LinkedIn Sued by Customers for Mining Personal Data

Jacob Harper |

Social network LinkedIn Corporation (LNKD) has been one of the biggest success in tech this year, more than doubling in value while becoming one of the fastest-growing players in the highly competitive business of social networking. But according to recent allegations, some of that growth might have come at the expense of ethics. If these allegations are found to be accurate, it could be the first significant blow to LinkedIn’s uninterrupted rise.  

On Sept. 20 a coterie of LinkedIn customers sued the social media site, alleging that the social media company “mined” their email contact lists and sent unsolicited invitations to these people to join the site. The customers allege the company went into their personal email accounts to retrieve this information which, if true, would be an egregious and possibly illegal breach of privacy.

According to the plaintiffs, there are “hundreds of complaints” concerning this practice on LinkedIn’s site, insinuating that the class-action suit could grow exponentially.

This isn’t the first time the company has been in hot water over issues of customer privacy. In June 2012 the company had 6.5 million passwords stolen by a Russian hacker, who exploited the fact that LinkedIn did not “salt” their passwords, a relatively simple and standard security practice.

While that incident was not perpetrated by the company itself, the email mining allegations point to an ongoing pattern of recklessness concerning the personal information of users.  

The company is still wildly profitable. While they have tempered outlook for the rest of 2013, LinkedIn has beaten analyst expectations the last nine straight quarters.

The stock was down 2.29 percent on the news of the lawsuit to hit $243.37 a share.

DISCLOSURE: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors, and do not represent the views of equities.com. Readers should not consider statements made by the author as formal recommendations and should consult their financial advisor before making any investment decisions. To read our full disclosure, please go to: http://www.equities.com/disclaimer

Companies

Symbol Name Price Change % Volume
LNKD LinkedIn Corporation Class A 195.98 0.04 0.02 910,730
DLCRD Kibush Capital Corp n/a n/a n/a 0

Comments

Emerging Growth

Winston Gold Mining Corp.

Winston Gold Mining Corp is a mineral exploration and development company. The Company is engaged in acquiring, exploring, developing, and operating mining properties.

Private Markets

Initial State

Initial State is an Internet of Things (IoT) data analytics & data management platform company. We turn sensor and event data into information that matters by making it easy to…

Airbnb

Airbnb is a community marketplace for people to list, discover, and book unique accommodations around the world — online or from a mobile phone. Whether an apartment for a night,…