I didn’t say it’s illegal for search engines, hiQ, or anyone else to attempt to attempt to index the LinkedIn public profiles. Quite the opposite.
Here’s what I said:
I agree with the judge regarding the CFAA. The CFAA, as written, may well be on LinkedIn’s side. But, as the judge pointed out, it’s dangerous to interpret the CFAA so broadly that it covers data not protected by a login or authentication. I’d go further: the CFAA, which predates the Internet, should never have been applied beyond its original purpose of preventing cyberattacks. Regardless of how else this case turns out, I hope it will either drive reform of the CFAA or establish boundaries through judicial precedent.
But Greg is arguing that LinkedIn isn’t allowed to use technical means to stop scraping, and that users have a right (a legal right?) to have their public profiles scraped by anyone who chooses to scrape them. And there I strongly disagree.
Even hiQ and the judge don’t go that far. Their argument relies on claiming that LinkedIn blocking scrapers is anti-competitive. There I disagree with hiQ and with the judge. But the argument has nothing to do with the users’ rights.