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US: LinkedIn told it can’t stop bots from scraping your personal data

 |  August 15, 2017

LinkedIn has been ordered to unblock a startup’s access to its data, concluding a legal debate that sets a precedent for the future. LinkedIn sent a cease and desist letter when HiQ Labs started scraping its data, the practice of extracting user data from social media accounts or websites like Yelp or Wikipedia for business purposes, as described by the San Francisco Chronicle. A court allowed the activity to continue.

HiQ Labs is a talent management company that’s using LinkedIn’s data to train its artificial intelligence models. The company offers other businesses a way to monitor the LinkedIn activity of their employees. If you make a few tweaks to your profile while thinking about switching jobs, the changes could be reported back to your boss.

“Microsoft is further transforming LinkedIn into a data-driven marketing powerhouse that harvests all its data to drive ad revenues,” said Jeffrey Chester, executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy.

Microsoft-owned LinkedIn brought a lawsuit against the company, claiming it needed to protect the personal information of its users. It banned HiQ from accessing its data, citing the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and Digital Millennium Act as preventing invasive scraping activities. The move was criticised as a step backwards for the open Internet.

Full Content: Washington Post

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