Social media may pose more threats than you think. Aside from unauthorized users hacking into your social media accounts, you may now also have to worry about what the social media service is doing with your personal information.
LinkedIn, a professional social media outlet, is being accused of breaking into their users' contact lists causing some people to become wary of their services. With nearly 240 million users, suspicions surrounding LinkedIn's optimization strategies have started to surface.
Bloomberg reported that customers are suing LinkedIn for hacking into their email accounts and downloading their contact lists in order to better market products and services. Naturally, LinkedIn users are upset and have legally taken action to collect whatever revenue LinkedIn generated from "stealing" their contacts.
"While there are still a lot of questions to be asked and answers to be found, it looks as if people need to be more aware of what they are doing with their personal information online, especially on social media outlets," Dan Porter, TCP Director of Reviews, said. "This situation just goes to show how important social media and email protection really are."
The users that filed the lawsuit believe that their email contacts were stolen since you are required to sign up with an external email address in order to gain access to a LinkedIn profile. After signing up, users claimed they started to receive messages and endorsement emails from people they had not contacted in several years. This is driving some working professionals to leave LinkedIn because they are tired of poor customer service and the hundreds of emails that flood email inboxes.
"It appears that the LinkedIn situation is a serious concern for social media users," Porter explained. "It just goes to show how valuable personal information is."
While a legal decision has not been reached, these users have asked that LinkedIn be banned from using email hacking practices in addition to repaying all of the money earned from these sorts of strategies. There is not necessarily public evidence stating outright that LinkedIn is guilty of email hacking. Whether or not a judge finds LinkedIn to be in violation of privacy laws remains unknown.