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Data Extraction From LinkedIn, Which Includes Profile Information Permitted

June 2, 2022

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<p style="text-align: justify;">Data analytics companies have the ability to extract data from social media platforms despite the claims from the social media companies that the data collected violated federal hacking laws.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">In a recent decision of HiQ Labs, Inc. v. LinkedIn Corporation, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit <a href="">reaffirmed</a> that data analytics company HiQ Labs Inc. has the ability to scrape publicly available data from LinkedIn’s platform despite LinkedIn’s claim that the data collected violated federal hacking laws.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">HiQ Labs Inc., founded in 2012, scraped information from public LinkedIn profiles, such as name, job title, work history and skills, then the company combined the collected data with a proprietary predictive algorithm to yield “people analytics,” in order to sell data to its business clients. LinkedIn asserted that HiQ’s abstracting information from public LinkedIn profiles violated LinkedIn’s user agreement, state &amp; federal law- Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, California Penal Code §502(c), and the California common law of trespass.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">The Ninth Circuit panel stated that CFAA forbids access to a “protected computer” without authorization and public LinkedIn profiles are considered a “computer.” Thus, access to public profiles on LinkedIn are open to the general public and permission is not required.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">Thanks to Marium Sulaiman for her contribution to this article.  Should you have any questions, please contact <a href="">Thomas Bracken</a>.</p>


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