LinkedIn Pays $13 Million Over Pestering Members' Contacts

By Social MediaDow Jones Newswires

LinkedIn Corp. (NASDAQ:LNKD) agreed to pay $13 million to settle a class-action lawsuit over sending email solicitations to its members contacts without permission. Social networking manners apply even to social networking companies, it seems. The 2013 class-action lawsuit challenged LinkedIn's practices around a feature called Add Connections. The lawsuit accused LinkedIn, in implementing the feature, of commandeering members' email accounts and using their names without permission in pursuit of growing its membership. LinkedIn denied the accusations, contending that it has permission to use members' email accounts, names and contacts in connection with the Add Connections feature. Add Connections prompts users to import their email contacts and automatically invites the contacts to connect on LinkedIn. If an invitation is not accepted within a certain period of time, LinkedIn sends up to two reminder emails to alert the recipient that an invitation is waiting. The court found that LinkedIn members consented to the company using their contacts and sending invitations to connect. However, members did not consent to LinkedIn sending reminders, the court found. LinkedIn denies any wrongdoing. However, the company revised its disclosures associated with Add Connections to clarify that it would send up to two reminders for each connection invitation. "Ultimately, we decided to resolve this case so that we can put our focus where it matters most: finding additional ways to improve our member' experiences on LinkedIn," the company said in a statement. LinkedIn agreed to allow members by the end of 2015 to prevent the reminders from being sent by canceling the connection invitation.

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(END) Dow Jones Newswires October 05, 2015 16:35 ET (20:35 GMT) Copyright (c) 2015 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.