January 26, 2021

LinkedIn has agreed to pay about $1 each to up to 800,000 American users who paid for premium services of the career-focused social network between March 2006 and June 2012 – to settle a class-action lawsuit.

A LinkedIn premium user named Katie Szpyrka sued the company over the leaked of over 6.5 million LinkedIn password hashes back in 2012. Szpyrka alleged LinkedIn of violating various California state laws and for negligence, as per Ars Technica’s report.

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LinkedIn user privacy litigation settlement website notes, “A settlement has been reached in a class action lawsuit against LinkedIn, which operates a professional networking service (website at www.linkedin.com). The class action lawsuit involves claims that LinkedIn did not adequately protect the passwords and personal information of the users of its premium services.”

The settlement however clears that the $1 payout will be offered only to those premium LinkedIn users (between March 15, 2006 and June 7, 2012) who submit a claim. The website further adds, “If you are included in the settlement and can attest that you were influenced by LinkedIn’s statements in its User Agreement or Privacy Policy about its security when you signed up for a LinkedIn premium subscription, you are eligible to submit a claim for up to $50 from a $1,250,000 Settlement Fund, after payment of the costs of administering the settlement and any award of reasonable attorneys’ fees and expenses and plaintiff’s incentive award approved by the Court.”

Talking about class-action lawsuit, LinkedIn told NYT, “Following the dismissal of every other claim associated with this lawsuit, LinkedIn has agreed to this settlement to avoid the distraction and expense of ongoing litigation.”

LinkedIn added in the class-action settlement agreement that going forward, it will treat passwords better, saying it will “employ both salting and hashing, or an equivalent or greater form of protection in LinkedIn’s judgment, to protect LinkedIn users’ passwords for a period of five (5) years after the Final Settlement Date.”

Last month, a security software company claimed that cyber criminals were targeting LinkedIn users with phishing emails.