Perkins et al v. LinkedIn Corporation

Filing 1

COMPLAINT (Class Action) against LinkedIn Corporation ( Filing fee $ 400, receipt number 0971-8008331.). Filed byPaul Perkins, Erin Eggers, Ann Brandwein, Pennie Sempell. (Attachments: # 1 Civil Cover Sheet)(Berger, Dorian) (Filed on 9/17/2013)

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6 RUSS AUGUST & KABAT LmTy C. Russ, State Bar No. 82760 Donan S. Berger, State Bar No. 264424 Daniel P. Hipskind, State Bar !;fo. 266763 12424 Wilsnlre Boulevard, 12 Floor Los Angeles, California 90025 Tel: (310) 826-7474 Fax: (310) 826-6991 Email: Email: Email: 7 Attorneys for Plaintiffs 1 2 3 4 5 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA lO ~ ..: 11 P'1 12 o<l Paul Perkins, Pe=ie Sempell, A= Brandwein, and Erin Eggers; individually and on benalf of all others similarly situated, 13 ~ ~ VJ Plaintiffs 14 v. ~ 15 Linkedln Corporation, (/) 16 ~ d ~ VJ ~ ~ 17 18 19 Defendant. Case No. _ _ _ _ _ __ CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES 1. VIOLATION OF COMMON LAW RIGHT OF PUBLICITY 2. VIOLATION OF UNFAIR BUSINESS PRACTICES ACT 3. VIOLATION OF STORED COMMUNICATIONS ACT 4. VIOLATION OF WIRETAP ACT 5. VIOLATION OF CALIFORNIA COMPREHENSIVE DATA ACCESS AND FRAUD ACT 6. VIOLATION OF CALIFORNIA INVASION OF PRIVACY ACT 20 21 JURY TRIAL DEMANDED 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 CLASS ACTION COMPLAlNT 1 Plaintiffs Paul Perkins, Pennie Sempell, Ann Brandwein, and Erin Eggers 2 (collectively, "Plaintiffs"), by and through their attorneys, Russ, August & Kabat, 3 bring this action on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated, make the 4 following allegations on information and belief, except as to allegations pertaining 5 to Plaintiffs individually, which are based on their respective personal knowledge. 6 INTRODUCTION 7 1. Plaintiffs bring this class action complaint against Linkedln 8 Corporation ("LinkedIn") for appropriating the names, photographs, likenesses, 9 and identities of Plaintiffs to advertise its products and services for a commercial 10 f--, purpose without Plaintiffs' consent, for unfair and deceptive business practices, and 11 in violation of LinkedIn's User Agreement with users, accepted industry standards, 12 and federal and state law. <t; ~ o<l 13 2. The wrongful conduct by LinkedIn that is the subject ofthis f--, 14 complaint arises from Linkedln's practice of breaking into its users' third party 0 ;:::> ~ 15 email accounts, downloading email addresses that appear in the account, and then if] if] 16 sending out multiple reminder emails ostensibly on behalf of the user advertising 17 LinkedIn to non-members. Linkedln provides no functional way to stop multiple 18 subsequent advertising emails from being sent. if] ;:::> ~ 19 3. When users sign up for LinkedIn they are required to provide an 20 external email address as their username and to setup a new password for their 21 Linkedln account. LinkedIn uses this information to hack into the user's external 22 email account and extract email addresses. If a LinkedIn user leaves an external 23 email account open, LinkedIn pretends to be that user and downloads the email 24 addresses contained anywhere in that account to LinI::edln's servers. Linkedln is 25 able to download these addresses without requesting the password for the external 26 email accounts or obtaining users' consent. 27 28 4. As a part of its effort to acquire new users, Linkedln sends multiple emails endorsing its products, services, and brand to potential new users. In an 1 CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT 1 effort to optimize the efficiency ofthis marketing strategy, Linkedln sends these 2 "endorsement emails" to the list of email addresses obtained without its existing 3 users' express consent and, to further enhance the effectiveness of this particular 4 marketing campaign, these endorsement emails contain the name and likeness of 5 those existing users from whom Linkedln surreptitiously obtained the list of email 6 addresses. 7 5. These "endorsement emails" are sent to email addresses taken from 8 9 <t: p:j ~ o<l E-< clients, opposing counsel, etc. Linkedln reassures its users "[w]e will not email 10 E-< Linkedln users' external email accounts including the addresses offoTIner spouses, anyone without your permission." (Linkedln Login Step 2, Yet, 11 Linkedln, without consent, downloads and indefinitely stores email addresses 12 gathered from its members' third-party email accounts. 13 6. Not only does Linkedln send an initial email to the email addresses 14 obtained from a user's external email account, but Linkedln sends two additional <t; 15 emails to those email addresses when those users do not sign up for a Linkedln u:l 16 account. Each ofthese reminder emails contains the Linkedln member's name and 17 likeness so as to appear that the Linkedln member is endorsing Linkedln. These 18 reminder emails are sent to the email addresses obtained from the member's 19 external email account without notice or consent from the Linkedln member. [/) ~ C'J ~ [/) ~ 20 7. Linkedln's appropriation of email addresses to send multiple reminder 21 emailspromotingitsserviceismotivatedbymonetarygain.Brian Guan a 22 Principal Software Engineer at Linkedln (currently on sabbatical) posted on 23 Linkedln's web site that his role is "devising hack schemes to make lots of $$$ 24 with Java, Groovy and cunning at Team Money!" Brian Guan, Linkedln Profile, 25 available at http://www.linkedin.comlinlbrianguan (last visited September 13, 26 2013). LinkedIn's 2011 10-K identified as its key strategy, "Foster Viral Member 27 Growth." Linkedln states, "we will continue to pursue initiatives that promote the 28 viral growth of our member base." 2012 10-K at 3 (Mar 2,2012). Jeff Weiner, 2 CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT 1 LinkedIn CEO has stated that changing the way it sends invitations to new 2 members (through the appropriation of email addresses) has led to strong member 3 growth directly assisting the bottom line. "[Linkedln] [g]rew its member base to 4 218 million, and witnessed strong member growth through the quarter due to 5 optimization initiatives. As a result, new sign ups increased to greater than two 6 per second." 2013 Ql Earnings Highlights, May 2,2013 (emphasis added). "This 7 strong membership growth is due in large part to new growth optimization efforts." 8 Jeff Weiner, 2013 Q2 Earnings Call Transcript, August 1,2013 (emphasis added). 9 8. LinkedIn's sending of multiple emails to each address that it has 10 harvested is driven by monetary gain. LinkedIn never discloses to its users that it 11 will send multiple emails to each email address that it has harvested. These 12 follow-up emails are critical to Linkedln signing up new users. "Our intention ~ o(j 13 behind sending reminders is to jog the receiver's memory in case they overlooked ""' ~ 14 the original message." LinkedIn Invitation Reminders, February 7, 2013, available ~ 15 at (last visited July 15, [/) [/) 16 2013); LinkedIn Community Support, How Do I Stop Invitation Reminders, June 17 11,2013, available at 18 stop-sending-invitation-reminders.html (last visited July 15,2013) ("I even deleted 19 all the sent invitations and still my fhends getting the reminders. this is the fourth 20 time in two weeks. so frustrated. after deleting all the sent invitations, i can not 21 withdraw."); Linkedln InMail, available at 22 (last visited July 15, 2013) 23 ("Does it work? Absolutely. InMails are so effective we back them up with a 24 response guarantee. If you don't get a response in 7 days, we'll give you another 25 InMail to send.") ""' ~ ~ [/) 0 <t: &l 26 9. At a minimum, LinkedIn places a value often dollars for each email 27 sent to a recipient containing an endorsement. LinkedIn charges its own members 28 ten dollars ($10) per email sent by its members to another member not directly 3 CLASS ACTlON COMPLAINT 1 linked to that user. See e.g., Linked InMail Purchasing Page, available at 2 <> (last visited May 3 20,2013). Linkedln states that these emails are worth ten dollars ($10) each 4 because they carry an endorsement and the ability to send up to two reminder 5 emails and are thus "better than an email or cold call". 6 10. Linkedln intentionally and knowingly created and developed this 7 deceptive advertising scheme to improperly use the names, photographs, 8 likenesses, and identities of Plaintiffs for the purpose of generating substantial 9 profits for Linkedln. Linkedln's scheme was initiated without obtaining the lO consent of or compensating Plaintiffs or Class members for their part in promoting E-< 11 Linkedln's products and services. Plaintiffs and Class members each have a right iY1 """ 12 of publicity under common law, which entitles them to be compensated for the use o'd 13 of their names, likenesses, and/or photographs. Linkedln has deprived Plaintiffs of 14 such compensation. ~ E-< VJ G :::> --< en ~ t/l JURISDICTION AND VENUE 15 16 11. This Court has jurisdiction over the subject matter of this action 17 pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 133l. This Court has personal jurisdiction over Linkedln 18 because (a) a substantial portion ofthe wrongdoing alleged in this complaint took 19 place in this state, and (b) Linkedln is authorized to do business here, has sufficient 20 minimum contacts with this state, and/or otherwise intentionally avails itself ofthe 21 markets in this State through the promotion, marketing, and sale of products and 22 services in this State, to render the exercise of jurisdiction by this Court 23 permissible under traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice. Under 24 the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 this Court has jurisdiction as the amount of 25 damages sustained by the Class exceeds five million dollars. 26 27 12. Venue is proper in this District under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1391(b)(1)-(2) because Linkedln headquarters are located in the Northern District of California. 28 4 CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT 1 Venue is also proper under California Code of Civil Procedure § 17203 as this is a 2 Court of competent jurisdiction. PARTIES 3 4 1. Plaintiff Paul Perkins is a United States citizen and resident of New 5 York City, New York in New York County. Mr. Perkins is the former Manager of 6 International Advertising Sales for The New York Times. Mr. Perkins was, until 7 20l3, a registered LinkedIn member. LinkedIn on one or more occasions during 8 the class period gained access to Mr. Perkins' external email accounts without his 9 authorization. Further, Linkedln on one or more occasions during the class period 10 sent invitations to join LinkedIn to email addresses harvested from one or more of f-< 11 Mr. Perkins' external email accounts. Moreover, without Mr. Perkins' consent, i!1 12 additional spam emails were sent by LinkedIn to email addresses harvested from o<l l3 his accounts. These emails were sent without the prior consent of Mr. Perkins and 14 contained Mr. Perkins' name endorsing and advertising LinkedIn's service. The 15 endorsement emails requested the recipients to join Linkedln. LinkedIn sent these en ~ 16 endorsement emails to email recipients within and outside of California. 17 ~ ~ f-< [/) ;::J 0 ;::J ~ if) 2. PlaintiffPe=ie Sempell is a United States citizen and resident of San 18 Francisco, California in San Francisco County. Ms. Sempell is a lawyer and 19 author. Ms. Sempell has been, and still is, a registered Linkedln member since 20 before May l3, 20l3. LinkedIn, on one or more occasions during the class period, 21 gained access to Ms. Sempell's external email accounts without her authorization. 22 Further, LinkedIn, on one or more occasions during the class period, sent 23 invitations to join LinkedIn to email addresses harvested from one or more of Ms. 24 Sempell's external email accounts. Moreover, without Ms. Sempell's consent, 25 additional spam emails were sent by Linkedln to email addresses harvested from 26 her accounts. These emails were sent without the prior consent of Ms. Sempell 27 and contained Ms. Sempell's name endorsing and advertising LinkedIn's service. 28 5 CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT I The endorsement emails requested the recipients to join LinkedIn. LinkedIn sent 2 these endorsement emails to email recipients within and outside of California. 3 3. Plaintiff Ann Brandwein is a citizen and resident of New Rochelle, 4 New York in Westchester County. Professor Brandwein is a professor of statistics 5 at Baruch College in New York City. Professor Brandwein has been, and still is, a 6 registered LinkedIn member since before May 13,2013. LinkedIn on one or more 7 occasions during the class period gained access to Professor Brandwein's external 8 email accounts without her authorization. Further, LinkedIn, on one or more 9 occasions during the class period, sent invitations to join Linkedln to email 10 addresses harvested from one or more of Professor Brandwein's external email II accounts. These emails were sent without the express consent of Professor o:l 12 Brandwein and contained Professor Brandwein's name endorsing and advertising c:Id 13 Linkedln's service. The endorsement emails requested the recipients to join l(/] ;:J 14 Linkedln. Moreover, without Professor Brandwein's consent, additional spam ;:J <r: 15 emails were sent by Linkedln to email addresses harvested from her accounts. ctl (/] 16 LinkedIn sent these endorsement emails to email recipients within and outside of 17 California. l- <0:: ~ 0 ;:J ~ 18 4. Plaintiff Erin Eggers is a citizen and resident of the City of Los 19 Angeles in Los Angeles County, California. Ms. Eggers is a film producer and 20 former Vice-President of Morgan Creek Productions in Los Angeles. Ms. Eggers 21 has been, and still is, a registered LinkedIn member since before May 13,2013. 22 LinkedIn on one or more occasions during the class period gained access to Ms. 23 Eggers's external email accounts without her authorization. Further, Linkedln, on 24 one or more occasions during the class period, sent invitations to join LinkedIn to 25 email addresses harvested from one or more of Ms. Eggers's external email 26 accounts. These emails were sent without the express consent of Ms. Eggers and 27 contained Ms. Eggers's name endorsing and advertising Linkedln's service. The 28 endorsement emails requested the recipients to join LinkedIn. Moreover, without 6 CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT 1 Ms. Eggers's consent, additional spam emails were sent by LinkedTn to email 2 addresses harvested from her accounts. Linkedln sent these endorsement emails to 3 email recipients within and outside of California. 4 5. Defendant Linkedln Corporation is a corporation existing under the 5 laws ofthe State of Delaware, with its principal place of business at 2029 Stierlin 6 Court, Mountain View, California 94043. Linkedln does business throughout the 7 State of California and the United States. FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS 8 9 6. Linkedln is a social networking company that directs its products and 10 services to people whom it describes as "people in professional occupations." As E-< 11 of the flrst quarter of2013, Linkedln had at least 225 million members. Linkedln's P1 12 purpose as a business entity is to generate revenue, which is achieved through three o<l 13 main avenues: Talent Solutions, Marketing Solutions, and the sale of Premium 14 Subscriptions. Talent Solutions offers a variety of products aimed at companies <t; 15 and recruiters to allow them to quickly search for and contact prospective vi' 16 employees. Marketing Solutions consists of advertising to Linkedln members by 17 placing ads on the Linkedln website. Premium Subscriptions are sold directly to 18 individuals and small businesses who want to conduct advanced searching on 19 LinkedJn's website, enhance their professional identities, and contact other 20 members. The size and growth ofthe number of Linkedln users is directly 21 correlated to the success of each of Linkedln's three main sources of revenue. 22 Linkedln touts itself as "The World's Largest Professional Network." See, e.g., 23 The Global Linkedln Audience, available at 24 < 25 Tnfographic_ Linkedln_Audience_ Global_20 12.pdf> (last visited, May 22, 2013). -< ~ E-< r/J ~ 0 ~ r/J ~ 26 7. Linkedln harvests the email addresses that appear in the external 27 email accounts of its members. These email accounts include Yahoo! Mail, 28 Microsoft Mail, Google Gmail, and any number of other email service providers. 7 CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT 1 8. When a new member signed up for Linkedln, Linkedln asked for that 2 new user's external email address. This request is made without any warning of 3 what the email address will be used for. A new Linkedln user was then asked to 4 provide a password for his or her Linkedln account. Figure 1, below, shows the 5 prompt on the Linkedln website requesting a user's external email address and a 6 "new password." 7 8 First Name, ILL_ _ _ _ _ _ _--1 I 9 10 ~ ~ c<l f-< M ~ 11 12 13 14 CJ ~ 15 uS 16 ~ '" ~ 17 Figure 1: LinkedIn Sign-Up Prompt (last visited May 2,2013) 9. There is a small asterisk next to the Join Linkedln button (shown 18 above in Figure 1). If a user scrolls down in small grey print the site reads, "[b]y 19 joining LinkedIn, you agree to Linkedln's User Agreement, Privacy Policy and 20 Cookie Policy." Linkedln, contrary to industry practice, does not require members 21 to view its Terms documents nor does it display its terms documents in such a way 22 that a party would have sufficient notice. The terms of service are only available 23 via a link on a separate screen below the "Join Linkedln" button, and this link is 24 only provided if a user scrolls down to the bottom ofthe screen. LinkedIn places a 25 link to the terms of service on a submerged screen. Plaintiffs were not placed on 26 notice of Linkedln's terms of service. 27 28 8 CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT 1 10. After a new user enters his or her first and last name, external email 2 address, and a password for his or her Linkedln Account (Figure 1), the user is 3 asked to start a professional profile. 4 Buil~t Your ProD_Ie lid Your profile I f Linkedln Un~edln 5 6 Linked llij. 7 8 "1 live In: 9 10 ~ ~ o::l b f/l ~ =::': •.• .•.•.• . •.•.• •: • .•.• • .• • . . • :........... - :., i, A Llnkedln prom. helps you .•• '* Showcase your sklHs and experience 4 Be found for new opportunities j am currently: ~~) I::;mp!oyed Job Seeker ! e" Student ~~--~~~~-~-~~~~~-~~-~----~---------- , Job title: ; Software Testing 40 Stay in touch with colleagues and friends - &1' 'i--;~"~~';f~~~~'i~y~'d'''' ; : 13 14 15 f/l 16 ~ ;;~:,~~= 12 ~ CI) ZIP Code: 1'g.9404:3 11 CJ <t: f 17 18 19 20 Figure 2: Linkedln's "Profession Prome Page" (last visited May 2, 2013) 11 . After filling out the infoDnation requested by Linkedln to create a professional profile, the user clicks a button entitled, "Create My Profile." 12. Instead of being greeted by a draft profile, users are greeted with Linkedln's "Grow your network on Linkedln" screen, which is prepopulated with the user's external email account. See Figure 3, below. 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 9 CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT 1 2 Uptoad W;;:bmail Conti\cts ! Linked!n WebmltH Contans ! link", 'L_+J 3 4 Linked Iill" Step 2. of 1 ~L=:=J 5 6 Get started by adding your email address, 7 wmratM 8 We ",,;.il [,J)( GlOre your pa.'?-SWOfa Of om",jl <lf1YOrlO witf,N!l yOU( 9 popJj,,,::ion, Skip this -step" 10 f-, -< ~ o<l 11 12 Figure 3: LinkedIn's "Grow your network on LinkedIn" Screen (last visited May 2, 2013) 13 13. The "Grow your network on LinkedIn" screen includes the external f-, ::::> 14 email address provided by the new user in the sign-up screen. If a LinkedIn user ~ 15 leaves an external email account open, LinkedIn pretends to be that user and Ul Ul 16 downloads the email addresses contained anywhere in that account to LinkedIn 17 servers. LinkedIn is able to download these addresses without requesting the 18 password for the external email accounts or obtaining consent. If a LinkedIn user 19 has logged out of all their email applications, LinkedIn requests the username and 20 password of an external email account to ostensibly verify the identity of the user. 21 However, LinkedIn then takes the password and login information provided and, 22 without notice or consent, LinkedIn attempts to access the user's external email 23 account to download email addresses from the user's external email account. If 24 LinkedIn is able to break into the user's external email account using this 25 information, LinkedIn downloads the email addresses of each and every person 26 emailed by that user. if) 0 ~ 27 28 14. LinkedIn's own Web site contains hundreds of complaints regarding this practice. 10 CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT 1 It searched my email addresses for names and email addresses of people on LinkedIn. It is deceptive, misleading and purposely vague. Larry Bailey, April 10, 20l3. 1 2 ~ .) I'm not the only one being hacked by linkedin, but extremely upset at the repercussions. one ofthe people on my contact list is mentally ill and the last thing I wanted was to invite her to be my connection on linked in. not to mention all the other people I don't want contact with who remain on my contact list. Robin Epstein, April 21, 2013. 2 4 5 6 7 8 They are certainly NOT in my address book. They perhaps tangentially related to my industry. Embarrassing. Mike Reno, March 1,2013.3 9 10 E-< ~ rr1 ;2 o'd E-< rJ) ~ 11 12 l3 14 d ~ 15 rJ) rJ) 16 <r:: :::J ~ 17 18 19 20 15. The hacking of the users' email accounts and downloading of all email addresses associated with that user's account is done without clearly notifying the user or obtaining his or her consent. In cases where the user's external email account is a Google Gmail account, a Google screen pops up stating, "Linkedln is asking for some infonnation from your Google Account." See Figure 4, below. The Google notification screen, however, does not indicate that Linkedln will download and store thousands of contacts to Linkedln servers. Rather, this notification screen misleadingly states that Linkedln is asking for "some infonnation." Linkedln does not provide this notification to its users; it is Google that provides this screen. 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 Linkedln Help Center, available at visited September 16,2013). Id. 3 Linkedln Help Center, available at http://commnnitv.linkedin.comlquestions/3666/Iinkedinplease-stop-hacking-and,sImmming.html?page=3&pageSize=lQ&sort=nywest (last visited September 16, 2013). 1 ~lease-stop-hacking-and-spanm:llng.html?sort=newest 11 CLASS ACTION COMPLAlNT 1 Coogle Accounts 2 ~ hEp"! I aCCOUflts"!o! openid2 ,1auth?lt=ChQtN tllTNWxnTIU, RFiU UUiHSE5L~RlfSXN6' EdSNJhH 3 simoni 4 ~ Linkedin.eom 5 6 7 8 is asking for some information from your Google Account • Email • Google Contacts 9 Allow No thanks ~ Remember this approval 10 l-" ~ Google 11 Pl 12 ~ o'(j 13 « l-" (/) ::J ::J 14 Figure 4: Coogle Notification re: LinkedIn's Request for Information (last visited May 2, 2013) 15 16. 0 <r: til U) ~ Linkedln's accessing of email addresses far exceeds the authority and 16 consent to which Linkedln users provide. Linkedln states that it wants "some 17 infonnation" from one's "google contacts." However, LinkedIn downloads not 18 only the contact lists from users' external email accounts, but the email addresses 19 of every person emailed by the users and every person who has received an email 20 from Linkedln's users. Complaints on Linkedln's own website attest to users' 21 failure to provide consent to download these email addresses despite warnings 22 Linkedln may allege. Linkedln's disclosures on its website are designed to 23 deceive its users. LinkedIn's own Web site provides testimony from Linkedln 24 users attesting to the alleged warnings' futility, 25 26 27 28 12 --------------------~~~~~~~~-----------------­ CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT How come I'm getting unauthorized invites from people NOT in my address book? The last 10 invitations I received I asked all 10 if they sent it or not... Out of the 10 - 8 said they had sent no such thing ... So how do we get invitations from people who don't send them and they are not people I know and their emails are NOT in my address book?? John Weaver, July 9, 2013. 4 1 2 3 4 5 I implemented the fixes against gmail and hotmail( outlook) intrusion. I AM STILL RECEIVING NOTICES OF NEW CONTACTS THAT I DID NOT REQUEST, THESE ARE NOW OF THE DISTANT COUSIN CATEGORY, I.E. NOT DIRECT CONTACTS OF MINE. Peter Bondy, May 8, 2013. 5 6 7 8 9 MAKE IT STOP. How can I stop them ... they're ruining my relationships .... STOP Karen Price If anyone knows what to do with this company please notify me [email redacted]. Karen Price, June 20, 2013. 6 10 b ~ ~ a<3 b 11 12 17. 13 After obtaining a user's email addresses without his or her consent, 14 Linkedln displays a screen that states, "Why not invite some people?" The screen ~ 15 lists only 10 individuals from the list of email addresses taken from that user's [/J 16 external email account. Since Linkedln routinely takes well over 1,000 email 17 addresses from a user's external email account, it displays only a very small 18 fraction ofthose email addresses on the "Why not invite some people?" screen. 19 Although a user can scroll down to view additional email addresses that might be 20 contacted, the screen greys out this scroll bar. See, Figure 5 below. The design, 21 layout, and format of the page is aimed to deceive LinkedIn's users. Instead of 22 clearly stating that Linkedln will be emailing thousands of users repeatedly, 23 LinkedIn states that it will allow you to "stay in touch with your contacts who 24 aren't on Linkedln yet." [/J ~ 0 VJ &l 25 26 27 28 Linkedln Help Center, available at (last visited July 9, 2013). 5 Jd. 6 I d. 4 13 CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT 1 2 3 Linked tfjj, Why not inYitE G(Fl'lf7 ........................•.•.................... 4 Stay jr'\ louch with your contacts who aren't 01'\ Linkedln yet. hwite them to connect with you, 5 @ Sel,c\AII 6 ~ Judy Wacht 7 l~ Alaska Airlines @! Edgar Cho ~ 8 9 11:ilZSclcC!w Chelsea Slack @ Chapman Dean @l Joy sebe ~ Marla Ralston 10 ~ ~ 0(3 f-< @! John Amaturo 11 ~ L.eah laPorte 12 ~ Kathleen Pakuszewski 13 14 Figure 5: Why Not Invite Some People (last visited May 2, 2013) ~ 15 18. '" 16 appropriated from a user's external email account will be sent multiple emails 17 inviting the recipient to join Linkedln with the user's endorsement. Nowhere does 18 LinkedIn disclose that two additional "reminder" emails containing the user's 19 endorsement will be sent. By making it functionally impossible for a user to stop 20 subsequent emails from being sent while claiming elsewhere on the site that 21 LinkedIn will never send emails "without your permission," Linkedln is deceiving 22 its users and lacks their consent. (/) p 0 ul ~ 23 19. Linkedln does not inform its users that each email address Linkedln is aware that its web pages are deceptive and users have not 24 consented to sending multiple endorsement emails to each appropriated email 25 address. Users have complained to Linkedln about its unethical harvesting of 26 email addresses and repeated spamming of those addresses. Linkedln's own Web 27 site contains hundreds of complaints regarding Linkedln's practice. 28 14 CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 E-< co "'" ~ "'" cli:l E-< 11 12 13 When I added my secondary gmail account I absolutely did not give them permission to send email invitations to every address in my contacts. when I went into the settings T realized that all the addresses had been selected automatically and I would have had to anticipate that and deselect them PRIOR to adding my email address. That's hacking, plain and simple. Robin Epstein, April 21, 2013. 7 What's more the invitations are NOT people in my address book. They are people I don't know. I find this entire issue extremely unprofessional on LI's pmi. You would think with all these members with the same problem LI would respond with a fix. Geri Spieler, May 1,2013. 8 There is a specific group of people whom I absolutely must avoid for ethical reasons. This feature has sent out invitations on its own initiative twice, and my first notice each time was that one of these people "accepted" my invitations. Terrible. WilsonZildjian, April 9, 2013. 9 ::J 14 ::J 15 vl 16 because it states, "Stay in touch with your contacts who aren't on LinkedIn yet. 17 Invite them to connect with you." By using the phrase, "your contacts," LinkedIn 18 is intentionally misleading its users regarding the volume of email addresses it is 19 collecting. Referring to "your contacts" harkens a thought of those people the user 20 intended to save to an electronic address book as a "contact," not every person who 21 has either emailed the user, been emailed by the user, or who has been carbon 22 copied to an email to or from that user. lfl (') ~ [/) ~ 23 24 25 26 27 28 20. 21. The "Why not invite some users" screen misleads Linkedln users LinkedIn misleads its users with respect to the implications of the "Why not invite some users?" screen by captioning a large button on the screen, 7 LinkedIn Help Center, available at http://community.linkedin.comlquestions/3666/Iinkedinplease-stop-hacking-and-spamming.html?sort=newest (last visited September 16,2013). Linkedln Help Center, available at http://community.linkedin.comlquestions/12199/stoplinked-in-from-sending-automated- invites-to-a-l.html ?page=2&pageSize= 1O&sort=newest (last visited September 16,2013). 9 Linkedln Help Center, available at http://community.linkedin.comlquestionsI19313lhow-do-istop-linkedin-sending-out-invitation-emai.html?page= I &pageSize= I O&sort=votes (last visited September 16,2013). 15 CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT 1 "Add to Network." The Linkedln user is not told that by clicking "Add to 2 Network," Linkedln will send emails (into the thousands) containing the user's 3 endorsement to each of the email addresses harvested from that user's external 4 email account. Although Linkedln provides a list ofthe email addresses it has 5 downloaded, Linkedln does not disclose that these recipients will be receiving 6 multiple emails. 7 22. Plaintiffs have not consented to have multiple emails sent out on their 8 behalf advertising Linkedln. The page does not indicate that an email will be sent 9 from Linkedln with a member's endorsement of the service. The button on the 10 page merely reads, "add to network." 23. Statements elsewhere on the Linkedln site make users believe that l- II co 12 Linkedln will not be sending "endorsement emails." Linkedln states in its c'(l 13 publicity materials and terms of use that one should only invite close business I[fJ ::;J 14 contacts to join and that Linkedln will never send em ails "without your ::;J 15 permission." '~" 16 .,,; ~ 0 < [fJ 24. There is no warning that Linkedln will be sending additional 17 repetitious emails to each email recipient. Nothing in the sign-up process discloses 18 to the Linkedln member that two additional reminder emails will be sent to the 19 email addresses harvested from that user's external email account. Each of the 20 reminder emails contain the Linkedln member's name and likeness so as to give the 21 recipient the impression that the Linkedln member is endorsing Linkedln and 22 asking the recipient to join Linkedln's social network. Linkedln's site is littered 23 with complaints arising from Linkedln's failure to receive consent to send 24 reminder emails to the email addresses that it has harvested. 25 26 Hey how do I get these reminder invitations to stop. I deleted all of them, but they're still going out to some people. 27 28 16 CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 James Fouche, March 18, 20l3. 10 This makes me very upset and embarrassed! One of the contacts was a woman 1 haven't touched base with for 10 years, and her husband just died - very awkward. Meg Linker-Estes, July 1, 20l3. 11 1 feel the need to apologize to all the people that Linkedin has been spamming with invites in my name. This is a TERRIBLE business practice. Scott Hobbs, April 7, 2013. 12 8 9 10 E--< ~ 11 P1 12 o<l l3 Does anyone know how to send a letter of apology to everyone who got these invitations AND how to make Linkedln stop doing it? r want to withdraw from this horrible thing, but 1 need to minimize the damage. Andrea Freud Lowenstein, May 2, 2013. 13 ~ E--< [/J ~ 14 0 ~ ~ 15 vl 1 am just gonna go ahead and repeat what everyone else here has already said. Linkedln should stop the spammy practices of sending out invitations to people's address book without their explicit request to do so! Konrad Szpirak, May 13,2013. 14 16 [/J gz 17 18 19 [I]t's too bad this company opts to be no good crappy spammers with a terrible interface and zero transparency .... How they don't even offer a the option to select all and then withdraw all is an example of a company that places it's own needs above the customer. Nathan Kroop, July 15,2013. 15 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 [C]ustomers are calling me and asking me to stop these emails. 1 am now withdrawing the invitations which I have to do 1 at a time. This will take me weeks!!!! I'll express how disappointed i am with linked in for this major incovienence. Sean Deady, June 2, 2013. 16 10 Linkedln Help Center, available at http://community.linkedin.comlquestionsI138711reminderinvitations-are-spamming-my-clients.html (last visited September 16, 2013). 11 Linkedln Help Center, available at (last visited September 16,2013). 12 Jd 13 I d 14 Id 15 I d. 17 CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT 1 25. 2 Linkedln's deceptive practices are not limited to new users. Existing 3 LinkedIn users are greeted with a home page that ostensibly requests users to 4 identifY existing users of LinkedIn; however, the objective ofthis request is 5 directed at recruiting new members. The heading of LinkedIn's home page states, 6 "See Who You Already Know on LinkedIn," and requests your external email 7 address and contains a button that simply states, "Continue." See, Figure 5, below. 8 9 Welcome, simonI See Who You Already Know on L1nkedln 10 Gat started by adding yOUf email address. ~ <t: 11 Your email:' ~ a<l simOllshamarak@gmafLc 12 l3 <t: ~ ~ [/) ~ 14 0 ~ <C [/] [/) &l 15 16 17 .~ .. 18 19 Figure 6: LinkedIn Home Page "See Who You Already Know on LinkedIn" (last visited May 2, 2013) 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 26. Once the user inputs his or her external email address, LinkedIn attempts to hack into your email account by tunneling through any open email program on a user's desktop. Even if a user has never provided a password to LinkedIn, LinkedIn will use an open connection to an email service to download a user's data. Like with a new user, LinkedIn also seeks to force a user to provide verification of an external email address and then uses that verification data to download the email addresses listed anywhere in that users account. 28 16 Id. 18 CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT 1 27. After LinkedIn accesses the user's external email account, LinkedIn 2 performs the process of downloading up to thousands of email addresses from the 3 user, described above with respect to new users. At this point, existing users are 4 taken to the "Why not invite some people?" screen that, just as discussed above 5 with respect to new users, displays only up to 10 names while hiding the fact that 6 LinkedIn has obtained up to 2,000 or more email addresses. Although a user is 7 provided a screen that allows a user to scroll down and view the total list of email 8 addresses downloaded, LinkedIn does not disclose that it will be sending up to 9 three emails to each ofthe email addresses surreptitiously obtained that contain the 10 user's endorsement of LinkedIn. 28. The endorsement email message sent by LinkedIn after obtaining the b 11 P1 -< -< 12 list of email addresses from a user without the user's consent clearly and o<l 13 unmistakably uses the name of the user from whom the email address was 14 appropriated. Furthermore, LinkedIn words the endorsement email in a way that :::> 15 suggests that the user composed the content ofthe email him or herself. For Cfl Cfl 16 example, the content of some messages sent by LinkedIn to the email addresses 17 appropriated from users' external email accounts state, "I'd like to add you to my 18 professional network." The email then includes the name of the LinkedIn user in a 19 manner that people commonly sign a personal email or other electronic message. 20 See Figure 7, below. Despite the appearance of the endorsement emails, the users 21 do not compose the message, they do not consent to Linkedln sending multiple 22 messages on their behalf, and they are not compensated for the use of their name 23 or likeness in the advertising and promotion of Linkedln. ~ b Cfl ;::J 0 <C ~ 24 25 26 27 28 19 CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT 1 2 3 4 5 I'd lille to add you to my professional netwo(l(, 6 -Man Wiley 7 Accept .. 8 9 10 f-< -< ~ 11 Figure 7: Image of An Endorsement Email Seut By LinkedIn (last visited May 2, 2013) 12 29. If, after one week, the recipient of an endorsement email has not 13 joined Linkedln, Linkedln sends another email. If, after two weeks, the recipient :;J 14 of an endorsement email still has not joined Linkedln, LinkedIn sends a third email ~ 15 requesting that the recipient sign up for Linkedln. Each of these two subsequent 16 emails also contains the endorsement of LinkedIn from the Linkedln user from 17 which the recipient's email address was harvested. o<l f-< en CJ en '" ~ 18 30. LinkedIn makes numerous deceptive and misleading statements. 19 LinkedIn expressly states that they will not email any recipients without their 20 permission. "We will not store your password or email anyone without your 21 permission." (LinkedIn Login Screen Step 2). Never does LinkedIn state that they 22 will be sending multiple emails on a user's behalf. On LinkedIn's official blog, 23 LinkedIn claims "we are committed to putting our members first. This means being 24 open about how we use and protect the data that you entrust with us as a LinkedIn 25 member." August 19th, 2013, LinkedIn Official Blog, available at 26 (last visited September 16,2013); Id. on June 1, 27 2013 ("Ensuring more privacy and control over your personal data remains our 28 highest priority."); Jd. on May 10,2013 (Ensuring you more clarity, consistency 20 CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT 1 and control over your personal data continues to be our highest priority."); ld. on 2 October 10,2010 ("We take spam very seriously."); ld. on March 27,2009 ("This. 3 .. abusive behavior violates our Terms of Service. This includes examples such as 4 ... massively inviting people they don't know. This behavior, though infrequent, 5 strikes at the very root of a trusted professional network. We take these violations 6 very seriously and will not tolerate this behavior."). These statements from 7 LinkedIn are false, deceptive and misleading. 8 9 10 b ~ ~ a<J b C/) ;:J 12 l3 14 ;:J 15 C/) C/) 16 ~ In addition, LinkedIn states throughout its site that it will not send unsolicited emails, store one data or provide identifiable information to third parties. 11 0 ~ 31. 17 18 19 We will not store your password or email anyone without your pernllSSlOn. See Figure 3, above. You decide how much or how little you wish to communicate to individuals or groups. LinkedIn Privacy Policy, May 12, 10 l3 Introduction. We do not rent, sell, or otherwise provide your personally identifiable information to third parties without your consent, unless compelled by law. LinkedIn Privacy Policy, May 12, 2103 Introduction. 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 32. If a Linkedln user discovers that emails have been sent on his or her behalfto thousands of email addresses, there is no practical way to stop a second and third email from going out to these email addresses. LinkedIn's website is filled with users pleading with LinkedIn to prevent further spamming of these email addresses. For example, the following are quotes from Linkedln users on LinkedIn's community message board: I have now sent 800 invitations or so and it's very emabarrassing (sic). It is a huge problem to go through every single invitation to withdraw, 21 CLASS ACTlON COMPLAINT and it seems that once you withdraw a recipient, the follow up email is not automically (sic) withdrawn, meaning that I have to withdraw the same person twice. That seems unnecessarily difficult with the wealth of technology available to you. Please consider changing this system, its (sic) actually hurting my professional reputation which is NOT the idea behind linkedin. Carolina Franco, March 22,2013. 17 1 2 3 4 5 6 The a$$holes at Linkedln sent out invitations to everyone on my email list. Everyone that I have evr (sic) had an email from. Jack White, April 17, 2013. 18 7 8 9 10 f-< 11 1'1 12 a<l 13 <C ;2 f-< [/J G ::> ~ crl [/J ~ 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 33. The only way a LinkedIn user can stop the two follow-up endorsement emails (assuming the user found out about the initial emails in the first place) from going out to the email addresses harvested from that user's external email account is for the user to individually open up each invitation from within his or her LinkedIn account (which LinkedIn has intentionally made difficult to find within the user's account) and click a button that allows the user to withdraw that single invitation. This process takes approximately 20 seconds to do for each invitation. For a user who had two thousand invitations go out, it would take roughly 11 hours of constant clicking to prevent reminder emails from going out. For the user quoted above from the LinkedIn community message boards who complained that Linkedln sent 800 invitations, it would take that user over four hours of continuous clicking to ensure recipients did not receive the follow-up, reminder emails. There is no functionality on the Linkedln website that allows a user to withdraw all invitations at once. Furthermore, contacting Linkedln does not lead to reminder emails being stopped. Weeks later, Linkedln will send an email (well after the reminder emails have been sent) reading, "Thanks for your email and I would first like to apologize for the delay in responding to your 26 27 28 Linkedln Help Center, available at!stop: linked-in-from-sending:automated-invites-to-a-1.html (last visited September 16, 2013). 18 Linkedln Help Center, available at (last visited Septcmber 16,2013). 17 22 CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT 1 lllqmry. This is certainly not the customary wait time for a reply from Linkedln 2 Customer Support. We have been experiencing higher than expected volumes, and 3 your patience is greatly appreciated." The frustration and harm suffered by 4 Linkedln users is described below: 5 6 7 8 9 10 f--< ~ iII 11 ~ 12 o<l 13 ~ f--< if] ~ I discovered that yesterday LinkedIn sent out automated invitations to more than 1,300 people--most of whom I don't know. I'm being bombarded with replies and people complaining. I cannot manually withdraw over a thousand invitations. What to do?! Absolutely awful, I purposefully avoided this feature for years and then it tricks you into doing it, I can't believe I've spammed everyone I've ever met on here, so unnecessary and unethical! Matt Hines, April 11, 2013. 19 14 And sent an email to Linkedln 3 days ago .... Got a prompt reply: "Thanks for contacting us. Someone from our support team will get back to you as soon as possible." And of course since then nothing .... Raiboum Leila, April 21, 2013. 20 0 ~ < (/) if] ~ 15 16 Linkedln should stop the spammy practices of sending out invitations to people's address book without their explicit request to do so! Konrad Spzirak, May 13, 2013?1 17 18 19 20 21 22 Frankly ... at this point I'm finding Linkedln more of a problem in terms of hurting my reputation rather than helping it. What's more the invitations are NOT people in my address book. They are people I don't know. I find this entire issue extremely unprofessional on LI's part. You would think with all these members with the same problem LI would respond with a fix. Geri Spieler, May 1,2013. 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 19 Linkedln Help Center, available at http:Lfconnnunity.linlcedin,csnn/<:\llcstionsI19313/how-do-istop-linkedin-sending -out-invitation-emai .html?page-3&pageS ize= I O&sort=vutes (last visited September 16, 2013). 2°1d. 21 Jd. 22 Linkedln Help Center, available at O&sort-newest (last visited September 16,2013). 23 CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT They're not contacting me back. I have yet to receive a response from anybody at LinkedIn. This is getting a little ridiculous. 23 Margaret A. Ost, March 18, 2013. 1 2 3 LinkedIn keeps doing that, hacking into people's private emails and posting spam invitations, without permission. Allegedly, we've given permission. I have not. Absolutely not. I've seen this happening with other people, so I avoided joining LinkedIn for a long time. When I finally joined, I made sure I did not tick anything that could be construed as permission to send invitation spam in my name. Yet now it's happening. Accessing people's email address lists without their permission, and sending spam in their name without asking, is not acceptable. It's disgusting. Rayne Hall, February 19,2013. 24 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 E-< 11 III 12 business. LinkedIn's financial reports are filled with references to the importance o<l 13 of attracting new members using the email addresses taken from external accounts ::;, C'J ::;, 14 of existing users. "To date, our member base has grown virally based on members 15 inviting other members to join our network." LinkedIn 2012 1O-K at 10 (Mar 2, '" ~ 16 2012). Attracting new members using these deceptive practices is directly 17 correlated to Linkedln's financial success. Member growth is directly correlated to 18 the success of LinkedIn's business: "actions could negatively impact our member 19 growth and engagement and our brand, which would harm our business." Id. at 25. 20 Moreover, in order to sustain the Linkedln business, LinkedIn must continually 21 attract new members: "In order to grow our business, we must continually attract 22 new customers." !d. Further, LinkedIn identifies that its key strategy is to "foster 23 viral growth of our member base." LinkedIn 2013 Proxy Statement at 25. ~ ~ E-< lfJ ~ [/) 34. 24 25 35. Having a growing number of members is central to Linkedln's LinkedIn executives recognize that endorsement emails are critical to Linkedln growing its network and profiting. Growth is linked to using 26 27 28 Linkedln Help Center, available at visited September 16, 2013). 24 Linkedln Help Center, available at httl;>:llcommunity.lin1(edin.coIl1lquestionsL:t6_66/Iinke~in­ please-stop-hacking-and-spamming.htnll (last visited September 16,2013). 23 invitations-are-spamming~my-clients.htmI?sort-newesj: 24 CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT 1 recommendations from existing members "it's that connection with the individual 2 that I think leads to growth rate." Interview with Reid Hoffman, The CEO Show 3 January 1, 2010, available at: http://troyanosgroup.comlinside-the-brand/the-ceo- 4 show/interview-archives/reid-hoffman-transcript/ (last visited September 16, 5 2013). 6 36. Linkedln monetizes new members by selling services directly 7 attributable to its membership size. For example, LinkedIn markets itselfto large 8 corporations to purchase advertising or to search through LinkedIn profiles based 9 on the number of Linkedln members. "LinkedIn Recruiter gives corporate 10 businesses unprecedented access to Linkedin's database of over 40 million 11 members. With one new member joining every second, Linkedln's membership ~ 12 grows larger and more valuable by the day, increasing the odds that recruiters will a<J 13 find that exceptional passive candidate they're looking for." LinkedIn Allstate ""' 14 Case Study: Finding Highly Specialized Talent In Vast Numbers, available at ~ 15 <http://business.linkedin. com/content!dam/Ii -extemal-web- en (J) ~ 16 assets/websites/ 17 studies/allstate_case_studL2013 0220_us_ en.pdf> (last visited May 20, 2013) 18 (emphasis added). Indeed, in selling Linkedln products and services to large 19 corporations, LinkedIn's ability to make such sales is directly attributable to 20 Linkedln recruiting new members. "With regard to recruitment, specifically by 21 virtue of the size of the network, we were able to do something that's really never 22 been possible before, and that's passive candidate recruiting at scale." Jeff Weiner, 23 Interview on Worldmakers, June 24,2013 - Innovating From Within, available at 24 ht1]J:// 13 0624191834~_~515 3 523- 25 innovating-from~within-linkedin-s-jeff-weiner-on-worldmakers 26 September 16,2013). LinkedIn's endorsement emails have value to LinkedIn. 27 Individualized personalized endorsement of Linkedln to Plaintiffs' friends and 28 acquaintances has concrete provable value in the economy at large. ~ ""' (J) 5 25 CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT (last visited 1 37. Linkedln is able to save money by using appropriated email addresses 2 and "endorsements" of its users. In its 2012 lO-K, Linkedln attributed this strategy 3 to its profitability. "[O]ur member base has grown virally ... we have been able to 4 build our brand with relatively low marketing costs." LinkedIn 2012 1O-K at 12. 5 38. The email addresses that Linkedln takes from its users and uses to 6 promote its service (using the name of the Linkedln user) have value to a user. 7 Linkedln charges its own users ten dollars ($10) to send an email to another user 8 they are not directly connected to. LinkedIn's InMail product is sold to members 9 and directly states that because InMail contains "information about you" such as 10 your name and profession, sending emails that utilize this information is "better b 11 than an email or cold call." Linked InMail Purchasing Page available at P1 12 < ?displayProducts=> (last visited May a<J 13 20,2013). Like the reminder emails that Linkedln sends to the email addresses 14 that it appropriates from its members, Linkedln allows members to resend -<r: ~ 15 reminder emails if a response is not received in seven days. Linkedln '" 16 acknowledges the value of sending multiple reminder emails by offering just one 17 free reminder InMail message ifthe recipient does not respond within seven days. 18 Ifthe LinkedIn member wants to remind the recipient before the seven-day 19 window expires, or ifthe member wants to send a second reminder email, the 20 member must pay an additional ten dollars ($10). InMail Expiration and Renewal 21 Process, available at <> (last 22 visited May 20, 2013). ~ ~ b If) 5 If) ~ 23 39. Each new member that Linkedln attracts has monetary value. When 24 LinkedIn attracts new members, it attempts to sell them premium accounts. These 25 accounts are $39.95 per month (when purchasing a full year) and $49.95 per month 26 when purchasing a month-to-month plan. Linkedln is not only advertising joining 27 its network, but also directly selling a product with a price of $480 dollars a year to 28 the email addresses harvested from users. Linkedln Premium Page, available at 26 CLASS ACTlON COMPLAINT 1 < 2 upgrade> (last visited May 20, 20l3). In 2012, Premium Subscriptions accounted 3 for $190 million dollars in revenue and grew by 81 % over the prior year. 4 LinkedIn 2012 10-K Introduction. 40. 5 IfLinkedln was not able to send endorsement emails using email 6 addresses appropriated without consent from its users, LinkedIn would be forced to 7 pay for email addresses to advertise and promote its service. 4l. 8 9 LinkedIn is growing its network by having its members endorse Linkedln multiple times without their consent. This growth of LinkedIn's network 10 is leading to increased direct revenue through sales of products directly to new f-< 11 members, and indirect revenue through sales to increasing numbers of recruiters roo <t; 12 and large corporations. The value of each endorsement email sent by Linkedln on o<l l3 behalf of members is a concrete, measureable dollar amount. Linkedln members rn 14 are directly harmed through these activities as they have stated on LinkedIn's Web ~ 15 site. Vl 16 <t; ~ f-< G CIS ~ It searched my email addresses for names and email addresses of people on LinkedIn. It is deceptive, misleading and purposely vague. Larry Bailey, April 10, 2013. 25 17 18 I am so sorry Linkedin stole my identity to spam all my google contacts with invitations to join "my linkedin network". Since I use gmail from day 1 linkedin harrasses people in my name I was acquainted to a hundred years ago which causes very unwanted, painfull and embarrasing situations. Linkedin won't stop bothering my google contacts list even though I asked politely. Ron Hoi, March 27, 2013?6 19 20 21 22 23 24 Agree. I believe I've been hacked. Cameron Strrachan, March 24,2013. 27 25 26 27 28 25 LinkedTn Help Center, available at http://commlmity.linkedin.eom/questions/3666/1inkedin(September 16, 2013). yJease-stop-haeking~and~spamming.html?sort==newest Id 271d 27 CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 E-< -< p:) ;2 a<J E-< en t5 ~ ~ en en ~ 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 I'm also getting responses from people I don't know AND there is no record in my Sent folder that I ever sent them an invitation. 28 Diane P. Barber, March 15, 2013. Accessing my contacts so that I can see who I'd like to connect with is one thing. Spamming my entire contact database of everyone I've ever emailedis definitely black hat tactics at growing users. This included people I know, don't know, email addresses from people off Craigslist, even mailing lists received an "invite to connect" from me today. I did not click on "invite all." In fact, I clicked on "skip this step." Very disappointing. Desmond Liao, March 12, 2013?9 LinkedIn is not just accessing my address book, it is accessing the history of everyone I have ever sent emails to. I have about 50 people in my address book (who I also did not want invitations sent to) and I have 280 pending invitations to withdraw. Ben Kirwood, March 1,2013. 30 I have the same problem and none ofthese people are in any of my address books. They were all sent yesterday and I have not logged into linked in for several days. I am withdrawing the invitations but I have 168 that all have to be done individually. How was my account hacked? Linda Peterson, April 20, 2013. 31 There is *absolutely* no way to "withdraw" invitations in bulk, and simply deleting the invitations will not stop the reminders from going out to each invitation recipient. Charles Caro, February 18,2013. 32 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 28 I d 291d 301d. 31 Linkedln Help Center, available at¥ictting-connections-i-have-not-reguested.html (last visited September 16,2013). Linkcdln Help Center, available at remove-pending-invitations.html?page=~&pageSizc-1 O&sort-votes (last visited September 16, 2013). 28 CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT Facts Common to Plaintiffs' Actions 1 42. 3 4 Plaintiffs each registered for a LinkedIn account prior to May 13, 43. 2 Plaintiffs did not agree to allow LinkedIn to send multiple repeated 2013. 5 emails to lists of email addresses contained within Plaintiffs' external email 6 accounts. 7 44. Plaintiffs further did not consent to allow LinkedIn to use their names, 8 photographs, or likenesses in LinkedIn's multiple endorsement emails as an 9 endorsement of Linkedln or its products and services. 10 45. Plaintiffs had not, and could not have been expected to have had any 11 exposure to LinkedIn's unique and misleading advertising practice of sending -< 12 emails supposedly endorsed by Plaintiffs. Plaintiffs reasonably had no expectation a'd 13 that by signing up for a LinkedIn account, their names, photographs, or likenesses 14 would be used to endorse products, services, or brands. ~ P'1 ~ f-< [/) ~ 0 ~ 15 [/) [/) 16 -< ~ 17 46. LinkedIn used each Plaintiffs name, photograph, and/or likeness without consent in emails endorsing LinkedIn. 47. Each Plaintiffs name and photograph had been provided to LinkedIn 18 for purposes unrelated to the advertisement in question as required or requested by 19 Linkedln during the account sign-up process. 20 21 22 48. Each endorsement email described herein used the LinkedIn name and LinkedIn's trademarked images. 49. Each endorsement email described herein combined all of the 23 respective elements described herein, heretofore unrelated to one another, into new 24 content appearing in the endorsement em ails sent to email addresses obtained from 25 Plaintiffs. 26 50. LinkedIn was solely responsible for the creation and development of 27 each endorsement email, the content, and the advertisement scheme by which each 28 endorsement email was created. 29 CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT 1 2 3 4 5 51. Each endorsement email was new, original, and unique content created and developed in whole or in part by Linkedln. 52. In each endorsement email, the respective Plaintiff appears to be endorsing Linkedln when, if fact, he or she does not. 53. No Plaintiff knew that providing his or her external email account 6 would result in the harvesting of the email addresses of individuals from his or her 7 external email account. 8 9 10 E-< ~ 11 54. No Plaintiff knew that Linkedln's harvesting of email addresses from his or her external email account would result in the appearance of him or her endorsing LinkedIn in a commercial advertisement. 55. Each Plaintiff was deprived the monetary value of having his or her ~ 12 endorsement appear in the endorsement emails, and therefore was deprived of o<l 13 money to which he or she was entitled. IYl ~ E-< [/J ~ 14 56. Each Plaintiff has been personally injured by this loss of money. The <r: " 15 injury to Plaintiffs is not outweighed by any countervailing benefits to them or vi' 16 other consumers. ~ [/J ~ ~ CLASS ACTION ALLEGATIONS 17 18 19 20 21 57. Plaintiffs seek certification of this action as a class action pursuant to Rule 23(b )(3) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. 58. Plaintiff Class. The class sought to be represented is defined as follows: 22 All natural persons in the United States who had an account 23 registered on as of May 15, 2013, and had their 24 names, photographs, likenesses, or identities associated with that 25 account used 26 Linkedln. ill an endorsement email sent to third parties by 27 Excluded from the Class are (a) Linkedln, its officers and 28 directors, legal representatives, successors or assigns; (b) any entity 30 CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT 1 in which LinkedIn has or had a controlling interest; (c) the judge to 2 whom this case is assigned and the judge's immediate family; (d) 3 any juror selected to hear this case. 4 59. The Class is comprised of millions of persons, and is therefore so 5 numerous that joinder of individual cases would be impracticable. The disposition 6 of their claims through this action will benefit Class Members, the parties and the 7 courts. Upon infonnation and belief, LinkedIn has over 225 million Members 8 worldwide. 9 60. Upon infonnation and belief, the identities and contact infonnation of 10 ~ the individual Members of the Class are available through LinkedIn's electronic 11 records. iI1 """ 12 o<l 13 over any individual issues. These questions of law and fact include, but are not ;:J 14 " limited to, the following: 15 (/) (/) 16 photographs, likenesses, or identities in multiple endorsement emails sent to 17 third parties by LinkedIn; ;2 ~ (/) ;:J ~ ~ 18 61. Common questions of law and fact affecting the Class predominate • Whether Plaintiffs and the Class consented to the use of their names, • Whether LinkedIn gained a commercial benefit or some other advantage by 19 using Plaintiff and the Class's names, photographs, likenesses, or identities 20 in endorsement reminder email advertisements; 21 • Whether Plaintiffs and the Class were hanned by the nonconsensual use of 22 their names, photographs, likenesses, or identities in reminder endorsement 23 email advertisements sent by LinkedIn to third parties, and whether 24 LinkedIn's conduct was a substantial factor in causing that hann; 25 26 27 28 • Whether Class Members are entitled to damages as a result of LinkedIn's conduct, and, if so, what is the measure of those damages; • Whether LinkedIn's conduct described herein violated California's Unfair Competition Law (Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 17200, et. seq.); 31 CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT 1 2 • Whether LinkedIn was unjustly enriched as a result of its conduct described herein; 3 • Whether LinkedIn violated California's Common Law Right of Publicity; 4 • Whether LinkedIn violated the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, 18 5 6 7 8 9 10 b 11 P'1 ~ 12 a'6 13 ~ ~ b 1fJ ~ 14 U.S.C. §§ 2510, et seq.; • Whether LinkedIn violated the Stored Communications Act, 18 U.S.C. §§ 2701, et seq.; • Whether LinkedIn violated California's Comprehensive Data Access and Fraud Act, Penal Code § 502; • Whether LinkedIn violated California's Invasion of Privacy Act, Penal Code § 631; • Whether Linkedln violated the California Consumer Remedies Act, Cal Civ. Code. § 1770. • What the value of an endorsement by a non-celebrity is in a social network d ~ 15 endorsement email advertisement. 1fJ 1fJ 16 62. ~ ~ LinkedIn engaged in a common course of conduct giving rise to the 17 legal rights sought to be enforced by Class Members. Similar or identical statutory 18 and common law violations, business practices, and injuries are involved. 19 Therefore, individual questions, if any, pale by comparison to the numerous 20 common questions presented. 21 63. The injuries sustained by Members ofthe Class flow, in each instance, 22 from a common nucleus of operative facts. In each case, Linkedln caused or 23 permitted the unauthorized appropriation of the Plaintiff and the Class Members' 24 names, photographs, likenesses, or identities without adequate or any notice, 25 consent, or opportunity to withdraw from participation. 26 27 64. The Web site that each member of the class used was substantially the same with similar language, terms of use, and disclosures. 28 32 CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT 1 65. Given the similar nature of the Class Members' claims and the 2 absence of material differences in the statutes and common laws upon which the 3 Class Members' claims are based, a nationwide class will be easily managed by the 4 Court and the parties. 5 Because of the relatively small size of the individual Class Members' 66. 6 claims, no Class Member could afford to seek legal redress on an individual basis. 7 A class action is superior to any alternative means of prosecution. 8 9 10 The representative Plaintiffs' claims are typical of those of the Class, 67. as all Members of the Class are similarly affected by Linkedln's uniform and actionable conduct as alleged herein. Linkedln has acted and failed to act on grounds generally applicable 68. f-< 11 :;] 12 to Plaintiffs and the other Members of the Class, requiring the Court's imposition 13 ofunifonn relief to ensure compatible standards of conduct toward the Members of 14 the Class. ~ 15 69. r/) r/) 16 and have retained counsel competent and experienced in class action litigation. 17 The class representatives have no interests which conflict with or adverse to those 18 of the other Class members. <!C :::.::: o<:l f-< r/) ~ 0 ~ ~ 19 20 Plaintiffs will fairly and adequately protect the interests of the Class, 70. Plaintiffs reserve the right to revise the above class definition based on facts learned in discovery. 21 FIRST CAUSE OF ACTION 22 (Violation of California's Common Law Right of Publicity) 23 24 25 71. Plaintiffs incorporate each of the foregoing allegations as if fully set forth herein. 72. California's Common Law Right of Publicity law protects persons 26 from the unauthorized appropriation of the person's identity by another for 27 commercial gain. 28 33 CLASS ACTION COMPLATNT 73. 1 2 During the Class period, LinkedIn knowingly used Plaintiffs' names, photographs, or likenesses to directly advertise or sell a product or service. 3 74. Linkedln did not have Plaintiffs' consent to do so. 4 75. Plaintiffs received no compensation or other consideration for 5 LinkedIn's use thereof. 6 76. Plaintiffs were harmed by LinkedIn's actions. 7 77. Plaintiffs were deprived of the earnings they would otherwise be 8 entitled to. 78. 9 lO E-< 12 o<l 13 connected to LinkedIn's commercial use. 79. <C ~ E-< rn ~ 14 Linkedln's actions were a substantial factor in causing Plaintiffs' 80. 11 ill Use of Plaintiffs' names, photographs, and likenesses were directly The advertisements were not used in conjunction with news, public harm. affairs, a sports broadcast or account, or a political campaign. 0 ~ 81. Plaintiffs and Members of the Class therefore seek injunctive relief, ~ 15 vO 16 and other such preliminary and other equitable or declaratory relief as may be 17 appropriate. [/) ~ 18 82. Plaintiffs and Members of the Class seek remedy as provided for by 19 the California Common Law Right of Publicity in the amount equal to the greater 20 of the amount that LinkedIn avoided paying to the Plaintiffs in marketing costs, the 21 amount that Linkedln attributes to each email or actual damages, any profits 22 attributable to LinkedIn's illegal action, before taking into account any actual 23 damages, punitive damages, attorneys' fees and costs, and any other relief as may 24 be appropriate. 25 SECOND CAUSE OF ACTION 26 (Violation of Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 17200) 27 28 83. Plaintiffs incorporate each ofthe foregoing allegations as if fully set forth herein. 34 CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT 1 84. As described herein, LinkedIn's nonconsensual use of its Members' 2 names, photographs, and likenesses is a violation of California's Common Law 3 Right of Publicity, the California Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, the California 4 Comprehensive Data Access and Fraud Act, the California Invasion of Privacy 5 Act, and the California Consumer Remedies Act. 6 7 8 9 85. These violations satisfy the "unlawful" prong ofthe Unfair Competition Law ("UCL"), Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code. § 17200, et seq. 86. Specifically, LinkedIn violated the "fraudulent" prong of the UCL by intentionally and knowingly misrepresenting that Members have full control to 10 prevent their name and appearance in LinkedIn advertisements, including b 11 endorsement emails sent by LinkedIn to third parties. LinkedIn intentionally "'" 12 misrepresented a Member's ability to prevent his or her appearance and name in a(J 13 advertisements so Linkedln could enjoy substantial profits by having users 14 unwittingly endorse LinkedIn to third parties through such advertisement emails. ~ 15 Plaintiffs justifiably relied upon those misrepresentations when deciding to join C/J C/J 16 and utilize LinkedIn. Plaintiffs suffered damages of deprivation of money earned 17 by the misrepresentations, the amount to be proven at trial. ~ b C/J ~ 0 ~ &l 18 87. LinkedIn violated the "unfair" prong of the UCL by leading Members 19 to believe that repeated emails would not be sent to third parties containing their 20 names and likenesses without their permission, then encouraging Members to 21 utilize LinkedIn in such a way that allowed Linkedln to access Members' external 22 email accounts and send endorsement emails to email addresses contained therein 23 and providing no warning that LinkedIn would send an endorsement email to each 24 email address harvested from Members' external email accounts. 25 88. Linkedln violated the "unfair" prong of the UCL by intentionally 26 profiting from the nonconsensual endorsements extracted from Members without 27 sharing those profits with those Members. 28 35 CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT 1 89. LinkedIn's unfair, deceptive, and fraudulent practices originated from 2 and/or occurred primarily in California. Decisions concerning the creation of the 3 endorsement email advertising scheme were made in California, LinkedIn 4 maintains all or a substantial part of its computer systems that serve LinkedIn's 5 website in California, and all or a substantial part of the code and content that 6 create and/or comprise endorsement email advertisements is developed and 7 deployed within and from California. 8 9 90. Pursuant to Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 17203, Plaintiffs seek an order of this Court permanently enjoining LinkedIn from continuing to engage in the 10 I-< ~ ~ Cd I-< [J) unlawful, unfair, and fraudulent conduct described herein. Plaintiffs seek an order 11 requiring LinkedIn to (1) immediately cease the unlawful practices stated in this 12 Complaint, and (2) award Plaintiff and the Class reasonable costs and attorneys' 13 fees pursuant to Cal. Code of Civ. Proc. § 1021.5. (5 14 ~ 15 LinkedIn's repeated advertisements, and LinkedIn has deprived them ofthat [J) [J) 16 interest. :::> p::: 17 91. 92. Plaintiffs have a vested monetary interest in their appearance in Plaintiffs each lost money to which they were entitled in the form of 18 compensation for the use of their images and names, and in which they had a 19 vested interest, by virtue of LinkedIn's conduct. They are entitled to restitution of 20 such sums. 21 THIRD CAUSE OF ACTION 22 (Stored Communications Act) 23 24 25 93. Plaintiffs incorporate each of the foregoing allegations as if fully set forth herein. 94. The ECPA broadly defines an "electronic communication" as "any 26 transfer of signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data, or intelligence of any 27 nature transmitted in whole or in part by a wire, radio, electromagnetic, 28 photoelectronic or photooptical system that affects interstate or foreign commerce. 36 CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT 1 ... " 18 U.S.C. § 2510(12). The Stored Communications Act (the "SCA") 2 incorporates this defmition. 3 95. The SCA mandates, among other things, that it is unlawful for a 4 person to obtain access to stored communications on another's computer system 5 without authorization. 18 U.S.C. § 270l. 6 96. Congress expressly included provisions in the SCA to address this 7 issue so as to prevent "unauthorized persons deliberately gaining access to, and 8 sometimes tampering with, electronic or wire communications that are not 9 intended to be available to the public." Senate Report No. 99-541, S. REP. 99-541, 10 ~ 11 35, 1986 u.S.C.C.A.N. 3555,3589. 97. Linkedln has violated 18 U.S.C. § 2701(a)(l) because it intentionally -< ~ -< 12 accessed members' email communications without authorization and obtained, o'<l 13 altered, or prevented authorized access to a wire or electronic communication 14 while in electronic storage by hacking into Linkedln members' external email ~ 15 accounts and, once obtaining access without the consent of members, obtaining the lfJ lfJ 16 contents of email communications in electronic storage and storing the contents of 17 those emails on Linkedln servers. At all relevant times, Linkedln had actual 18 knowledge of, and benefited from, this practice. ~ ~ lfJ ~ 0 <t; ~ 19 98. Linkedln has violated 18 U.S.C. § 270 1(a)(2) because it has 20 intentionally exceeded the authorization of LinkedIn members to access members' 21 communications and obtained, altered, or prevented authorized access to a wire or 22 electronic communication while in electronic storage by guessing the passwords of 23 Linkedln members' external email accounts and, once obtaining access without the 24 consent of members, obtaining the contents of email communications in electronic 25 storage and storing the contents of those emails on Linkedln servers. At all 26 relevant times, Linkedln had actual knowledge of, and benefited from, this 27 practice. 28 37 CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT 1 99. As a result of LinkedIn's conduct described herein and its violation of 2 18 U.S.C. § 2701, Plaintiffs and the Class have suffered injuries. Plaintiffs, on 3 their own behalf and on behalf of the Class, seek an order enjoining LinkedIn's 4 conduct described herein and awarding Plaintiffs and the Class the maximum 5 statutory and punitive damages available under 18 U.S.C. § 2707. 6 FOURTH CAUSE OF ACTION 7 (Wiretap Act) 8 9 10 100. Plaintiffs incorporate each ofthe foregoing allegations as iffully set forth herein. 101. The Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986, 18 U.S.C. § f-< 11 2510, referred to as "ECPA, regulated wire and electronic communications III 12 interception and interception of oral communications, and makes it unlawful for a 0<3 13 person to "willfully intercept[], endeavor[] to intercept, or procure[] any other 14 person to intercept or endeavor to intercept, any wire, oral, or electronic 15 communication," within the meaning of 18 U.S.C. § 2511(1). ~ ;2 f-< en :::> :::> 0 -< en en ~ 16 102. LinkedIn violated 18 U.S.C. § 2511 by intentionally acquiring and/or 17 intercepting, by device or otherwise, Plaintiffs' and Class Members' electronic 18 communications, without knowledge consent, or authorizations. For example, by 19 hacking into a LinkedIn member's external email account, LinkedIn accesses that 20 member's external email account without his or her knowledge or consent and 21 copies information contained in that member's email account and stores it on 22 Linkedln's servers. 23 24 103. LinkedIn unlawfully accessed and used, and voluntarily disclosed, the contents of the intercepted communications to enhance their profitability. 25 l04. The ECPA provides a civil cause of action to "any person whose wire, 26 oral, or electronic communication is intercepted, disclosed or intentionally used" in 27 violation of the ECPA. 28 38 CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT 1 105. Linkedln is liable directly and/or vicariously for this cause of action. 2 Plaintiffs therefore seek a remedy as provided by 18 U.S.C. § 2520, including such 3 preliminary and other equitable or declaratory relief as may be appropriate, 4 damages consistent with subsection (c) of that section to be proven at trial, punitive 5 damages to be proven at trial, and all attorney's fees and other litigation costs 6 reasonably incurred. 7 106. Plaintiffs and Class Members have additionally suffered loss by 8 reason of these violations, including, without limitation, violation of the right of 9 pnvacy. 10 107. Plaintiffs and the Class, pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 2520, are entitled to b 11 preliminary, equitable, and declaratory relief, in addition to statutory damages of "" ~ 12 the greater of $10,000 or $100 a day for each day of violation, actual and punitive a'd 13 damages, reasonable attorneys' fees, and Linkedln's profits obtained from the 14 above-described violations. Unless restrained and enjoined, LinkedIn will 15 continue to commit such acts. Plaintiffs' remedy at law is not adequate to 16 compensate it for these inflicted and threatened injuries, entitling Plaintiffs to 17 remedies including injunctive relief as provided by 18 U.S.C. § 2510. ~ b if] :::> :::> 0 <e: if] if] &l FIFTH CAUSE OF ACTION .. _.. _- 18 19 20 21 22 " -~, (California Comprehensive Data Access And Fraud Act) 108. Plaintiffs incorporate each of the foregoing allegations as if fully set forth herein. 109. Defendants violated the California Comprehensive Data Access and 23 Fraud Act, Cal. Penal Code 502, referred to as "CCCL" by knowingly and without 24 permission accessing, taking and using Plaintiffs' and the Class Members' 25 personally identifiable infonnation. 26 110. Defendants accessed, copied, used, made use of, interfered with, 27 and/or altered data belonging to Plaintiffs and Class Members: (1) in and from the 28 State of California; (2) in the states in which the Plaintiffs and the Class Members 39 CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT 1 are domiciled; and (3) in the states in which the servers that provided services and 2 communication links between Plaintiffs and the Class Members and 3 and other websites with which they interacted or were located. 4 Ill. Cal. Penal Code § 502 provides: "For purposes of bringing a civil or a 5 criminal action under this section, a person who causes, by any means, the access 6 of a computer, computer system, or computer network in one jurisdiction from 7 another jurisdiction is deemed to have personally accessed the computer, computer 8 system, or computer network in each jurisdiction. 9 112. Defendants have violated California Penal Code § 502(c)(1) by 10 knowingly and without permission altering, accessing, and making use of 11 Plaintiffs' and Class Members' personally identifiable data in order to execute a ~ """ 12 scheme to defraud consumers by utilizing and profiting from the sale of their 0?3 l3 personally identifiable data, thereby depriving them of the value oftheir personally f-< [/J ;:J 14 identifiable data. f-< ~ 0 ;:J 15 113. Defendants have violated California Penal Code § 502(c)(6) by ul [/J ~ 16 knowingly and without permission providing, or assisting in providing, a means of 17 accessing Plaintiffs' and Class Members' computer systems and/or computer 18 networks. -< 19 114. Defendants have violated California Penal Code § 502(c)(7) by 20 knowingly and without permission accessing, or causing to be accessed, Plaintiffs' 21 and Class Members' computer systems, email accounts and/or computer networks. 22 ll5. Pursuant to California Penal Code § 502(b )(10) a "Computer 23 contaminant" is defined as "any set of computer instructions that are designed to ... 24 record, or transmit information within computer, computer system, or computer 25 network without the intent or permission ofthe owner of the information." 26 116. Defendants have violated California Penal Code § 502(6)(8) by 27 knowingly and without permission introducing a computer contaminant into the 28 transactions between Plaintiffs and the Class Members and websites; specifically, 40 CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT 1 using a "cookie" that intercepts and gathers infonnation concerning Plaintiffs' and 2 the Class Members' interactions with certain websites, which infonnation is then 3 transmitted back to Linkedln. 117. As a direct and proximate result of Defendant's unlawful conduct 4 5 within the meaning of California Penal Code § 502, Defendant has caused loss to 6 Plaintiffs and the Class Members in an amount to be proven at trial. Plaintiffs and 7 the Class Members are also entitled to recover their reasonable attorneys' fees 8 pursuant to California Penal Code § 502(e). 118. Plaintiffs and the Class Members seek compensatory damages, in an 9 10 amount to be proven at trial, and injunctive or other equitable relief. 119. Plaintiff and Class Members have suffered irreparable hann and b 11 rrI 12 injuries from Defendant's violations. The hann will continue unless Defendant is o'd 13 enjoined from further violations of this section. Plaintiffs and Class Members have <Zl 14 no adequate remedy at law. " -< ~ 15 <Zl <Zl 16 damages pursuant to Cal. Penal Code § 502(e)( 4) because Defendant's violations 17 were willful and, upon infonnation and belief, Defendant is guilty of oppression, 18 fraud, or malice as defined in Cal. Civil Code § 3294. -< ~ b ~ ~ 120. Plaintiffs and the Class Members are entitled to punitive or exemplary 19 121. Plaintiffs and the Class Members have also suffered irreparable injury 20 from these unauthorized acts of disclosure, to wit: all of their personal, private, and 21 sensitive web communications have been harvested, viewed, accessed, stored, and 22 used by Defendant, and have not been destroyed, and due to the continuing threat 23 of such injury, have no adequate remedy at law, entitling Plaintiffs to injunctive 24 relief. 25 SIXTH CAUSE OF ACTION 26 (California Invasion Of Privacy Act) 27 28 122. Plaintiffs incorporate all preceding paragraphs as though set forth herein. 41 CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT 1 123. California Penal Code § 631(a) provides, in pertinent part: 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Any person who ... willfully and without the consent of all parties to the communication, or in any unauthorized manner, reads, or attempts to read, or to learn the contents or meaning of any message, report, or communication while the same is in transit or passing over any wire, line, or cable, or is being sent from, or received at any place within this state; or who uses, or attempts to use, in any manner, or for any purpose, or to communicate in any way, any information so obtained, or who aids, agrees with, employs, or conspires with any person or persons to lawfully do, or permit, or cause to be done any of the acts or things mentioned above in this section, is punishable by a fine not exceeding two thousand five hundred dollars ... 10 E-< ~ 11 124. At all relevant times, Defendant's business practice of using an ~ 12 existing open connection to a third party email site to intercept and collect o<l 13 Plaintiffs' and Class Members' personally identifiable information and other data, 14 including information concerning their interactions with certain web sites was ~ E-< [f) ~ " ~ -< en 15 without authorization and consent, including, but not limited to, obtaining any and ~ 16 all communications. 17 125. Upon information and belief, Plaintiffs, and each Class Member, 18 during one or more of their interactions on the internet during the Class Period, 19 communicated with one or more entities based in California, or with one or more 20 entities whose servers were located in California. [f) 21 126. Communications from the California web-based entities to Plaintiffs 22 and Class Members were sent from California. Communications to the California 23 web-based entities from Plaintiffs and Class Members were sent to California. 24 Plaintiffs and Class Members did not consent to any of Defendant's actions in 25 intercepting, reading, and/or learning the contents of their communications with 26 such California-based entities. 27 28 127. Plaintiff and Class Members did not consent to any of the Defendant's actions in using the contents of their communications with such 42 CLASS ACTION COMPLAlNT 1 California-based entities. Defendant is not a "public utility engaged in the 2 business of providing communications services and facilities ... " The actions of 3 Defendant alleged herein were not undertaken "for the purpose of construction, 4 maintenance, conduct or operation of the services and facilities of the public 5 utility." The actions of Defendant alleged herein were not undertaken with 6 respect to any telephonic communication system used for communication 7 exclusively within a state, county, city and county, or city correctional facility. 8 Defendant directly participated in the interception, reading, and/or learning of the 9 contents of the communications between Plaintiffs, Class Members, and 10 California-based web entities. Plaintiffs and Class Members have additionally 11 suffered loss by reason of these violations, including, without limitation, violation -« ~ -« 12 of the right of privacy and deprivation of the loss of value in their personally c:!d 13 identifiable information. f-< ~ f-< V1 ~ 128. 14 Wherefore, Plaintiffs, on behalf ofthemselves and on behalf of a 0 ~ ~ czl V1 ~ 15 similarly situated Class of consumers, seek damages and injunctive relief. 16 17 Plaintiffs, individually and on behalf ofthe Class, pray for the following 18 19 20 relief: 1. Certification of this case as a class action on behalf of the Class 21 defined above, appoint Plaintiffs Paul Perkins, Pennie Sempell, Ann Brandwein, 22 and Erin Eggers, as class representatives, and appoint their counsel as Class 23 counsel; 24 2. 25 26 27 A declaration that Linkedln's actions, as described herein, violate the claims outlined above; 3. An award of injunctive and other equitable relief as is necessary to protect the interests of the Plaintiffs and the Class, including, inter alia, an order 28 43 CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT 1 prohibiting LinkedIn from engaging in the wrongful and unlawful acts described 2 herein; 3 4. Disgorgement or restitution by LinkedIn of all revenue earned from 4 the fraudulent and unlawful advertising practices described herein during the class 5 period; 6 7 8 9 10 b ~ >Q ~ ~ a(l b <Zl ~. 11 12 13 14 5. An award of damages, including statutory damages where applicable, to Plaintiffs and the Class in an amount to be determined at trial; 6. An award of all economic, monetary, actual, consequential, and compensatory damages caused by LinkedIn's conduct, and if its conduct is proved willful, award Plaintiffs and the Class exemplary damages; 7. An award of restitution against LinkedIn for all money to which Plaintiffs and the Class are entitled in equity; 8. An award to Plaintiffs and their Class Counsel oftheir reasonable litigation expenses and attorneys' fees; 0 ~ 15 <Zl <Zl 16 <r: ~ 17 9. An award to Plaintiffs and the Class of pre- and post-judgment interest, to the extent allowable; and 10. Any and all other relief as equity and justice may require. 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 44 CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT 1 2 JURY TRIAJ, DEMANDED Plaintiffs demand a trial by jury of all issues so triable. 3 4 5 Dated: September 17,2013 Respectfully submitted, RUSS AUGUST & KABAT 6 7 A f / ! i} // t. "Ru~ By: Lar6 8 ~ 12 o<l 13 Larry C. Russ, Cal. Bar No. 82760 Dorian S. Berger, Cal. Bar No. 264424 Damel F.'Hipskind, Cal. Bar No. 266763 th 12424 Wilshire Boulevard, 12 Floor Los Angeles, California 90025 Tel: (310) 826-7474 Fax: (310) 826-699112424 Wilshire 14 Attorneys for Plaintiffs 9 10 E-< ~ ~ E-< rn ~ 11 0 ~ ~ '" gz rn 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 45 CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT

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