NEW YORK - The professional network LinkedIn is being sued by customers alleging it appropriated their identities for marketing the website to non-members without their consent.
The complainants allege that LinkedIn hacked into their external e-mail accounts and downloaded contacts' addresses.
The customers, who aim to lead a group suit against the company, asked a federal judge in California to bar LinkedIn from repeating the alleged violations and to force it to return any revenue made by using their identities, according to a court filing.
"LinkedIn's own Web site contains hundreds of complaints regarding this practice," they said in the complaint, which also seeks unspecified damages.
Julie Inouye, a spokeswoman for LinkedIn, didn't immediately return a voice-mail message seeking comment on the suit outside of regular business hours.
The case is Perkins v. LinkedIn Corp, 13-cv-04303, US District Court, Northern District of California (San Jose).