is a fast and easy way to extract data from the web. How does it work? It is an automated process using a bot or a web crawler through the HTTP protocol or a web browser. Target data is stored in a central local database or a spreadsheet, and is later used for retrieval or analysis. Web scraping is a tool that can be applied for different business processes. Through web scraping, you may easily get information for brand monitoring and market research (such as visitor stats, product details, customers' email addresses). Web scraping is also actively used to train artificial intelligence and to collect information for scientific research.
Is web scraping legal? This question raises controversy among lawyers and practitioners. Scraping data from the web does indeed have some ethical, legal, and technical limitations. In May 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
was enforced, creating challenges for all companies working with personal data of EU residents. In June 2019, online media reported on the first GDPR fine issued in Poland for a failure to inform data subjects about the processing of their data
. However, web scraping is legal for legal purposes and when it is compliant with the GDPR. Check out our six-step instruction for healthy web scraping.