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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

LinkedIn finally remove technical measures that prevent bots scraping the site

LinkedIn has been told it must remove technical measures that prevent bots scraping the site

HIQ Labs, serves Fortune 500 companies ,The company was incorporated in 2012 and is based in San Francisco, California. that mines and analyzes publicly available personal data on LinkedIn to predict whether employees _ just those working for companies that have engaged HiQ Labs services_  are thinking about switching jobs, the changes could be reported back to your boss.

In an email to business website Quartz, Mark Weidick, the CEO of hiQ Labs stated:"We understand LinkedIn wants to get into our business, and that’s fine. But LinkedIn is trying to illegally force out a smaller competitor so that they can have the business for themselves, plain and simple."
However, LinkedIn have told the courts that:"If LinkedIn members knew that HIQ was accessing and collecting their data in this manner, many would not update their profiles."

The legal battle between the two firms has been raging since May. Back then, LinkedIn warned HIQ to stop accessing its site, and tried to to ban it using an IP-address block. It also threatened to take the startup to court, claiming it was violating an anti-hacking law.

On Monday, a US federal judge ruled that the Microsoft-owned social network cannot block a startup from accessing public data."It is important to understand that HiQ doesn’t analyse private sections of LinkedIn,” a spokeswoman for HiQ Labs said via email on Monday,“We only review public profile information. We don’t republish or sell the data we collect.We use it only as the basis for the valuable analysis we provide to employers. We do nothing more than what employers, recruiters, and HR departments do every day”.

Now, US District Judge Edward Chen has ordered LinkedIn to remove any barriers on HIQ's access to public profiles within 24 hours. LinkedIn, which had argued that data-scraping threatened its members' privacy, says it will challenge the decision

HiQ considered the decision to be an important victory for companies that rely on publicly available data in their business. The company believes that public data should remain public, and innovation on the Internet should not be curbed by legal bullying or data hoarding by a small group of powerful companies.

Moreover, LinkedIn doesn’t own the data contained in member profiles. It is information the members themselves have decided to display publicly, and it is available to anyone with access to a web browser. HiQ Labs, and other third parties like it, use data unless users make their profiles private, however, you can protect yourself by changing your privacy settings.

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