and Quicken Data Scraping blocked by Bank websites

Business Insider covered and interesting story from the Wall Street Journal about how large Banks such as Wells Fargo have made it impossible for web scraping applications and our favorite application Mint to function.

Wall Street banks have had enough of personal-finance apps scraping their data.

This web scraping has been going on for a very long time and we are surprised that the banks did “allow” it all this while.

Whether they turned a blind eye (if they have one!) to this web scraping all this time or whether there was some other reason, it is interesting to see how they seem to have clamped down on it now.

Interestingly, it is not only web scraping applications such as Mint but also Quicken, which seemed to have access to some banks through an OFX exchange from the 90s that seems to have been affected.

Quicken, the personal-finance app owned by Intuit, has also seen its access to bank customers’ data restricted in recent weeks.

Such actions demonstrate the “love hate” relationship technology companies and data owners have when it comes to web scraping.

Everyone wants to scrape data from websites, but the same people don’t want someone to scrape “their” data – hypocrisy at its best !

Data “owners” such as Banks claim it is “their” data, but in reality it is the customer’s data and the customers should have the democratic right to do what they please with their data.

This ownership of data has to be resolved in the courts and we all hope it is sooner rather than later.

We will watch this story and see how it develops.

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