Over the weekend the blogosphere was abuzz about a class action lawsuit brought against LinkedIn. The lawsuit claims that LinkedIn is improperly accessing user email information and sending unauthorized emails on their behalf to help with their overall growth strategy.
The lawsuit claims that LinkedIn is actually “breaking into” user accounts:
“The wrongful conduct by LinkedIn that is the subject of this complaint arises from Linkedln’s practice of breaking into its users’ third party email accounts, downloading email addresses that appear in the account, and then sending out multiple reminder emails ostensibly on behalf of the user advertising LinkedIn to non-members. Linkedln provides no functional way to stop multiple subsequent advertising emails from being sent.”
Additionally, the lawsuit claims that LinkedIn is sending emails to further their marketing strategy:
“As a part of its effort to acquire new users, Linkedln sends multiple emails endorsing its products, services, and brand to potential new users. In an effort to optimize the efficiency of this marketing strategy, Linkedln sends these “endorsement emails” to the list of email addresses obtained without its existing users’ express consent and, to further enhance the effectiveness of this particular marketing campaign, these endorsement emails contain the name and likeness of those existing users from whom Linkedln surreptitiously obtained the list of email addresses.”
On Saturday Black Lawit, Senior Director of Litigation at LinkedIn, officially responded to the lawsuit on the LinkedIn blog. He addressed the concerns directly saying that claims ere “quite simply, not true.” He also gave the following crystal-clear statement on what LinkedIn does and doesn’t do:
- 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.
We do give you the choice to share your email contacts, so you can connect on LinkedIn with other professionals that you know and trust. We will continue to do everything we can to make our communications about how to do this as clear as possible.
For more information see the full blog post on LinkedIn.