Bloomberg Law
May 4, 2021, 9:00 AM

Scraping Episodes Highlight Debate Over Anti-Hacking Law’s Scope

Andrea Vittorio
Andrea Vittorio

Recent data scraping incidents at Facebook Inc. and LinkedIn Corp. highlight an ongoing debate over whether companies can invoke an anti-hacking law to restrict rivals or other actors from harvesting information from people’s online profiles.

The issue could reach the U.S. Supreme Court, in a case over a data-scraping dispute between LinkedIn and workforce analytics startup hiQ Labs Inc. The court is being asked to review hiQ’s ability to gather user information from the job search site, testing the applicability of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act to data that’s publicly available online.

It’s unclear whether the practice is considered ...

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