Through the use of automated processes performed by software, a web scraper visits a website and attempts to gather relevant data or information that may be provided on the site, such as consumer product reviews or social media profile data. That information may be readily accessible through a simple Google search, or it may require access through a click-through terms-of-service agreement or a firewall. Some investment advisers interested in web scraping conduct that activity in-house, while others may look to outside vendors to accumulate the information. The law regarding web scraping, however, is still developing and implicates a large number of statutory regimes and areas of common law.
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