LinkedIn doesn’t like bots that scrape candidate data off its site, so much so that they’ve filed suit against several companies, including HiringSolved (see Gigaom, April 2) and SellHack (see Sourcecon, March 31).
In its claim against HiringSolved, LinkedIn boasts that its members have “complete control over their profiles and data”. Hmm. Did their attorneys really come up with that or was it their marketing people?
As those of us who get bombarded daily by unsolicited email from LinkedIn advertisers can attest, we have no control over that data. Nor do we labor under the pretense that the data is actually ours.
The data that we give LinkedIn becomes its data, not ours, and they will do with it what they please.
The same goes for our family pictures on Facebook and our illicit messages on Snapchat. We - and our data - are their product and not their customer.
That's the one phenomenon of the social network that most adults get but that teens do not.
Oddly, LinkedIn from its very beginnings engaged and still engages in the same data pirating practice that it alleges in its complaint. It built its business harvesting data online and has continued aggressively in the same manner by buying job-scraper Bright and others.
It's hard to imagine LinkedIn shutting out competitors in the mad race to automate candidate data aggregation. Data bots are popping up like dandelions along a rural road. You hardly need to be a dev to use or even build one. OpenFuego and others make it so, and it's all free today.
LinkedIn stock has dropped more than 25 points, albeit during a down market, since the Sourcecon report first came out.