I have a bunch of people ask me why we don’t have a one-click button to pull data from LinkedIn profiles. Well, it’s against their user agreement, and I think it’s unethical, and apparently illegal.
I know other websites, apps and companies scrape LinkedIn profiles. They have a for a long time. An old desktop app called LICM (LinkedIn Contact Manager), developed by someone in Europe, did it. At the time, though, the founder apparently had permission from LinkedIn to do it (written permission!). Not everyone at LinkedIn got the memo and users of LICM found they were locked out of their accounts because they had violated the user agreement. This was back in 2006 or 2007… YUCK!
I have had conversations with various LinkedIn employees about having an interface. Even after they created their “open API” I couldn’t do it. Finally I found out that LinkedIn considered JibberJobber competitive, and they wouldn’t allow us to API.
The bottom line is that if we do something, I want to do it legally and ethically. I don’t ever want to put YOUR LinkedIn access/account in jeopardy. So, we don’t have an interface, even though there are other sites that illegally scrape (and LinkedIn hasn’t gone after them).
You can learn more about the current topic here: LinkedIn Sues Unknown Hackers in an Attempt to Find Out Who They Are.
I wish LinkedIn and JibberJobber could play nicely, but until the mindset at LinkedIn changes, I don’t think that will happen.