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Submission + - LinkedIn Accused of Hacking Customers' E-Mails to Get Contacts ( 1

cold fjord writes: Business Week reports, "LinkedIn Corp. ... was sued by customers who claim the company appropriated their identities for marketing purposes by hacking into their external e-mail accounts and downloading contacts’ addresses. The customers, who aim to lead a group suit against LinkedIn, asked a federal judge in San Jose, California, to bar the company from repeating the alleged violations and to force it to return any revenue stemming from its use of their identities to promote the site ... “LinkedIn’s own website contains hundreds of complaints regarding this practice,” they said in the complaint filed Sept. 17, ... LinkedIn required the members to provide an external e-mail address as their username on its site, then used the information to access their external e-mail accounts when they were left open ... “LinkedIn pretends to be that user and downloads the e-mail addresses contained anywhere in that account to LinkedIn’s servers,” they said. “LinkedIn is able to download these addresses without requesting the password for the external e-mail accounts or obtaining users’ consent.” " — More at Bloomberg. — This puts an interesting twist on LinkedIn's recent call for transparency.
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LinkedIn Accused of Hacking Customers' E-Mails to Get Contacts

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  • The whole premise of this claim seems to be that linked-in can access your external email account without a password but I don't see an suggestion of HOW such an awesome feat might be arranged. It is FAR more likely that linkedin compares your mail server and IP range to other users it knows of with similiar attributes. It appears to know your contacts but it's just making a guess. It certainly came up with both accurate and inaccurate results when it tried to profile me.

The other line moves faster.