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Data Crawling: Let’s Get To The Legal Side

Data Crawling: Let’s Get To The Legal Side

With the recent Facebook data scandals and the start of the GDPR law, you might be wondering that: “is web crawling legal or not?” Because after all, you have a business. And every business, no matter whether a SaaS startup, an eCommerce Store or any other service provider, needs access to valuable data. Of course, accessing restricted, private and unauthorized data is wrong and will always be illegal. But what about the public data on the internet that’s freely available for anyone to access? Data like:    1. The product inventory list of your competitors on their website.    2. Prices of inventory items on display across various eCommerce stores.    3. Public reviews that mention your own business that are meant to be seen. If that’s the kind of data you want to collect, is it still legal? The answer, unfortunately, is not a simple yes or no. To understand the whole picture regarding what makes data crawling services legal or illegal, we first need to take a quick look at what data scraping actually is. Intro To Data Scraping: A Highly Common Activity That Takes Place On The Internet Data scraping is the act of downloading a web page’s data and taking specific information from it. For example, suppose you wanted to start your own movie streaming service. For that, you’d need data such as movie bio, cast list, the year it was released, it’s rating etc. But there are millions of movies released since they came into existence. What are you going to do? Manually write the bio, cast list and year of release by typing...