Federal Appeals Court Says LinkedIn Must Allow “Scraping” of Personal Data
September 9, 2019
A federal appeals court has ruled that LinkedIn must allow hiQ, a data analytics firm, to scrape user data from public profiles—at least, for now. The appeals court found that "hiQ's interest in continuing its business" outweighed users' privacy interests in their profile information. EPIC filed an amicus brief in the case. In 2017, a lower court permitted hiQ access to the user data of LinkedIn users. EPIC argued that "the lower court has undermined the fiduciary relationship between LinkedIn and its users." EPIC also said the order is "contrary to the interests of individual LinkedIn users" and contrary to the public interest "because it undermines the principles of modern privacy and data protection law." Siding with neither party, EPIC urged reversal to protect online privacy. EPIC routinely participates as amicus curiae in cases concerning consumer privacy.