Customers have sued LinkedIn Corp. in federal court in San Jose, Calif., contending that the professional networking company hacked into their external email accounts in order to obtain email addresses of contacts to which to market its services. The suit seeks class action status and asks for a court order barring the alleged practice and disgorgement of profits, Bloomberg reports. LinkedIn spokesman Doug Madey said that the lawsuit has no merit and that the company will fight it vigorously. “LinkedIn is committed to putting our members first, which includes being transparent about how we protect and utilize our members’ data,” Madey told Bloomberg via e-mail. A Main Justice post provides additional details from the Tuesday complaint. It contends that LinkedIn essentially stole email addresses of friends, associates and business adversaries, among others, then sent emails, “including the name and sometimes the photo, of the LinkedIn customer” asking . . .