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Sunday, June 23, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

LinkedIn Tries to|Stop Web Scrapers

SAN FRANCISCO (CN) - LinkedIn went to Federal Court to try to stop unknown "scrapers" from using bots to register thousands of fake accounts, through which they scrape data from real people's accounts.

LinkedIn sued Does 1-10 in Federal Court. It claims that data "scraping, spidering [and] crawling" are "explicitly barred" by its user agreements.

Someone, however, using bots, "registered thousands of fake LinkedIn member accounts and have extracted and copied data from many member profile pages," the complaint states.

LinkedIn believes the defendants create the phony profiles to get into the system, then go after real people's profiles for purposes of their own.

LinkedIn claims the scrapers "have violated an array of federal and state laws," and "undermine(d) the integrity and effectiveness of LinkedIn's professional network by polluting it with thousands of fake member profiles."

"Moreover," LinkedIn says in the lawsuit, "by pilfering data from the LinkedIn site, the Doe defendants threaten to degrade the value of LinkedIn's Recruiter product, in which LinkedIn has invested substantially over the years."

LinkedIn claims to have 259 million real members in more than 200 countries. It wants "to identify the Doe defendants" and enjoin them from what they're doing.

It also seeks actual damages, statutory damages and exemplary damages for violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, the California Penal Code § 502, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, breach of contract, trespass and misappropriation.

It is represented by Jonathan Blavin with Munger, Tolles & Olson.

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