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Lawsuit Contends that LinkedIn Hacks Users’ E-Mail Accounts

A class action suit filed by four LinkedIn users asserts that the social-networking site accesses its members’ e-mail accounts and gathers information from them without explicit permission. The suit contends that LinkedIn hacked the users’ external e-mail accounts and downloaded the addresses of their contacts “for monetary gain” by promoting its services repeatedly to the users’ nonmember contacts. At issue is whether the social networking site acted without clearly notifying the user or obtaining consent. Users have complained to LinkedIn about its “harvesting” of email addresses and repeated spamming of those addresses, notes the complaint. The lawsuit, filed in a San Jose, California, federal court, is asking for damages and an order prohibiting LinkedIn from continuing its “wrongful and unlawful acts.” LinkedIn, in a brief blog post, called the accusations false and says it never sends messages or invitations to join LinkedIn without user permission. (PCWorld)(The New York Times)(LinkedIn Blog)

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