Monday, October 25, 2010

Are you afraid of the "Scraper" man?

Please sing the following to the muffin man song --“Do you know the scraper man, the scraper man, the scraper man…” I find that when you sing, even about scary stuff, it makes things all better. Right? Does it work that way for you. Oh. Don’t you know what a scraper is? Sit tight while I explain. According to the recent WSJ article, ”‘Scrapers’ Dig Deep for Data on Web”, software specifically designed for “scraping”, or copying all sorts of personal data and private conversations off of all types of websites and social networking sites are being used by many sites without notice or knowledge. Using under the radar memberships or some scraper services actually “stage blitzkrieg raids, mounting around a dozen simultaneous attacks”, the Scrapers are entering and stealing as much data possible as quickly as possible without being detected. All types are firms are paying for our personal data for marketing surveys and demographics to learn more about Joe Public to up their bottom lines. Marketers spent $7.8 billion on online and offline data in 2009. Spending for online data alone is expected to more than double to $840 million in 2012.

Remember information is big business. Getting better quality of information is the objective. But what does “scarpers” mean for privacy?

Now, are you afraid of the “scraper man”?

Are you kidding me?