LinkedIn Privacy Class Action
Area: Class Actions & Privacy
Court: Northern District of California Federal Court
Result: 13 Million Dollars
Berger & Hipskind LLP are co-lead class counsel for members of LinkedIn, the online business and social networking site, who without their consent or authorization had their names and likenesses used by LinkedIn in reminder emails to those members’ contacts asking that they join LinkedIn.
The Complaint specifically challenged LinkedIn’s use of a service it called “Add Connections.” Add Connections allowed LinkedIn members to import contacts from their external email accounts and email connection invitations to one or more of those contacts inviting them to connect on LinkedIn. If an Add Connections invitation was not accepted within a certain period of time, up to two “reminder emails” were sent reminding the recipient that the Add Connections invitation was pending.
U.S. District Judge Lucy H. Koh found that while LinkedIn members initially consented to importing their contacts and sending the Add Connections invitation, members had not consented to LinkedIn sending the two subsequent reminder emails.
In mid-2015, the parties notified the Court that they had reached a settlement and, on February 16, 2106, the Court granted final approval to the class settlement. Pursuant to that settlement, LinkedIn has revised its disclosures, including specifying that up to two reminder emails may be sent for each Add Connections invitation. In addition, LinkedIn will implement new functionality allowing its members to stop reminder emails from being sent by canceling the Add Connections invitation.
Further, under the settlement, LinkedIn agreed to pay $13 million (which, depending on settlement claims, may rise to up to $13,750,000) to make payments to settlement class members who file approved claims. The settlement class consists of LinkedIn members who used Add Connections between September 17, 2011 and October 31, 2014. The settlement amount constitutes one of the largest per-class member settlements in a digital privacy class action.
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