Robocog, Inc., doing business as HiringSolved, allegedly scraped content from LinkedIn Corp.’s member data and displayed this information in their software product used for talent searches and data aggregation. On July 16, 2014, a proposed settlement was granted in the U.S. Northern District of California requiring Robocog, Inc. to pay $40,000 to LinkedIn as well as to destroy all of the LinkedIn member data which was scraped from its website within 30 days after the settlement is approved. LinkedIn filed a lawsuit against HiringSolved under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, California’s Comprehensive Computer Access and Fraud Act and brought breach of contract and trespass claims. The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act prohibits persons from knowingly and intentionally accessing computer systems without authorization, something that social media companies like LinkedIn have attempted to use against those that “scrape” data from their websites.
Tip: This case reminds companies looking to use “screen scraping” technology to pull information from other websites should move forward with care. Depending on the nature of the information collected and how that information is pulled and used, these activities could result in complaint from the sites being scraped.