Four LinkedIn members filed a stunning complaint in federal court last week, accusing the professional social networking giant of hacking members’ email accounts in an effort to increase membership and revenues. The plaintiffs, seeking class action status, claimed that LinkedIn will surreptitiously harvest email addresses using “open” connections to email accounts such as Yahoo! Mail, Microsoft Mail, Google Gmail, and a number of other web-based email service providers. After doing so, the company will send multiple reminders to the recipients to join, ostensibly on behalf of LinkedIn members.
On June 10 I was one of four featured speakers at the New York County Lawyers’ Association’s CLE (Continuing Legal Education) class Let’s be Friends: The Legal Ramifications of Social Networking. I have now made my presentation materials available online, which covered (i) understanding social networks and user generated content sites, DMCA takedown and counter-notices, (ii) the ethics on using a third person to gain access to an adverse witnesses’ social networking profile via a friend request, and (iii) the legal ethics of blogging and microblogging (twitter). A description of the highly successful CLE appears below. [Read more…]