NEWS16 November 2011

LinkedIn privacy suit dismissed for ‘lack of harm’

Legal North America

US— A LinkedIn user who sued the business networking site for allegedly sharing his personal information with third parties – including web tracking firms – has had his complaint dismissed.

San Francisco resident Kevin Low claimed that the disclosure of information, including his browsing history, had caused him both emotional and economic harm, but Judge Lucy Koh said Low had failed to present facts “sufficient to support his theory of harm”.

In granting LinkedIn’s motion to dismiss, Koh cited a privacy case brought against ad network Specific Media which was similarly dismissed for failure to show harm.

Low has been granted leave to amend and refile his complaint within 21 days. His original complaint alleges that LinkedIn’s website links and transmits user ID numbers to third parties, including advertisers, marketing companies, data brokers and web tracking companies in such a way as to make it possible for them to associate a particular user with a particular tracking cookie – thus removing their anonymity.