Is Deceptively Getting People To Spam Their Friends Identity Theft?
from the seems-a-bit-strong dept
Last month, the social networking site Tagged got in some PR trouble after its attempt at “viral marketing” went a little haywire, causing lots of people to inadvertently spam their friends with invites to the service (and then those who signed up may have done the same). Such things are pretty common. They’re deceptive and annoying, and companies that engage in them don’t tend to last very long because no one really wants to use their service. But is it identity theft?
That seems to be the claim from NY Attorney General Andrew Cuomo who is suing the company, claiming that it “stole the address books and identities of millions of people.” While we in no way endorse what Tagged did — it is deceptive and scammy — it’s definitely seems like going over the line to call it identity theft, or even address book theft. Tagged apparently quickly pulled the plug on the campaign, and while there could be an action against the company for deceptive marketing practices, one would think that the company’s reputation has been so damaged already that it’s not going to be able to sign up many legitimate users. Tacking on attacks about privacy invasion and identity theft seems like bit much.