LinkedIn customers bring class action alleging hacking

Posted on: October 8th, 2013 by Steve Larson

Online PrivacyA class action lawsuit was filed against LinkedIn Corp. (LNKD) in the Northern District of California, claiming that the leading professional-networking website wrongly accessed its customers’ external email accounts and downloaded their contacts for marketing purposes. 

Customers attribute LinkedIn’s improper use of their contacts to the company’s marketing strategy, to “pursue initiatives that promote the viral growth of our member base,” according to the complaint.

On the personal LinkedIn web page of Brian Guan, a former LinkedIn software engineer who left LinkedIn in 2012, Guan described his role on the company’s website as “devising hack schemes to make lots of $$$ with Java, Groovy and cunning at Team Money!”  The class action complaint included a link to Guan’s post,