Sunday, September 22, 2013

LinkedIn Accused of Hacking Users’ Email Accounts.

Customers of the professional networking site LinkedIn have sued the company in a California federal court accusing it of hacking into their email accounts.

In a complaint filed yesterday (and which you can read in full below) the users accuse the company of essentially impersonating its users for the purpose of obtaining access to their email contacts. “If a LinkedIn user leaves an external email account open, LinkedIn pretends to be that user and downloads the email addresses contained anywhere in that account to Linkedln’s servers,” the complaint reads. “Linkedln is able to download these addresses without requesting the password for the external email accounts or obtaining users’ consent.”

Once it has the addresses, the plaintiffs say LinkedIn sends what they describe as “endorsement emails” for various products and services. “These endorsement emails contain the name and likeness of those existing users from whom Linkedln surreptitiously obtained the list of email addresses,” the complaint says.
The plaintiffs say its all part of a marketing strategy that’s overtly described in LinkedIn’s regulatory filings with the US Securities and Exchange Commission saying it intends to “pursue initiatives that promote the viral growth of our member base.”

I asked LinkedIN for a response, and didn’t get one right away, and will update the post when I get one. (It is Saturday after all.) However the company has denied the allegations and called them “without merit,” in comments to Bloomberg and The Los Angeles Times.

 Source: All Things

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