I have been a LinkedIn member since the mid to late 2000’s. Over time it hasn’t evolved as much as say Myspace or Facebook, but the guts of the site have undergone a number of changes. One of these was and is the way in which LinkedIn gets you to connect with other people on their site.
When joining the professional social network you have to provide at least one email address. The site then prompts you to sync your contacts with their system and finds all of your friends in their network. Of course, this isn’t really that much different than any other social network. The idea behind this being that if you know more people at the party you’re more likely to stay.
The problem comes in next from how LinkedIn was using this data. When you first create the account you have the option to pick out any contacts that you want to send an invite to. If someone you select doesn’t have a LinkedIn account they would receive an email that looks like a personal request from you to join. Not ideal, but totally within your control. The next part is where it get’s dicy. See, LinkedIn then started to decide that members weren’t inviting enough of their friends to join. They took it upon themselves to automatically send emails that appear to be from you to your contacts asking them to sign up for the social network.
You may not think this is an issue, but then think back to how many emails you’ve sent from your email account. Maybe buried somewhere is a previous boss, maybe an old flame, or maybe even someone you interviewed for a job once. Any email address that you sent or received mail from would be fair game. You can see how this might be upsetting to the people who received the requests as well as those who found out they were being sent.
Enter the class action lawsuit!
So there is a handy site that explains all of this in detail. The short story is, if you’ve had a LinkedIn account between September 17, 2011 to October 31, 2014 you can submit a claim to any settlement money that will be paid out. Now, there is no guarantee that any money will be paid out, nor is there an estimated amount that will be paid out since the money is to be divided up by the number of claims submitted. If you do want to file, it just takes a few minutes and you can do so here.