Talkin' hiQ vs. LinkedIn with Mark Weidick, CEO @ hiQ - A Nexxt Exclusive Podcast

It’s a Nexxt EXCLUSIVE The Chad and Cheese Podcast where we’re diving headlong into the hiQ versus LinkedIn court battle starring and interview with CEO of hiQ Labs, Mark Weidick. It’s also a lactose-free event – Joel Cheesman (Cheese) is out on assignment or maybe he just found a comfortable place to curl up?

In this episode Mark and Chad talk:

  • Updates on their David v. Goliath court battle

  • Negative industry (Global Innovation) impact if hiQ loses

  • Scraping, bots, how can we ID bad from good actors?

  • FlipDog’s name is used in phishing vain

  • Are we losing control? Start-ups in court? Net neutrality?

  • Why are other – affected – companies in the fetal position instead of fighting?

  • CrowdJustice – crowd funding legal battles

  • and last but never least Nexxt gives Mark a reason to think his family might be ducking him during the holidays.

None of this would be possible without the gang over at Nexxt and in the spirit of giving – YOU can get 25% off your first Text2Hire campaign by visiting

HAPPY HOLIDAYS from The Chad and Cheese Podcast!


Chad: This The Chad and Cheese Podcast brought to you in partnership with TA Tech. TA Tech, the association for talent acquisition solutions. Visit

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Intro: Hide your kids, lock the doors. You're listening to HR's most dangerous podcast. Chad Sowash and Joel Cheesman are here to punch the recruiting industry right where it hurts. Complete with breaking news, brash opinion, and loads of snark. Buckle up, boys and girls. It's time for The Chad and Cheese Podcast.

Chad: Welcome to this Nexxt exclusive episode of HR's most dangerous podcast. This is Chad Sowash and I can't tell you how happy we are to have Mark Weidick, CEO of hiQ Labs with us today again. Second time around. If you're lactose intolerant, today is the show for you. THat's right, we are cheese free. As in, Joel Cheesman is out on assignment. Because that sounds better than taking nap.

Chad: All right, Mark, welcome back to the show, man. This is the second time you've been on. But for those listeners who did not listen to, shame on you, the August 25th show where Mark actually gave us an interview, can you tell the crowd, can you tell the listeners who the illustrious Mark Wedick is? Who's this guy we've all heard about?

Mark: You and me. I'm the CEO of hiQ Labs as of February 2017. And I have a background in early stage technology out here in Silicon Valley. Hold on a second. Do you hear my dogs in the background?

Chad: No, you're fine, keep going.

Mark: And I'm a dog owner, a dog lover, as I said up in Northern California. And we're dealing, of course, for those listeners that weren't in tune with the prior interview with a legal battle with LinkedIn around public data.

Chad: Gotcha, gotcha. So we have a ton to talk about today, but since turkey day is still fresh in everyone's memory, for all those who are not in tryptophan stupors at this point, I'd like to take some time if you don't mind and run through some fun research that we did with the gang over at Nexxt. Are you cool with that?

Mark: That'd be great. I'm anxious to hear it.

Chad: Okay, okay, so listen. So the main survey question, I'm just going to run through one of these questions, is would you use work as an excuse to miss Thanksgiving? Again, the question is, would you use work as an excuse to miss Thanksgiving. Now I'm sure you wouldn't do that, Mark, because you have a lovely family.

Mark: They might use work as an excuse to miss me.

Chad: That's a good point. So, here it is. So here's how it broke down and they broke it down generationally, which is really cool. So Gen Z, which is 1997 to today, 48% of them said they would definitely used work as an excuse. 36% of millennials. 29% of Xers and 24% of Boomers. That breakdown is astonishing. Why do you think that is? Why so many? Almost 50% of our Gen Zs and then 24% of Boomers. Still, almost a quarter of Boomers.

Mark: I looked at the 24% of Boomers as actually a smaller number than I expected. I thought it would be a little bit more consistent. And maybe we're just more set in that way. Don't want to put you in the same category, but I'm sentimental. I look forward to the holidays. It's a time to chill out, relax. I love to cook. I have friends out here, and we're into the wine scene and it's just a good time. So I don't think we're as motivated to look for a reason to avoid due to sentimentality.

Chad: Yeah, well I, on the Gen Z side and the Millennial side, I think most of them, or at least 20% of Gen Z's are still living at home from my understanding. And Millennials are still living at home in most cases, as well. And they already get enough of family time. So, I kind of get that. It's almost like, oh my god, Mom and Dad. You know, they're at the point where they need to get the hell out of the house in the first place.

Chad: But Xers and Boomers. You know, Xers, 20 almost 30% and Boomers at 24. That's when you're really ... I mean, as an Xer, not grandfather yet. But when I am, I definitely want to see the grandkids. So it's definitely going to be different than that 50% who says, I've had enough of family.

Mark: Yeah, I think you nailed it. I think the notion of being there all the time kind of contributes to the idea that I might want to get away when that family time is going to be ultra concentrated.

Chad: Yeah. If you haven't seen the infrograph or taken the new survey that Nexxt has, just go to, check it out. You'll see, it'll say survey, inforgraphics. Too easy, man. So we're going to the real show. We're going to stop clowning around. Are you ready?

Mark: Sure, fire away.

Chad: Okay, sure. Okay, so the big question right out of the gate. Everyone's been hearing about hiQ versus LinkedIn battle, right? But can you tell our listeners why this case is so vital for not just the recruiting industry but every industry out there. Why should anyone care?

Mark: Well, this is about control, right? And ultimately, the control of the information that so many of us contribute to the life experience at both a professional and personal level that we all have. That information is owned by us, certainly the case of LinkedIn. LinkedIn doesn't dispute that. They don't own the data.

Mark: And the notion that the control of that information would become so highly concentrated among a handful of extremely large companies creates a horrible dynamic. It creates a horrible dynamic around the prospect for innovation and new services. It creates a horrible dynamic ... well, I guess innovation and anti-competitive behavior go together. But history has shown that when choices are limited, so too does the richness of the experience become diminished. And that's the dynamic that we're talking about here.

Mark: If this data is deemed to be that controllable, this data that you and I purposely designated as publicly accessible or not is controlled by a single entity other other guys that collect data about us as well, it limits the richness of our professional and personal life experiences.

Chad: This seems like an issue, though, lately, because I mean, control along with net neutrality, right? I mean, we're now looking at having an issue perspectively with net neutrality. And we're talking about data, we're talking about control. We talk about net neutrality we talk about control. Do you see this perspectively as an issue that we're really going to have to fight hard for the next four, eight, who knows how many years?

Mark: Well, I hope it doesn't take that long, but absolutely I do. The regulation that exists that in some sense is possibly applicable is proving to fail right now. So at a macro-government level, it certainly seems that new regulation reflective of current circumstances has warranted here. And God help us if it takes eight years to figure that out. That's certainly not internet speed, is it?

Chad: Not at all. And I think that's one of the biggest issues that we have with government getting into this. They don't move fast and they don't understand, it seems. Like, they don't understand how these types of moves, which again is kind of scary with LinkedIn versus hiQ. At that point, you're not really sure where they're going to go. I'm glad that you guys are in the ninth circuit, as we talked about. But again, when we had our last interview, we talked about the initial win against LinkedIn where you guys received an injunction. Can you bring us up to date on where everything is at this point?

Mark: Sure, coming out of the preliminary injunction, the judge in short said the balance of hardships here tips clearly in favor if hiQ. That the things that we were doing with member public profile data, data that LinkedIn clearly does not own, don't constitute really any harm whatsoever to LinkedIn. They certainly didn't do an effective job, if any, of describing what harm they were incurring as a result of this.

Mark: So coming out of that, the judge granted an injunction. The injunction prevents LinkedIn from putting in place and technological or legal impediments to our efforts to collect, aka scrape, member profile data. Subsequent to that, LinkedIn had a choice. They could accept that outcome or they could appeal it. They chose to appeal it.

Chad: Well, of course.

Mark: Expected that they would. When they appealed, they filed their appellate brief on I want to ballpark timeframe, early October.

Chad: Okay.

Mark: It took us approximately six weeks through November 20th to file our response. These are all public documents, by the way. A lot of ways, if you're even marginally interested, these are fascinating tomes. And well worth the read.

Chad: Are you guys publishing these on your website?

Mark: Yes, we are. You know what? I say that quickly. I don't know if we've posted ours yet, but they will imminently be up, both LinkedIn's filing as well as ours.

Chad: Excellent.

Mark: And they're beefy, right? They're excess of 10,000 words each. LinkedIn gets the last say. So they'll have an opportunity to respond to our appellate filing. My understanding is they have 30 days to do that, so before the end of the calendar year, they should be in a position to get filing. And then it's off to the judges process to assign the three panel judge, the three judge panel. And set a hearing date. And our expectation is that each of those things ought to happen in Q1, including an outcome, a decision, Q1 of 2018.

Chad: So deep breath, right?

Mark: I think so.

Chad: Good, good. So what I've read, and I saw that there's a hundred page response that you guys put out. I got to dive in