Web scraping has opened up several new income streams for numerous people. Extracting data from websites is known as web scraping, this data can consist of feedback, reviews, or just basic information about products. In addition to this, people are also able to extract other forms of information as well, including user behaviour, buying patterns, and personal information of the user.
Privacy is becoming a great concern for certain individuals who value their personal information. There are numerous methods of maintaining privacy, one of which is using proxies to mask their IP address and surfing the internet through an encrypted channel. US proxy is one of the best residential proxies offered by Smartproxy, that provides unique IP addresses to its users for smooth surfing.
Not so innocent devices
Numerous users are under the false impression that there are certain innocent devices that are connected to the internet but do not store information regarding their usage. Every device we use is programmed to store consumer preferences and usage data which is reported to the manufacturer.
Even a drawing pad can collect information based on its usage and supply the vendor with critical information that can be used to improve the user experience or the product itself. As it has the capability to connect to the internet, it will communicate with the manufacturer as it requires software support to retain and improve functionality.
Therefore, it is foolish to think that only websites collect data. Every device that is a part of our daily routine and has internet connectivity will collect data in the background. Companies have designed numerous successful marketing campaigns that have generated millions in revenue.
Why web scrapers are ahead of the curve
Web scrapers have gained a lot of knowledge and experience in web scraping and are now able to provide large amounts of accurate and up-to-date data for various interested parties in short spans of time. Therefore, it is evident that there is a vast market of data-hungry parties who want data for undisclosed reasons.
As time is passing, more people are stepping into the world of web scraping and creating numerous uses or exploitation of scraped data. Therefore, the need of using a proxy such as a US proxy is becoming more prominent for users who want to protect their privacy by encrypted surfing of the internet.
What businesses gain
Businesses gain the most from scraped data. They have considerable resources to obtain data from web scrapers for conducting research and analysis. Datasets that contain customer reviews are used to improve the quality of their services or products. Consumer preferences are used to design new products according to the needs of their target users. All of these combine to generate revenue for the business in millions.
On the flip side, businesses buy data very cheap when compared to the revenue they are able to generate from it. For example, an XYZ business purchases a dataset of 100,000 users for 250,000 USD. They analyze the data and conduct further research and design a product that generates roughly 800 USD profit for the business. If only 1000 people buy their new product, the business will have generated 800,000 USD in profit. Usually, they end up selling more than a million units.
Sometimes, businesses conduct B2B sales and purchase data. This happens when a certain business feels like they have exhausted the useful life of the data but some other business might find the data useful. Hence, the exhausting data is sold for a considerably high price to other businesses who purchase this data to conduct research for their own needs. Unfortunately, the cycle continues and the data goes into multiple types of analysis and manipulation. The data is only discarded when it gets corrupted or becomes outdated.
Internet of Things
People with different mindsets think differently about the Internet of Things. They comprise numerous technical standards, tools, and technologies. However, as the concept of the Internet of Things has turned into a reality, the biggest challenge the end-user should be concerned about is data. Users are unaware of how the devices they hold dear are collecting data based on their daily routine and what type of analytics are the businesses conducting on their data.
Apart from the businesses that obtain usage data, there is a possibility that third-party web scrapers can gain access to the IoT devices in the user’s home. Two methods can be used to obtain access:
Through a service that functions via an API or through a web-based interface.
Through open-sourced projects available on the internet.
IoT devices contain more personal and sensitive information, therefore this information holds more value for the user. However, it might not be that valuable for the scraper as the main target of the scraper is to sell the information to generate revenue.