- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 8, 2021

LinkedIn confirmed Thursday that an archive containing its users’ data was made available online, but the company said the info was publicly available and that hackers did not breach the company.

The archive contains data taken from allegedly more than 500 million LinkedIn accounts and the data was made available for sale on a hacker forum, according to Cyber News.

LinkedIn, which reports having nearly 740 million users, said any misuse of members’ data, including via scraping, violates its rules. Scraping is the practice of gathering information from websites frequently through the use of software tools.

“We have investigated an alleged set of LinkedIn data that has been posted for sale and have determined that it is actually an aggregation of data from a number of companies and websites,” the company said in a statement on its website. “It does include publicly viewable member profile data that appears to have been scraped from LinkedIn. This was not a LinkedIn data breach, and no private member account data from LinkedIn was included in what we’ve been able to review.”

The massive archive containing LinkedIn user data becoming available comes on the heels of a similar Facebook dataset becoming more widely available online as well. Earlier this week, Facebook said it was working to get personal data scraped from more than 530 million users taken down online.

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