Guest post by Christof Leitner.
Automated retrieval of data from the web, also called web scraping, is becoming commonplace. A wide range of tools and technologies have been developed to facilitate web scraping. However, the legality and ethics of using these tools for data collection are often overlooked. Not paying attention to these aspects of web scraping could lead to serious ethical controversies and lawsuits.
Web scraping: An overview
Web scraping is the automated process of extracting and organizing publicly available information on the Internet. The extracted data is usually made available in a structured content table such as an Excel spreadsheet, displaying the data in a “readable” format.