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Tagged.com Settles With New York, Texas Over Invite Fight

11/ 9/09 03:13 PM ET   AP

NEW YORK — The social networking Web site Tagged.com has adopted reforms on the use of invitation e-mails after being accused of essentially stealing the e-mail addresses of some 60 million Internet users, state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo announced Monday.

Cuomo charged in July that the San Francisco-based Tagged.com sent out e-mails to members' contact lists, asking recipients to view private photos posted by their friends. But when the recipients tried to access the photos, they were asked to sign up for the site, and the e-mail addresses in their contact lists were then lifted to send out more solicitation emails, Cuomo said.

On Monday, Cuomo said Tagged will not access contacts or send messages without the member's informed permission. It also will provide clear and conspicuous disclosures.

As part of the agreement, Tagged will pay $500,000 in penalties and costs to New York. In a second agreement, the company will pay $250,000 in penalties and costs to Texas, which also investigated Tagged's practices.

Tagged CEO Greg Tseng said the 5-year-old company had voluntarily proposed reforms and overhauled its registration process. It also planned to add more privacy features.

"We are thrilled to put the dispute behind us," he wrote Monday in a post on Tagged's site. The company admitted no wrongdoing.

Tagged bills itself as the third-largest social networking site in the United States after Facebook and MySpace. It has more than 80 million members worldwide, most of whom live outside the U.S.

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Filed by David Weiner  |