Good news for archives, scholars, researchers and researchers: Access to public data is legal, according to a ruling by the United States Court of Appeals.
The historic ruling by Ninth U.S. Appeals is the latest in a long-running legal battle over LinkedIn aimed at stopping a rival company from hacking users’ personal information. The case reached the U.S. Supreme Court last year, but was postponed to the ninth round of the original appeals court to review the case.
In its second decision on Monday, the ninth round reaffirmed its original decision and found that hacking data publicly available on the Internet was not in violation of the Computer Abuse Act, or CFAA, which governs what Computer hacking under U.S. law. .
The Ninth Decision is a major breakthrough for stalkers, scholars, researchers and researchers who use tools to collect, or scrape, information that is widely available online. Unsurprisingly, long-term projects stored on the web are not online and the use of available public data for education and research has been abandoned illegally.
But there have been serious cases of scratching that have caused privacy and security concerns. Face-to-face recognition Clearview AI claims to have deleted billions of images on social media, prompting several technology companies to file lawsuits against the startup. Several companies, including Facebook, Instagram, Parler, Venmo and Clubhouse have all deleted user data in recent years.
The case before the Ninth Round was originally brought by LinkedIn against Hiq Labs, a company that uses public data to analyze employee abuse. LinkedIn claims that hacking Hiq’s large number of LinkedIn user profiles violates its terms of service, constitutes a breach and therefore a violation of the CFAA. LinkedIn first lost its case against Hiq 2019 after the Ninth Circuit found out that the CFAA had not banned anyone from hacking data that was publicly available.
In the second phase of the case, the Ninth Circuit said it relied on a Supreme Court decision last June, during which the U.S. Supreme Court considered the first decade-old CFAA review. In its ruling, the Supreme Court summed up what constitutes a CFAA breach as those who obtain unauthorized computer systems – rather than a broad existing one, which the court argued could attach a criminal penalty “to a staggering amount of normal computer performance. ah. ” Using a “door-up, gate-down” comparison, the Supreme Court said that when a computer or website doors go up – and therefore information is generally available – no permission is required.
The Ninth Circuit, referring to the Supreme Court’s comparison of “door-up, gate-down”, ruled that “thinking” without consent “does not apply to public websites.”
LinkedIn, which filed the case, did not respond to a request for comment.