LinkedIn fears that technology companies are going to tip employers when employees intend to file their resignation. The social network has lost a lawsuit in San Francisco that would make it impossible for technology companies to “scrape” public information from profiles and send information to employers.
The social network wanted the judge to impose a ban on the US start-up hiQ to collect and analyze public information from the LinkedIn website. HiQ regularly analyzes thousands of profiles on LinkedIn. Based on profiles of profiles, the company warns employers that they could expect a short run in the short term. The company says employers are not keen on changes in individual profiles, but looking at the big line.
The disagreement between Linkedin and HiQ may be in May, when LinkedIn accused the launch of hacking and the company stopped discontinuing the collection of public data. HiQ complained to LinkedIn.
The judge rejected LinkedIn’s argument that hiQ’s conduct violated the privacy of its 467 million users. LinkedIn wants to interfere with a competitor, the judgment ruled. Moreover, according to the judge, the open character of the Internet was in the dispute. LinkedIn critics feared that explicit consent would be needed for using public data that would mean the end of the open internet. “The internet should not be managed by a small group of data hamstering companies,” said hiQ in a reply.
LinkedIn must now remove all restrictions imposed by the hiQ online within 24 hours from the site. The social network is going to appeal.