NY Attorney General Unfriends Tagged.com, Files Lawsuit

New York’s crusading Attorney General, Andrew Cuomo, has a new target: social networking contact-spamming site Tagged.com. He intends to stop the company’s practices and seek fines from them. Were the fine $1 per spammy e-mail they’ve sent, the total would be $60 million. Too much?

“This company stole the address books and identities of millions of people,” said Attorney General Cuomo. “Consumers had their privacy invaded and were forced into the embarrassing position of having to apologize to all their email contacts for Tagged’s unethical – and illegal – behavior. This very virulent form of spam is the online equivalent of breaking into a home, stealing address books, and sending phony mail to all of an individual’s personal contacts. We would never accept this behavior in the real world, and we cannot accept it online.”

Tagged made their invitational emails appear to have been sent directly from members’ personal email accounts, instead of from Tagged.com. The emails falsely stated that “[name] sent you photos on Tagged.” If a member had added a personal image to the website, Tagged also included that picture in these fraudulent email solicitations. Many consumers were unaware that Tagged accessed their email contact lists.

The Attorney General’s lawsuit would seek to stop Tagged from engaging in these fraudulent practices and would seek fines from the company. Tagged temporarily suspended its email marketing campaign in June, in response to user complaints and criticism, but had already sent over 60 million of the deceptive emails to consumers worldwide.

It’s nice to see government taking action against unethical social media Web site actions. There’s social networking, and then there’s outright deception.

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Tagged.com Will Spam Your Friends And Family

ATTORNEY GENERAL CUOMO ANNOUNCES LEGAL ACTION AGAINST SOCIAL NETWORKING SITE THAT RAIDED EMAIL ADDRESS BOOKS, STOLE IDENTITIES, AND SPAMMED MILLIONS OF AMERICANS [Press Release]