Court Rules That People Own Their LinkedIn Accounts
District Court Judge Ronald Buckwalter oversaw a case about whether a LinkedIn account belongs to you. It turns out that Judge Buckwalter claims that a LinkedIn account is not worth anything. According to a post-trial finding, District Court Judge Ronald Buckwalter ruled that Linda Eagle is entitled to her LinkedIn account. Eagle is a former CEO whose company took her LinkedIn account after letting her go.
Eagle’s company Edcomm was acquired by Sawabeh Information Services. Sawabeh ended up firing Eagle and she told another employee that the password to her LinkedIn account with 4,000 contacts was blocked. Eagle’s successor Sandi Morgan changed the name and the photo on the account to her own.
“These LinkedIn accounts belonged to individual employees and there’s nothing to suggest otherwise,” stated Judge Buckwalter when referring to Sawabeh’s actions. He said that the actual LinkedIn account was not actually worth anything to warrant compensation. “I have immense difficulty finding that you sustained any damages as a result of this,” Buckwalter said to Eagle.
Eagle requested for compensation, but was rejected in court. This past November, Eagle claimed that she lost substantial business opportunities because she was unable to access her contacts, including one that was valued at $100,000.