LinkedIn pays $13m to settle suit regarding excessive emailing, tells users via email

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LinkedIn has agreed to pay out $13 million to settle a class-action lawsuit brought a couple of years back following complaints that the company was sending out too many emails to users and without their consent.

And how did it notify users of this latest development? Why, by email, of course.

The suit, filed in California, focused on the professional networking site’s Add Connections feature that lets users import their personal contacts so LinkedIn can then send out invitation emails suggesting they connect through the service.

If a recipient failed to respond to the invitation by a certain time, the company would then send out up to two additional emails prompting the invitee to make a decision about whether to connect.

The suit notes that while a user may have given their permission to send out the initial invitation, they didn’t consent to the sending of the two reminder emails, or to the use of their name and image in those emails.

A couple of extra messages landing in the Inbox may not sound like a big deal, but lack of clarity in the site’s terms of service about these follow-up emails resulted in the lawsuit, one which has ended up costing the Silicon Valley-based firm $13 million.

And here’s the good news for LinkedIn members – if you were using the service between September 2011 and October 2014 and you used the Add Connections feature at the center of the dispute, you should take a close look at the email sent out by the company in the last few days. If you can’t find it, or you simply trashed it without taking a second, or even first, look, then hit this webpage set up by the suit’s lawyers to see if you’re eligible for a portion of the payout.

LinkedIn responded to its decision to settle in a message to Business Insider. In it, the company said that as the court said it should be clearer “about the fact that we send reminder emails about pending invitations from LinkedIn members, we have made changes to our product and privacy policy.”

It added, “Ultimately, we decided to resolve this case so that we can put our focus where it matters most: finding additional ways to improve our members’ experiences on LinkedIn. In doing so, we will continue to be guided by our core value – putting our members first.”

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