A federal appellate court has upheld an injunction barring LinkedIn from blocking a data analytics company from accessing information made publicly available by the professional networking site’s users.

In a closely watched case that pits data miners’ ability to tap public portions of the internet for crunchable data against the interest of large websites seeking to limit scraping by automated bots, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on Monday sided with data analytics company hiQ. The company, which has developed employee-retention and enterprise talent-mapping products using information LinkedIn users post on their public profiles, sued the professional networking site a little more than two years ago, after LinkedIn sent a cease-and-desist letter telling hiQ to stop its scraping activities and blocked it from the platform’s servers.

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