LinkedIn is one of the greatest ways to get your name out there into the business world and acquire connections with all those in the world workforce. Well, sometimes things can get a but too pushy and that’s why LinkedIn Corp. has had to agree to pay $13 million to settle a class-action lawsuit that could end up getting you $1,500.
The LA Times reported that the lawsuit alleges the social business network sent out far too many emails to potential connections, and they did it all without the consent of its members.
The settlement applies to all those that were LinkedIn members between the dates of September 17, 2011, and October 31, 2014. Those members also needed to have used the “Add Connections” function, which allows others to import their email contacts list. From there, invitations can be sent on LinkedIn to connect the two members.
The lawsuit then states that LinkedIn repeatedly “spammed” those email address owners if they didn’t respond to the invitation emails. Upon lack of response, they would then send two reminder emails without the consent of the user and this would happen for every invitation that wasn’t acknowledged.
Any LinkedIn users who opted to use the “Add Connections” function never gave consent for the multiple follow-up emails. This, in turn, has led to the lawsuit that LinkedIn ended up settling for $13 million and it could lead to $1,500 (or less) for those users.
As VOX reported, the federal court found those emails to be even more than actual spam. They were indeed found to be illegal abuse of tens of millions of Americans’ inboxes. The lawsuit points out that the company simply went far beyond just reaching out.
“LinkedIn, without consent, downloads and indefinitely stores email addresses gathered from its members’ third-party email accounts. Not only does LinkedIn send an initial email to the email addresses obtained from a user’s external email account, but LinkedIn sends two additional emails to those addresses when those users do not sign up for a LinkedIn account.”
Jeff Weiner, the CEO of LinkedIn, hasn’t released a statement, but the settlement pretty much shows that the company realizes it was easier to go this route than fight it. LinkedIn has still denied any wrongdoing in the entire situation.
The amount of users affected by the “spam” emails is approximately 20.8 million people as they are those that used the “Add Connections” function. The $13 million will end up going out to them for a maximum of $1,500 per person.
In an interesting twist of irony, LinkedIn has agreed to send an email out to users who may end up in that group. While $1,500 is the max amount that could be received via the settlement, the amount could end up being considerably smaller depending on how many people petition LinkedIn for their cut of the money.
The email will contain an ID that users must file by going to this website and claiming their part of the settlement.
Claims from LinkedIn users must be filed in a timely manner and before the date of December 14, 2015. Once that is done, the final approval hearing will take place on February 11, 2016, and payments will be sent out sometime after that.
LinkedIn will be putting a message and notice on their website as well to advise users of the situation.
The $13 million settlement is what LinkedIn has deemed appropriate with the lawsuit that was filed against them for the multiple spam emails. Those included in the settlement could end up with $1,500 or a bit less, but at least they now know that they won’t be hounded by emails if they fail to respond to invitations.
[Images via Getty Images – Justin Sullivan and Mandel Ngan/LinkedIn]