Professional networking site LinkedIn recently found itself the recipient of a class action lawsuit alleging that the company has been hacking into its users' email accounts and downloading their contacts, which it would then use to send out marketing materials. Furthermore, the lawsuit alleges that LinkedIn essentially impersonates its users. Blake Lawit, Senior Director of Litigation at LinkedIn, denied the accusations in a blog post.
"As you may have read recently, a class action lawsuit was filed against LinkedIn last week. The lawsuit alleges that we 'break into' the email accounts of our members who choose to upload their email address books to LinkedIn. Quite simply, this is not true, and with so much misinformation out there, we wanted to clear up a few things for our members," Lawit posted.
He went on to address three specific points, the first of which are claims that the site hacks into its members' accounts. That's false, Lawit says, adding that LinkedIn doesn't access email accounts without permission. Second, Lawit said LinkedIn never deceives its users by pretending to be them in order to access their email account. Finally, Lawit says the site never sends messages or invitations to join LinkIn on behalf of its users unless it has been given permission to do so.
"We do give you the choice to share your email contacts, so you can connect on LinkedIn with other professionals that you know and trust," Lawit added. "We'll continue to do everything we can to make our communications about how to do this as clear as possible.