Supreme Court gives LinkedIn another chance to block data scraping

The US Supreme Court today granted LinkedIn another chance to prevent a rival recruitment data company from scraping personal data from its platform.

LinkedIn previously tried to use the the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act to prevent rival hiQ from harvesting customer data from their public-facing user profiles. The Act prohibits accessing a computer without authorisation.

Justices sent the dispute back to the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. The court will now reconsider the case after the Supreme Court found that a person cannot violate the specific law if they are using a computer they have permission to access.

The outcome of the dispute may limit the use of data scraping on public-facing websites in the US.

LinkedIn’s ongoing dispute with hiQ began in 2017, when it told the company to stop scraping data from its website. hiQ sued LinkedIn in federal court, accusing the professional networking platform of engaging in anti-competitive behaviour.

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