LinkedIn Wins Dismissal of Privacy Suit Over Hacking

LinkedIn Corp., the biggest online professional-networking service, won dismissal of a lawsuit claiming it failed to follow industry standards and its own promises in encrypting user password information.

The lawsuit, filed last year in federal court in San Jose, California, followed the company’s website being hacked and 6.5 million member passwords being posted on an unrelated website. In June, LinkedIn confirmed its site was hacked. The suit was based on alleged violations of California consumer protection statutes, breach of contract and negligence claims.

In dismissing the case, U.S. District Judge Edward J. Davila said the plaintiffs didn’t read LinkedIn’s allegedly misrepresented privacy policy, which is necessary to support their claims.

The plaintiffs haven’t demonstrated they have standing to bring the lawsuit, Davila said, because they failed to demonstrate a “causal connection” between Mountain View, California-based LinkedIn’s alleged misrepresentation and their harm, according to yesterday’s ruling.

Jay Edelson, a lawyer representing plaintiffs in the case, didn’t immediately return a call yesterday after regular business hours seeking comment on the ruling.

The case is In re LinkedIn User Privacy Litigation, 12-cv-03088, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Jose).

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