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What is data collection?
Using this data, machines can be used to record information about human eyes. This is often the case with web scraping, in which an algorithm copies data from a web page and passes it off as a person.
Businesses often use web crawlers to track competitors' websites, scanning for the latest updates, inventory changes and price changes. Travel sites pull data from different airline and hotel websites to show how their prices compare. Some retailers also use sites like Twitter and Yelp to find potential customers.
But more recently, data capture has been used to replicate large amounts of public information about individuals on social media. Although such information is not initially secret, an attacker can create a huge amount of organized data to sell through data scraping.
Is the data obtained legally?
Network scraping is legal in theory. Let's say you want to copy and paste text from a free resource like Wikipedia and decide to write an automated script to simplify your work. It's perfectly legal and doesn't hurt anyone.
However, many sites have explicit terms of service that prohibit data access, but the consequences of violating these terms can be very different. If the crawl range is small, its services may not be accessible. However, you may also face legal action, especially if too much is caught and it affects their bottom line.
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