According to the courthouse news service website LinkedIn has won the first round (and perhaps the last round) in the class-action lawsuit targeting them for Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) violations.
Late last year a class-action lawsuit was filed in San Francisco claiming that LinkedIn’s premium service that allows paid subscribers to view “trusted references” constituted a consumer report under the FCRA.
According to the complaint, employers looking to hire can view names and employment positions of other LinkedIn members who are "linked" to the candidate because they have worked together.
Once the employer pays the required subscription fee, it can generate its own list of what LinkedIn calls "trusted references" for the potential employee. But LinkedIn never informs the prospective employee that a third party has been given the information, the plaintiffs said in their complaint. The plaintiffs claimed they were offered and then denied jobs because of faulty information provided by the trusted references.
LinkedIn moved to dismiss the case, arguing that the plaintiffs could not show the reference searches meet the definition of a credit report under FCRA. The company also said employment histories contained in the reference searches are generated from direct experiences and transactions with users, and that FCRA doesn't apply since users provide employment histories knowing the information will be published online.
The Judge in this case found that the case, (for now) lacked merit and granted the plaintiffs another chance to amend their complaint, saying "The court is not yet persuaded that plaintiffs' defects are beyond cure."
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