As stated by a reliable expert in his commentary in Forbes, the risks from cybercriminals and other security challenges increase as our reliance on digital technology grows. Both legitimate companies and hackers want to access our information and use it for different purposes. While criminals attack us with ransomware or want to commit fraud, companies make money by transferring our data to advertisers. But what about web scraping or crawling? Is it risky?
Why web scraping seems to be controversial
Web scraping has built its reputation as a very useful but a bit problematic tool. Why? It has happened for a number of reasons.
- Web scraping is being used to gain a competitive advantage. It isn’t a bad thing, but a financial motive makes everything more complicated.
- Sometimes it is performed in total disregard of copyright regulations and Terms of Service.
- It can lead to harmful consequences for the owners of websites. For instance, web scraping tools might send too many requests causing delays, and issues due to an unexpected load.
You can avoid all these risks by using a professional web scraping service.
Is it legal?
There is no law to prohibit web scraping, so yes, it is perfectly legal. However, you must work under the rules of the site you are scraping. You should follow ethical guidelines and not break copyright law. If you fail to meet the requirements of the site owner and do something forbidden, you violate the law. Thus, although web scraping isn’t illegal, it can result in problems. You should be careful while performing this activity
Plus you can’t scrape personal info under any circumstances. Personal data is protected at two levels: by the site and by the law. Collecting it without permission is illegal. Therefore, as long as you play by the rules, you are not breaking any law.