LinkedIn Being Sued For Feature That Shows “Secret” Reference List

judgeJFour people have started a class action lawsuit against LinkedIn because of a function that allows anyone with a premium account to contact a user’s previous employer.

To access the function, according to Quartz, “just mouse over the arrow to the right of someone’s profile picture, click reference search, and you get a list sortable by employer. It’s ranked by how close the connection is and how often they’ve been recommended on LinkedIn. From there, you can contact them without the candidate knowing.”

According to the class action lawsuit, the list of references falls under the Federal Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), a law that regulates reports used in hiring.

A spokesman from LinkedIn says the search only reveals people who were at the company at the same time as a member, and that “a reference search does not reveal any of that member’s non-public information.”

What do you think? You know references will speak highly of a candidate, so do you go beyond references provided by the candidate?

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