One more reason to be careful about what you say online. The invasion of the web scraper.
Have you ever heard of the term “data scraping” or “website scraping” or “data harvesting”? If you have not, then welcome to the world of one-more-thing-you-have-to-worry-about.
The market for personal information about Internet users has become BIG business.  When you think of data scraping, think of “scrap metal”, or the harvesting of organs, or the collection of anything valuable someone can make money from selling.
Back in October 2010, the Wall Street Journal broke the story about how Nielsen Co., the media-research firm, better known as a web scraper, was hired to monitor the online “buzz” for its clients. In particular, pharmaceutical companies that were desperate to gather information about consumers’ wants, desires, needs, moods, and habits.  Companies are willing to pay a lot of money to identify the personal habits of the buying public.
Where do they get this valuable information from? YOU, through the Internet, specifically social media sites, résumé sites, chat rooms, discussion boards, and any other online forum, where people disclose personal identifiable information about themselves.
Here is an interesting video describing what happens to your information once you put it out into the Internet.
Until next time, I’m Attorney Francine Ward helping you protect what’s yours.
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