It may be time to accept that your data just isn’t safe anywhere. According to a new lawsuit introduced by LinkedIn customers, the professional networking site should be added to the growing list of organizations that can’t be trusted with users’ personal information. The group alleges that the site hacks and trawls through users’ email accounts to track down any person they may have ever come into contact with, explaining why that guy you bought a dresser off of via Craigslist in your junior year of college keeps popping up in your recommendations list.
The complaint claims LinkedIn has relied on illegal, and immoral, practices as a cornerstone of its growth strategy. The more people in its network (which stands at 238 million strong now), the more revenue it can expect to rake in from a handful of streams - possibly at your expense. The lawsuit cites Brian Guan, a LinkedIn software engineer whose own profile on the site describes his job with the company as “devising hack schemes to make lots of $$ with Java, Groovy and cunning at Team Money!” Oops.
LinkedIn has, unsurprisingly, quashed the allegation and plans to fight it. “LinkedIn is committed to putting our members first, which includes being transparent about how we protect and utilize our members’ data,” a spokesperson for the company told Bloomberg in an email.