On September 9, 2019, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the lower court’s grant of injunctive relief in an ongoing conflict between LinkedIn and hiQ Labs, an analytics firm that scrapes public profiles from the networking site and sells it to employers along with other data sets. Among other findings, the Ninth Circuit held that hiQ did not violate the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), as LinkedIn claimed, because the information is publicly available.
For employers and talent solutions providers, the ruling, for now, supports the continuation of sourcing public candidate information. LinkedIn does not have exclusive access to that information as a way to sell their own data intelligence tools or solutions.
Takeaway: Aggregating potential candidate information through publicly available sources such as what members post on LinkedIn will continue to be an important practice in talent acquisition. The hiQ ruling hurts the effort by the social network to keep its members’ publicly available data inaccessible to outside solutions. At the same time, it is important to recognize that other courts are taking on cases challenging the practice of web scraping for personal information, so the story is not over yet. AGS experts will continue to monitor this litigation to help us understand how to compliantly engage the best talent available today.
This update contains general information only, and AGS is not rendering legal advice. Before making any decision or taking any action that may affect your business, you should consult qualified legal counsel. AGS shall not be responsible for any loss whatsoever sustained by any person or company who relies on this update.