Court Orders LinkedIn to Open Public Data to Third Party Sites


But why did LinkedIn try to stop it?

They also added that they don't inform bosses and managers about a certain person's profile change that can greatly affect job relations.

People tend to update their LinkedIn profiles when they're about to start looking for a new job, and hiQ can see when this happens, conduct an analysis, and even warn the person's current employer that they could be about to leave.

I make no secret of my disdain for LinkedIn, but now there's one more reason why you might not want to keep your account.

Microsoft - the parent company of LinkedIn - has been told by a United States court that its users are legally allowed to have their data scraped by third party companies, despite the company claiming it violates privacy laws. HiQ, on the other hand, has dismissed these claims of abuse, declaring that profile information that is publicly available and viewable without logging in should not be "walled off".

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The decision leaves social media companies in a tricky spot. If it attempts to bypass the protection would mean a violation of the CFAA and Digital Millennium Act.

LinkedIn has been battling with the startup since May, when it sent a cease and desist order to hiQ Labs in an effort to stop the company lifting profile data from its site.

HiQ filed a complaint with the court in June, presenting a counter-argument that it only analyzes public sections of LinkedIn.

"LinkedIn's professed privacy concerns are somewhat undermined by the fact that LinkedIn allows other third parties to access user data without its members' knowledge or consent", he wrote.

"LinkedIn refers to itself as a "community" and expressly holds itself out as a place 'to meet, exchange ideas (and) learn, ' " hiQ said in an earlier motion.

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HiQ Labs sells its clients information about a selection of workforces but, according to the BBC, a representative claimed that it does not now sell a service that alerts bosses to profile changes, nor can the company monitor every individual profile account. We don't republish or sell the data we collect.

HiQ Labs called it an important victory for any company that uses publicly available data for the services it provides.

It's like Google or Bing that copies and indexes huge portions of LinkedIn's data and display those details in the SERP.

The social networking site is clearly just trying to protect user's security but because of this particular decree, it may be impossible to attain.

"This case is not over".

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This ruling allows us to continue serving our clients while we seek to permanently prevent LinkedIn from monopolizing the aggregation and analysis of publicly available information on the web.