Data scraping and compliance: no ‘Clearview’ (yet)?

Companies often rely on data scraped from publicly available sources, but what are the legal bases? By Rebecca Cousin, Lucie van Gils and Ian Ranson of Slaughter and May.

Data scraping became somewhat notorious following the Cambridge Analytica(1) scandal in 2018. It has continued to be controversial since then, leading to data privacy authorities (DPAs) from around the world publishing a joint statement last year setting out their concerns. However, despite this and DPAs such as the ICO taking specific action (e.g. in relation to Clearview AI Inc (Clearview)), the lawfulness of data scraping has not yet been settled. Now, with the hype around generative AI models, which typically require large quantities of data for training purposes, the debate has yet again come to the fore.

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