The Potential Legal Implications of Web Scraping for Market Research

Web scraping – the process of gathering relevant website data, such as consumer product reviews or social media profile data - implicates many statutory regimes, such as the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, insider trading laws, state blue sky laws, privacy laws, as well as common law claims, including breach of contract, fraud and trespass to chattels. In this guest article, Douglas A. Rappaport, Peter I. Altman and Kelly Handschumacher, attorneys at Akin Gump, review the evolving area of web-scraping law and provide practical guidance to investment advisers and others considering web scraping. See also our three-part series on a fund manager’s road map to big data: “Its Acquisition and Proper Use” (Aug. 8, 2018); “MNPI, Web Scraping and Data Quality” (Aug. 15, 2018); and “Privacy Concerns, Third Parties and Drones” (Aug. 22, 2018).

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