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One firm is using public data from updated profiles, to warn companies they have 'flight risk' employees.

For many people LinkedIn is one of the most valuable online tools for promoting their skills and finding jobs.

The website connects you with helpful contacts and builds up your network in your respective line of work.

One thing it is also does is​ encourage you to update your profile with the latest professional changes in your life.

However an ongoing court case might have just highlighted why that doing that could alert you're employer that you're looking for a new job.

Recruitment company hiQ Labs is ony of many around which scours public profiles on LinkedIn for information.

One thing this allows them to do, is informtheir clients about 'flight risk' employees.

Now hiQ Labs are in the process of taking LinkedIn to court, in a pre-emptive law suit, to ensure this sort of information stays in the public realm.

LinkedIn feel that hiQ Labs are exploiting the good faith people have in their site and have already sent a cease and desist letter to the company.

However, hiQ Labs claim their services are being exaggerated and that they act within the law.

According to the Wall Street Journal, LinkedIn told the courts:

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.

HT news.com.auQuartzWall Street Journal

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