MICROSOFT-OWNED greasy-pole social network LinkedIn has received a dressing down in the courts, after being told that it must release public user data through its API to a startup company.
HiQ Labs is developing a platform that will "scrape" data from LinkedIn to identify employee behaviours, such as when they are likely to jump ship or start looking about, reports Reuters.
Yeah, it's f*cking creepy sh*t. reports the INQUIRER.
US District Judge Edward Chen told Linked In it had 24 hours to remove blocks that were stopping HiQ from accessing data that was public anyway.
"To the extent LinkedIn has already put in place technology to prevent hiQ from accessing these public profiles, it is ordered to remove any such barriers," Chen said.
HiQ which filed an anti-trust suit in June, had said: "HiQ believes that public data must remain public, and innovation on the internet should not be stifled by legal bullying or the anti-competitive hoarding of public data by a small group of powerful companies."
LinkedIn argued: "Our members control the information that they make available to others on LinkedIn. We are confident the court will support the actions we take to stop unlawful scraping of our members' profile data."
Which is sort of weird as the data in question in available in search engines, anyway.
Microsoft is determined that it should not have to give up data from LinkedIn (the main reason it bought the service for $26.2bn) to third parties "scraping" the data for their own apps.
Which of course if you know anything about the public domain is guff, but serves as a timely reminder of how our publicly available data can be used.
Fellow start up Node, which uses similar techniques to help its customers find their own potential customers, told Reuters: "If LinkedIn is going to allow profiles to be indexed by search engines to benefit their platform then why shouldn't the rest of the internet benefit from that as well?"
Last year, the same LinkedIn was hacked and had 167m user credentials stolen. So you know, pots, kettles etc. µ
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