LinkedIn will pay $13 million to settle suit over those annoying emails

Social networking site LinkedIn will pay $13 million to its users for settling a lawsuit over sending annoying mails

LinkedIn users have been receiving way too many promotional emails, but they received one recently that was much different than usual: LinkedIn was announcing that it had agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit over sending unwanted emails.

The lawsuit revolves around LinkedIn’s Add Connections feature, which would send out connection requests to people in a user’s contact list who did not already have a LinkedIn account. Users had to agree to send out that first connection request, but LinkedIn would then follow up with up to two more “reminder emails” if there was no response. The lawsuit alleges that users did not consent to LinkedIn sending those additional emails, nor give LinkedIn permission to use their names and images in them.

This all made LinkedIn to pay the fund of overall 13 million to users who qualified for the suit.Generally those who had accounts on LinkedIn between September 2011 to October 2014 and received mails which were sent by using add connection feature.

Plus LinkedIn will change the disclosures on its website to mention the additional reminder emails and by the end of year it will also add a feature that’ll allow users to cancel the reminder emails from being sent.

In a statement provided to Business Insider,LinkedIn gave the details of the matter.

LinkedIn recently settled a lawsuit concerning its Add Connections product. In the lawsuit, a number of false accusations were made against LinkedIn. Based on its review of LinkedIn’s product, the court agreed that these allegations were false and found that LinkedIn’s members gave permission to share their email contacts with LinkedIn and to send invitations to connect on LinkedIn. Because the court also suggested that we could be more clear about the fact that we send reminder emails about pending invitations from LinkedIn members, we have made changes to our product and privacy policy. 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.

The court found that although there were no issues with the first mail,second and third mails mostly annoyed the users.The settlement is still to be approved in court.Users can find additional information here.

It will not actually matter which way it goes.But the good thing is that users will finally get some kind of relief from receiving too many annoying emails.The core of the email LinkedIn has sent follows.

NOTICE OF PENDING CLASS ACTION AND NOTICE OF PROPOSED SETTLEMENT

PERKINS V. LINKEDIN CORP. You are receiving this e-mail because you may have used LinkedIn’s Add Connections feature between September 17, 2011 and October 31, 2014. A federal court authorized this Notice. This is not a solicitation from a lawyer. Why did I get this notice? This Notice relates to a proposed settlement (“Settlement”) of a class action lawsuit (“Action”) against LinkedIn Corporation (“LinkedIn”) based on LinkedIn’s alleged improper use of a service called “Add Connections” to grow its member base.

What is the Action about?

The Action challenges LinkedIn’s use of a service called Add Connections to grow its member base. Add Connections allows LinkedIn members to import contacts from their external email accounts and email connection invitations to one or more of those contacts inviting them to connect on LinkedIn. If a connection invitation is not accepted within a certain period of time, up to two “reminder emails” are sent reminding the recipient that the connection invitation is pending. The Court found that members consented to importing their contacts and sending the connection invitation, but did not find that members consented to LinkedIn sending the two reminder emails. The Plaintiffs contend that LinkedIn members did not consent to the use of their names and likenesses in those reminder emails. LinkedIn denies these allegations and any and all wrongdoing or liability. No court or other entity has made a judgment or other determination of any liability.

What relief does the Settlement provide?

LinkedIn has revised disclosures, clarifying that up to two reminders are sent for each connection invitation so members can make fully-informed decisions before sending a connection invitation. In addition, by the end of 2015, LinkedIn will implement new functionality allowing members to stop reminders from being sent by canceling the connection invitation. LinkedIn has also agreed to pay $13 million into a fund that can be used, in part, to make payments to members of the Settlement Class who file approved claims. Attorneys representing the Settlement Class will petition the Court for payment of the following from the fund: (1) reasonable attorneys’ fees, expenses, and costs up to a maximum of $3,250,000, and (2) service awards for the Plaintiffs up to a maximum of $1,500 each. The payment amount for members of the Settlement Class who file approved claims will be calculated on a pro rata basis, which means that it will depend on the total number of approved claims. If the number of approved claims results in a payment amount of less than $10, LinkedIn will pay an additional amount up to $750,000 into the fund. If the pro rata amount is so small that it cannot be distributed in a way that is economically feasible, payments will be made, instead, to Cy Pres Recipients selected by the Parties and approved by the Court. No one knows in advance whether or in what amount payments will be made to claimants.

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