If LinkedIn members knew that hiQ was accessing and collecting their data in this manner, many would not update their profiles.
Quartzreports that hiQ Labs gets their information from LinkedIn profiles that have recently been updated and interpret it as a sign they are looking elsewhere for work.
LinkedIn believe that this type of activity violates anti-hacking laws, and even attempted to ban hiQ Labs from accessing the site through their IP address.
This lead to hiQ Labs suing LinkedIn and asking for confirmation of their line on anti-hacking violations from a federal judge.
In an email to Quartz, Mark Weidick, the CEO of hiQ Labs wrote:
We understand LinkedIn wants to get into our business, and that’s fine. But LinkedIn is trying to illegally force out a smaller competitor so that they can have the business for themselves, plain and simple.
LinkedIn, which is now owned by Microsoft, has 500 million users worldwide, but only 175,000 of those ar public profiles accessible to everyone.