Tagged.com Sued By NY AG

    July 14, 2009

New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo announced today that his office intends to sue social networking site Tagged for deceptive email marking practices and invasion of privacy.

Cuomo charges Tagged created an illegal plan to lure new members and artificially inflate traffic on its site. Users who visited Tagged were tricked into providing the company with access to their personal email contacts, which the company used to send millions of promotional emails. Tagged disguised the emails to make them look like they were coming from a personal contact, when they were actually spam.

Between April and June this year, Tagged sent millions of misleading emails to recipients stating that Tagged members had posted private photos online for their friends to view. In reality, the photos did not exist and the email was not from their friends. When the recipients tried to access the photos, they were required to become a new member of Tagged. The company would then gain access to their email contacts and send more bogus invitations.

Andrew Cuomo
Andrew Cuomo

"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."

The goal of the lawsuit is to stop Tagged from sending out spam and would seek fines from the company. The company temporarily suspended its spam campaign in June due to users complaints, but it had already sent over 60 million emails worldwide.