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Blunders : Email permissions gaffe triggers huge $13m fine for LinkedIn

by on October 12, 2015 in Blunders, Latest News, Lead Article, LinkedIn, Nuggets, Social Media

LinkedIn may have gained a reputation as the go-to place to build business contacts – and even find a new job – but a schoolboy error in its marketing practice has landed the site in deep trouble in the US after it failed to provide an opt-out to one of its email services.

The social media site has been slapped with a $13m (£8.5m) fine in a class-action lawsuit after being found guilty of spamming people with constant invitations to join the platform through its “Add Connections” feature, which allows people to import their email contact list and send invitations to connect.

According to the lawsuit, the site repeatedly “spammed” those email addresses on the list by sending constant reminder emails on behalf of members without permission; the feature did not provide an opportunity to give or refuse consent to follow-up emails.

Members who were affected by the issue have until December 14 to file a claim which would make them part of the settlement. It could result in them receiving up to $1,500 (£981) depending on how many people join the lawsuit.

Despite denying any wrong-doing, LinkedIn has now pledged to revise its practices and tell users that two reminder emails will be sent as part of the “Add Connections” service. It also vowed to provide an option to stop reminders from being sent by cancelling the connection invitation, although this will not be introduced until the end of 2015.

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