|“||is a social networking website geared toward professional networking with more than 200 million users. Users, who maintain resume-like profiles, utilize LinkedIn to view each other's profiles and to exchange messages.||”|
|“||provides an online community for professional networking. Prospective members may sign up for a membership by providing a valid email address and registration password, which LinkedIn stores on its database. Once registered, a member may create a free online professional profile containing such information as employment and educational history.||”|
Founded in 2002, LinkedIn is a professional networking website with over 500 million members. Members post resumes and job listings and build professional "connections" with other members. LinkedIn specifically disclaims ownership of the information users post to their personal profiles: according to LinkedIn’s User Agreement, members own the content and information they submit or post to LinkedIn and grant LinkedIn only a non-exclusive license to "use, copy, modify, distribute, publish, and process" that information.
LinkedIn allows its members to choose among various privacy settings. Members can specify which portions of their profile are visible to the general public (that is, to both LinkedIn members and nonmembers), and which portions are visible only to direct connections, to the member's "network" (consisting of LinkedIn members within three degrees of connectivity), or to all LinkedIn members.This case deals only with profiles made visible to the general public.
LinkedIn also offers all members — whatever their profile privacy settings — a "Do Not Broadcast" option with respect to every change they make to their profiles. If a LinkedIn member selects this option, her connections will not be notified when she updates her profile information, although the updated information will still appear on her profile page (and thus be visible to anyone permitted to view her profile under her general privacy setting). More than 50 million LinkedIn members have, at some point, elected to employ the "Do Not Broadcast" feature, and approximately 20 percent of all active users who updated their profiles between July 2016 and July 2017 — whatever their privacy setting—employed the “Do Not Broadcast” setting.
- Perkins v. LinkedIn Corp., 2014 WL 2751053, at *1 (N.D. Cal. June 12, 2014).
- In re LinkedIn User Privacy Litigation, 932 F.Supp.2d 1089, 1090 (N.D. Cal. 2013).
- Direct connections (or first-degree connections) are people to whom a LinkedIn member is connected by virtue of having invited them to connect and had the invitation accepted, or of having accepted their invitation to connect. Second-degree connections are people connected to a member's first-degree connections. Third-degree connections are people connected to a member's second-degree connections. A LinkedIn member's network consists of the member's first-degree, second-degree, and third-degree connections, as well as fellow members of the same LinkedIn Groups (groups of members in the same industry or with similar interests that any member can request to join).
- "Overview and Privacy" sections: hiQ Labs, Inc. v. LinkedIn Corp., 938 F.3d 985, 989–90 (9th Cir. 2019).