LinkedIn is still trying to send me email despite years of rejections
Back in 2014 I wrote about LinkedIn sending me invitation spam emails and how they wanted me to agree to their terms of service (and join LinkedIn) in order to 'unsubscribe' from them. Of course I didn't do that; instead, as usual, I arranged to have all future email from LinkedIn to me to be rejected during the SMTP conversation on our external MX gateway (using one of our anti-spam features). Then I put the whole thing out of my mind.
You can probably guess what has happened since then. It's now
closing in on three years that I've been rejecting all such LinkedIn
email, and LinkedIn still attempts to send me some every so often
on a semi-regular basis. I have no idea what's actually in the
email, since the external MX gateway rejects it at
RCPT TO time
(and LinkedIn uses completely anonymous
MAIL FROM addresses), but
I suspect that it's more invitations.
Persistently sending email to addresses that fail at
RCPT TO time
makes LinkedIn's behavior functionally indistinguishable from
spammers. Spammers ignore
RCPT TO and other mail failures; so
does LinkedIn. Spammers will send to dead addresses for years.
LinkedIn? Check. I am sure that LinkedIn will claim that it has
good reasons for its behavior, and perhaps it will even allege that
it is merely doing the will of its users. It doesn't really matter.
When you walk like a duck and quack like a duck, people who don't
want ducks don't really care what you actually are (cf).
I believe that LinkedIn's behavior is illegal in Canada under our anti-spam legislation. I was going to say that this exposes LinkedIn to potential legal risks now that it's 2017 and the legislation is fully in force, but it turns out that the government suspended the right of private action recently. Since Canada is a loser-pays country for civil lawsuits, suing LinkedIn over this would always be risky, but now only the government can take them to court and I don't think that that's very likely.
(On the other hand, according to the website the government apparently has taken action against some big Canadian corporations over their spam, oops, 'marketing email'. So who knows.)
PS: These days there appears to be a LinkedIn unsubscribe page that doesn't immediately demand that you log in to LinkedIn. I haven't tried it; to put it one way, I don't particularly believe that leopards actually change their spots. I have no trust for LinkedIn at this point and thus no desire to actively provide them with any email addresses.
Comments on this page:Written on 04 July 2017.