AH Tech Talk: LinkedIn Agrees To Settle In Case Against Them Over The Publishing Of Hashed Passwords

 

In a recent class action lawsuit against LinkedIn, the popular social networking site aimed at professionals, LinkedIn has agreed to settle the lawsuit and pay out to the plaintiffs in this case, initially brought on by a LinkedIn premium user, Katie Szpyrka. If you were involved as one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit LinkedIn apparently has some money coming your way, but before you get too excited each person involved as a LinkedIn premium member as part of this case will only reportedly be receiving $1. The lawsuit was over the publishing of hashed passwords from back in 2012 that had belonged to LinkedIn users, totaling a number of about 6.5 million from LinkedIn alone, and another 1.5 million from a popular dating website.

LinkedIn of course denies any wrong doing in this case, although the initial lawsuit claims they violated California state law and were in breach of contract. The settlement means that some 800,000 individuals will bet getting about a dollar each, which is what the settlement amount comes to after having been divided up by the lawyers representing LinkedIn and the disbursement of the administrative fees. The relatively small settlement fee is just part of LinkedIn's contribution, as they will also be making some security based changes to the way they handle passwords for users to prevent this from happening in the future, which may include salting and hashing of passwords. Whatever LinkedIn decides to do to assure protection of users's personal data going forward is up to the discretion of LinkedIn themselves but they state that they will be employing some changes.

Since LinkedIn still claims they had no intent on violating any laws or policies, it might come as a shock to some to see them settle, but if you think about it it actually isn't a bad idea as they end the case faster. Settling was merely a way for them to avoid more fees related to court case, like costs for the lawyers and an even greater cost of time spent fighting off litigation, which is something you can't get back. The money however, which totals around $1.25 million to be spread out across the lawyers, administrative fees, and plaintiffs, can be made back so LinkedIn obviously saw their time as being worth more than the settlement fee.

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