If you’ve gotten emails that appear to be from a friend of yours but that were actually from LinkedIn giving a pitch for the website, you’re not alone. In fact, a lawsuit has been filed against the business social networking website alleging that the company breaks into email accounts, uses the contact list to send emails to their friends and that the emails deceive users, according to an article in Maximum PC.
Black Lawit, the Senior Director of Litigation at LinkedIn was interviewed for the article and said that the lawsuit makes false allegations. How he says it, however, is important to note. He says that LinkedIn members are given the choice to share their email contact list with the service and that they don’t do any of this without permission. Essentially, if you’ve been the recipient of annoying LinkedIn emails that appear to be from somebody you knew, that person apparently gave the system permission to send out those emails or, perhaps, wasn’t aware that they could opt out of doing so or that it would even happen.
The TOS or Terms of Service for any website that you use is a document that, despite its typically long length and complicated legalese, you should take the time to read. Whenever you are using a social networking website or any other type of website, you’ll probably be presented with a very long Terms of Service agreement. Occasionally, somebody will discover something in one of these agreements and create an Internet meme/rumor that the website is somehow going to nefariously use your information without your permission or use your copyrighted work without giving you any credit or money for it.
It’s generally not worth paying attention to the rumors that gets circulated around about the Terms of Service for sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and others, but it is a good idea to take a look at the document itself. The websites do have certain obligations to their customers, but those are outlined in the Terms of Service and, if you agree to those terms and later find some of them objectionable, there’s likely little you can do by way of a lawsuit.
If you do believe that you have been deceived or abused by a website, however, it is a good idea to talk to an attorney and to see whether you could recover some damages by filing a lawsuit.