LinkedIn can be very enthusiastic about connecting users, and it turns out that behaviour is classified under spam. The professional social network has agreed to pay some US$13 million (about RM57 million) to settle a class action lawsuit brought against it by annoyed users who were fed up with being spammed about connecting with other people.
The issue centres on the Add Connections feature of LinkedIn; which, as it says, allows people to connect with other professionals that they have met. However, it also automatically sends connection requests without first alerting the owner of the account. It does this by scanning contacts lists that are uploaded to the network and sending requests to anyone who isn’t already connected.
Should the contact fail to respond, LinkedIn will send up to two reminder emails just to be sure. This particular behaviour is what the users have taken action against. It turns out that the court agreed with the claimants in that they consented to the network sending the initial requests, but not the reminders.
LinkedIn has not admitted to any wrongdoing, but it has agreed to settle the case instead of allowing it to continue. Admittedly, the US$13 million only looks like a massive amount; but LinkedIn had 113 million users in 2014. Essentially meaning that each person will receive US$0.11 (about RM0.48) should everyone claim their share of the settlement.
More importantly, LinkedIn will allow disable the automatic reminder feature by the end of 2015. Which should cut down the on the number of spam email aimed at people.
[Source: Wall Street Journal]