Just How Connected Is LinkedIn to Your Network?

October 19, 2013 – In The News
Fox 29 Philadelphia

Scott Vernick appeared on Fox 29 Philadelphia’s 6 p.m. newscast on October 19, 2013, to discuss the recent lawsuit filed in California against LinkedIn.

LinkedIn, the prominent business-oriented social media networking site, is denying the claims of four users who accuse the site of hacking into user e-mail accounts to spam its members in an attempt grow membership.

“The charge is that LinkedIn is accessing users’ external e-mail accounts,” said noted privacy attorney Scott Vernick. “So for example accessing a Gmail account or Yahoo or Microsoft Outlook … and harvesting a user’s email addresses from that account and then posing as that member and spamming nonmembers so that LinkedIn can get more members. As you know, part of the success of any social networking site, particularly like LinkedIn, is virtual growth.”

LinkedIn currently claims more than 225 million users.

Asked what current users can do to protect themselves, Vernick advised, “When we talk about privacy, the name of the game is transparency. When you sign up for an online social network, what you want to be is very careful about reading the terms of use in the policy and not signing up too quickly. Take your time in doing it.”

“If you are a business, what you want to do is be transparent about what you are doing with your users’ information so that you can protect your brand and your integrity,” he noted.