Bringing ethical awareness to data extraction practices

The internet is currently undergoing a similar phenomenon to the gold rushes of the early eighteenth century, specifically when it comes to data extraction. With data now dubbed by some analysts as the “new oil� in terms of its value, the field is still open to small and large players alike, which has led to some unprofessional activities that extend all the way towards the acquisition of password-protected data. Even in cases of easily extracted public data, ethics can come into question, particularly when the information is acquired without explicit permission.

While many websites do contain defensive measures such as IP bans, the invisible conflicts between scrapers and servers are ongoing and gaining in intensity, due to increased competition and economic factors. Most people don’t realise these are taking place between e-commerce stores, although they are happily taking advantage of the low prices found on aggregator websites like Expedia, Google Shopping, PriceGrabber and Skyscanner.

About the author

Julius Cerniauskas is CEO at Oxylabs

Ethical web scraping: the importance of intention

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