LinkedIn is “breaking into” user emails, spamming contacts – lawsuit

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Are you finding your in-box flooded with LinkedIn requests? That may be because some people are sending out the invitations against their will, according to a lawsuit that accuses the site of hacking users’ email programs.

Gigaom

In a damning class action complaint, LinkedIn(s lnkd) users are accusing the company of “tunneling” into their email accounts in order to repeatedly spam anyone who has ever had had contact with them.

The complaint, filed this week in Los Angeles, accuses LinkedIn of violating laws related to hacking, wire-tapping and false endorsements. Users say the social network’s marketing practices have given rise to fear and embarrassment as a result of emails sent to business associates, ex-spouses and, in one instance, a mentally ill former contact.

The claims draw attention both to email privacy rights, and to the tactics underlying LinkedIn’s aggressive growth strategy.

Update: LinkedIn has responded with a blog post that states, “Claims that we “hack” or “break into” members’ accounts are false.”

“Breaking into” email accounts

According to the complaint, LinkedIn prompts users to enter an email address, and then uses the information to download every account…

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