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LinkedIn Allegedly Violates Federal Law by Making Employment History Available

10.21.14

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A new class action lawsuit alleges that on LinkedIn “any potential employer can anonymously dig into the employment history of any LinkedIn member, and make hiring and firing decisions based upon the information they gather, without the knowledge of the member, and without any safeguards in place as to the accuracy of the information that the potential employer has obtained.” In the case of Tracee Sweet et al v. LinkedIn which was filed on October 4, 2014 in the US District Court for the Northern District of California, the potential class makes these allegations against LinkedIn for violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA):

(1) fails to comply with the certification and disclosure requirements mandated by the FCRA for credit reporting agencies who furnish consumer reports for employment purposes,

(2) fails to maintain reasonable procedures to limit the furnishing of consumer reports for the purposes enumerated in the FCRA and to assure maximum possible accuracy of consumer report information, and

(3) fails to provide to users of the reference reports the notices mandated by the FCRA.

LinkedIn currently claims that it “operates the world’s largest professional network on the Internet with more than 313 million members in over 200 countries and territories.”

Given LinkedIn’s business model of members posting employment history it is hard to believe that there are FCRA violations, so this will be an important case to follow, but of course the court has to approve the class before the case proceeds.

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