Whether it’s the canned kind or the sort that involves male enhancement products, spam is generally worthless – unless the spam in question came from LinkedIn, and arrived in your potential connections’ inboxes repeatedly, with your name and without your consent. In that case, it might be worth a share of a recent $13 million settlement.
First, the background. Perkins v. LinkedIn, brought by nine professionals in California on behalf of a group of users, alleged that LinkedIn failed to inform them that by using the “Add Connections” feature, they would allow the service to send two follow-up emails to anyone they chose to contact.
Do You Know What You're Worth?
LinkedIn filed to dismiss the case, but U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh allowed the suit to go forward, agreeing that the multiple emails could harm users’ right of publicity under California law, saying that “the second and third endorsement emails could injure users’ reputations by allowing contacts to think that the users are the types of people who spam their contacts.”
LinkedIn agreed to pay a $13 million settlement to users who were members between Sept. 17, 2011, and Oct. 31, 2014, and used the “Add Connections” feature.
So, How Much Money Are We Talking Here?
For the plaintiffs, a nice little chunk of change: $1,500. For anyone else who was affected, it depends. LinkedIn has been notifying users by email (ha!) if they’re eligible, and The Huffington Post reports that each user could receive up to $1,500.
In all likelihood, though, the number will be less – a lot less. In fact, the settlement includes a provision that if it works out to be less than $10 per person, LinkedIn will kick in an extra $750,000.
How Do I File a Claim?
If you’ve received an email, or feel that you should be included in the settlement, you can file a claim at this website. All claims must be filed before 11:59 p.m., Pacific Time, on Dec. 14, 2015.
If you’re not sure if you’ve received an email from LinkedIn, maybe now is the time to stop ignoring their messages, and check your inbox – just this once.
“It will be interesting to see what happens if users ignore this settlement notice,” Mike Murphy notes at Quartz. “Will LinkedIn send out a follow-up email?”
Tell Us What You Think
Are you entitled to some settlement money? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.
Jen Hubley Luckwaldt writes about work-life balance, stress management, and other topics relating to what makes us happy at work. A full-time freelancer, she deals with stress by blurring the lines between life and work to the point where the two spheres are barely separate. The happiest day of her career was when scientists proved that looking at pictures of cute animals makes us more productive.