A US federal judge told LinkedIn a few years ago that it couldn’t stop competitors like hiQ Labs from harvesting personal data from public accounts.
However, the US Supreme Court reversed that decision on Monday, sending it back to the 9th Circuit of Appeals.
This is due to a recent decision on June 4th. It restricted the reach of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. Federal anti-hacking law prohibits unauthorized access to a computer. The Supreme Court decided in that case that a person cannot be charged with misusing information if they had permission to use the computer in question.
HiQ was accused of harvesting LinkedIn’s public profiles in 2017, and the situation escalated from there. HiQ would then take the information and utilize it to develop algorithms that could predict when employees would leave their jobs.
LinkedIn claimed that hiQ had violated the anti-hacking law mentioned above, while hiQ claimed that LinkedIn was anti-competitive. HiQ filed a lawsuit against LinkedIn, claiming that public data must remain public.
As previously stated, the 9th US Circuit of Appeals reversed LinkedIn’s decision to restrict hiQ. The law does not apply in cases when the data is already publicly available. LinkedIn, on the other hand, has made its argument to the Supreme Court that hiQ’s bots can capture data on a scale that no single person can. Some of that information had also been listed for sale.
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