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.

 

Further details on the settlement, including information for settlement class members on how to submit a claim and important upcoming deadlines, can be found at: www.AddConnectionsSettlement.com.

 Selected Case Documents 

 

 Selected News Coverage Of The Case 

 

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

FEATURED ARTICLE: Bloomberg BNA On The Settlement For 13 Million Dollars Of Berger & Hipskind LLP's Class Action Against LinkedIn

A $13 million class settlement with LinkedIn Corp. is fair and reasonable, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California held Feb. 16.  The settlement provided for meaningful relief and resulted in more thorough disclosures about the e-mail harvesting practices at issue, Judge Lucy H. Koh said in an order approving the settlement. The plaintiffs challenged LinkedIn's practices of harvesting potential members from its users' e-mail accounts and sending potential members invitations using existing members' images and identities.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

NYPost Reporter Discusses Berger & Hipskind's Class Action Against LinkedIn In An Article Entitled: "LinkedIn Turned My Social Life Into A Nightmare"

I’m not the only one who has been harassed by the company. Last October, a class-action lawsuit was brought against LinkedIn because its “Add Connections” feature sent hundreds of spam emails. The company agreed to pay $13 million to users who signed up for its “Add Connections” feature between September 2011 and October 2014, and promised to quit sending emails by the end of 2015.

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

New York Magazine Discusses Berger & Hipskind's Suit Against LinkedIn And A Writer's Experiences With The Company

I can’t be alone in this task, explaining myself to people who think I need help.  Last year, LinkedIn agreed to pay $13 million as a “sorry” for spamming friends of subscribers.  

 

Users track signs of the network’s grip over our lives.  In a post that went viral, one blogger listed all the people LinkedIn should have known not to recommend to him: a woman with the same name as a forgotten ex-girlfriend; an aunt not even on LinkedIn who showed up with a shadow profile likely intended to dupe him into inviting her to join. (As of writing, requests for comment from LinkedIn were not returned.)

Saturday, May 14, 2016

New York Times Article Discusses Berger & Hipskind's Suit Against LinkedIn In An Article Entitled: When Websites Won’t Take No for an Answer

They described the reputational and financial risks to online services that employ confusing strategies.  Among other companies, they mentioned LinkedIn. Last year, the professional network agreed to pay $13 million to settle a class-action suit in which plaintiffs accused the company of sending unwanted emails to their contacts.  Steve Johnson, LinkedIn’s vice president for user experience, said the company had worked over the last two years to make it clearer to members how the feature that imports their contacts works and to give them more control over it.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

LinkedIn Class Action Settlement Granted Final Approval - Berger & Hipskind LLP Is Co-Lead Class Counsel In 13 Million Dollar Settlement With LinkedIn Regarding Privacy Violations.

United States District Judge Lucy Koh granted final approval to a $13 million settlement that was made public last year.The underlying lawsuit was filed in September 2013 by a group of LinkedIn users who claimed that the company “misappropriated” their names and identities by sending unauthorized email invitations to the users’ “friends.”

Monday, October 05, 2015

Newsweek: LinkedIn To Pay $13 Million For Spamming Users Too Much

LinkedIn, the popular social media site for professionals and career opportunists, recently agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit for spamming its users with too many emails. Thanks to Perkins v. LinkedIn Corporation, the Mountain View, California-based company agreed to pay $13 million to those who file approved claims, along with $3.25 million in legal fees. If enough people file successful claims, LinkedIn will put out an additional $750,000.

So what were the spam emails that landed LinkedIn in hot legal water? It was none other than the infamous (and universal New Yorker caption) “Hi, I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn” emails that someone got every time a colleague added him or her to their connections

Thursday, February 05, 2015

The Recorder: LinkedIn New Deal To End Privacy Suit

Lawyers for LinkedIn Corp. say they are close to settling a proposed privacy class action over the company's practice of sending repeated marketing emails to users' contacts.  The suit, Perkins v. LinkedIn, 134303, claims LinkedIn misappropriates the names and likenesses of its users to make it seem they are sending the invitations to join the professionalnetworking site.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

NYTimes: Users Sue LinkedIn Over Harvesting of E-Mail Addresses

Four LinkedIn users have filed a lawsuit accusing the business-oriented social network of accessing their e-mail accounts without permission, harvesting the addresses of their contacts and spamming those people with repeated invitations to join the service.  

Regardless of the claims in the lawsuit, there is no doubt that LinkedIn makes it awfully easy for you to send an invitation to connect to everyone you have ever e-mailed and much harder to revoke that permission.

When you sign up for the service, or want to add contacts, LinkedIn prompts you to import the e-mail addresses of potential contacts from your e-mail accounts, like Gmail, Yahoo Mail or MicrosoftOutlook. The lawsuit says LinkedIn does this without seeking the e-mail passwords, suggesting that LinkedIn is hacking into accounts. Under LinkedIn’s normal procedures, it asks users for permission to access each account, though e-mail passwords may not be required if a user is already logged into the e-mail account.

Please reload

Berger & Hipskind LLP | 9538 Brighton Way, Suite 320 | Beverly Hills, California 90210 | 323.886.3430