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LinkedIn and hiQ duke it out over your data

The LinkedIn logo is displayed on an iPhone on August 3, 2016.
The LinkedIn logo is displayed on an iPhone on August 3, 2016.
Carl Court/Getty Images

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Today, a hearing for a suit against LinkedIn will begin.

The company suing is hiQ, a San Francisco based organization that has been collecting data from public LinkedIn profiles since 2012. They use the data to determine whether a person is planning to leave their job, and then share it with employers. LinkedIn recently ordered hiQ to stop, claiming a breach of anti-hacking laws.  But hiQ has sued LinkedIn for stifling competition.

LinkedIn argues that hiQ's actions are a violation of privacy, and that they will discourage LinkedIn members from making full use of the site. HiQ lawyers have stated that without LinkedIn data, the company may have to shut down.

Is hiQ violating privacy? Does the knowledge that someone may be watching your resume closely deter you from using LinkedIn publicly? Or is this simply an issue of competition?


Thomas Lee,  business columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle who’ll be at the hearing this afternoon; he tweets @ByTomLee

Ken White, attorney at Brown White & Osborn LLP in Los Angeles, a member of the First Amendment Lawyers Association