Linkedin inviting people into my network without my permission?

Linkedin has been acting very oddly recently. I noticed that people who I didn’t really know were accepting invites to connect. I hadn’t originated those invites. The people weren’t entirely random and may have been copied in on emails that had been sent to me, maybe even emails that I had replied to, but were not directly known by me. At one level this doesn’t matter, but if people who I don’t really know thought that I was spamming them through Linkedin, or even that I was desperately trying to increase my network, this could potentially reflect badly on me.

When I mentioned this a while ago on Facebook and Linkedin a lot of people responded that thy too had experienced this problem. Tonight a local friend called to say that she thought that by connecting with her son, she is not a big Linkedin user, this had triggered invites going out to dozens of people without her knowledge.

I have disconnected all apps with access to Linkedin and found out that those affected have different email suppliers so goodness knows what is going on. Whatever is doing this must have access to our email accounts as the people who are being contacted are not in our personal address books nor even our Linkedin networks.

If anyone knows what is behind this, or can get attention from someone worth talking to at Linkedin, I’d be grateful if you could get in touch.

4 thoughts on “Linkedin inviting people into my network without my permission?”

  1. Euan,

    A while ago LinkedIn put out a service called "Intro," an iphone app. Check to see if you have it on your phone. This app filtered all email from your phone through LinkedIn. The app then located the senders/receivers in LinkedIn and sent you background information on each one. This is one thing that can be amiss in your situation. To turn this off: http://help.linkedin.com/app/answers/detail/aid/43518 More info: http://www.reddit.com/r/technology/comments/1p6x7o/linkedinintroappreconfiguresyourdevice_so/

    The next, and more likely thing and is a common complaint now, is that LinkedIn is somehow gaining access to third party email accounts via open tabs in a browser. In Sept 2013, a class action lawsuit was filed by 4 users against LinkedIn for accessing the email accounts without a password or permission, then culling those addresses from the third party account’s address book. I’m not solid on the details, but it has to do with LinkedIn and the 3rd party email app being opened at the same time in the same browser, possibly via tabs. Here is just one of the many, many entries on LinkedIn Community about this: http://community.linkedin.com/questions/15556/how-did-linkedin-get-my-address-book-info-without.htmlmore info about the class action suit: http://gigaom.com/2013/09/21/linkedin-is-breaking-into-user-emails-spamming-contacts-lawsuit/

    My guess is the second option happened to you. I have an inkling they did the same to me because I have seen a few connections come through that I didn’t initiate. This is particularly annoying on LinkedIn (and not so much on sites like Goodreads) because I find a lot of spammers and abusers on the site. I’ve stopped all connecting on there, unless I am 100% positive the person is not just out to spam my contacts.

    Let’s keep an eye on the lawsuit and see how it goes. In the meantime, I haven’t seen any way to stop LinkedIn from doing this. If you find one, let me know.

    -Christine

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  2. HiLinkedin is adding people at random in my contacts. Some of these people I do know and would never connect with on linkedin. Some I do not know and have never communicated with. Its a bug. I am not happy.

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  3. Same thing happens to me as I am writing. Troves of people I have emails to sometime in the past ‘confirm’ my involuntary request. I don’t have the app Intro on my phone. Didn’t even find it in the Appstore.

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