LinkedIn Will Pay For Spamming Your Email Contacts

If you just got a long email about LinkedIn and a class-action legal settlement, yes, it’s real. And yes, you could be eligible to get some of that $13 million that the social network is paying to settle the lawsuit.

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In 2013, a class-action lawsuit accused LinkedIn of accessing users’ email accounts without their permission and unwittingly using their names to send email invitations to people in their address books. You’ve probably received many of these emails from people you barely know.

If a connection invitation is not accepted within a certain period of time, up to two “reminder emails” are sent reminding the recipient that the connection invitation is pending. The Court found that members consented to importing their contacts and sending the connection invitation, but did not find that members consented to LinkedIn sending the two reminder emails.

LinkedIn still denies any wrongdoing, it has made changes to its product and privacy policy and agreed to pay $13 million to settle the lawsuit. The settlement has not yet been approved, but LinkedIn and the plaintiffs’ lawyers have agreed to it, so unless members of the class object, it’ll probably be approved next year.

LinkedIn’s $13 million will be distributed pro rata, meaning that the amount each person gets will depends on how many people file claims. Attorneys representing the Settlement Class will petition the Court for payment of the following from the fund: (1) reasonable attorneys’ fees, expenses, and costs up to a maximum of $3,250,000, and (2) service awards for the Plaintiffs up to a maximum of $1,500 each. The payment amount for members of the Settlement Class who file approved claims will be calculated on a pro ratabasis, which means that it will depend on the total number of approved claims. If the number of approved claims results in a payment amount of less than $10, LinkedIn will pay an additional amount up to $750,000 into the fund.

If the pro rata amount is so small that it cannot be distributed in a way that is economically feasible, payments will be made, instead, to Cy Pres Recipients selected by the Parties and approved by the Court. No one knows in advance whether or in what amount payments will be made to claimants.

Settlement Details

  • File claim (pending approval)
  • Rebate: Up to $1500, most likely around $10
  • Proof of Purchase Required: No
  • Settlement Pool: $13 million
  • Deadline: 12/14/2015
  • Read Settlement Details Here
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