Collaborative Initiative to Determine & Encourage Ethical Conduct in the Collection & Analysis of Publicly Available Data in the Interest of Business Innovation, Consumer Awareness & Safety
WASHINGTON D.C., SEPTEMBER 7, 2022 – Public Data Aggregators gather publicly available data from around the internet, enabling consumer confidence, commercial innovation, and community safety. To drive further awareness of and trust in this crucial digital ability, the Internet Infrastructure Coalition (“i2Coalition”) has announced the launch of an international, industry-led and member-driven consortium of Public Data Aggregation business leaders focused on encouraging dialogue and improving digital peace of mind for consumers and companies. This group’s working title is the Ethical Web Data Collection Initiative (EWDCI).
Founding EWDCI members include five companies: Coresignal, Oxylabs, Smartproxy, Sprious, and Zyte. The EWDCI is actively seeking other members of this field dedicated to best practices to join and help shape the initiative’s early efforts.
The i2Coalition is the leading voice for web hosting companies, data centers, domain registrars and registries, cloud infrastructure providers, managed services providers, and related tech. The i2Coalition also spearheaded the creation of the VPN Trust Initiative, which determined and promoted best practices for that vital industry. By introducing the EWDCI, the i2Coalition seeks to foster cooperation in the Public Data Aggregation industry and leverage collective first-hand knowledge and insights to advocate for beneficial technical standards and business best practices regarding the aggregation of publicly available data. The EWDCI is dedicated to serving as the voice of the industry, collaboratively strengthening public trust in the practice of Public Data Aggregation, promoting ethical guidelines, and helping businesses make informed data aggregation choices.
The Public Data Aggregation industry is young and growing. As with any industry in these early stages, it has a unique opportunity to have a hand in how it is developed and perceived. This is why the EWDCI is dedicated to doing positive work in the space to define positive, beneficial uses of its important digital abilities.
The aggregation of publicly available data provides crucial benefits that enable business innovation and competition, provide consumer benefits – including serving accurate information and comprehensive pricing – and facilitate thorough data analysis for academic and public safety purposes. Some use cases of note include:
- Popular consumer comparison shopping sites, such as travel cost aggregators, quickly providing up-to-the-minute comparative information on same-item pricing across the internet.
- Young businesses performing a thorough review of consumer trends and competitor companies worldwide to best position themselves for success.
- Companies scanning internet data for illicit uses of their intellectual property.
- Businesses confirming validity of marketing spend via ad verification.
- Data aggregation companies supplying pro-bono scraped data to academic researchers, providing them vast data stores for essential research.
To ably provide these benefits to consumers, companies, and the public at large, data aggregators need to follow ethical practices. Such dedication will serve to further understanding of the data aggregation practice and process, and further the adoption of this technology. Key to this is a safe and community-minded application of aggregation, and therefore a positive reputation for the practice and its practitioners. The EWDCI gathers leading voices within the industry to determine and advocate for such integrity in aggregation.
“The EWDCI aims to reach companies with this message of ethical data aggregation, as well as to educate consumers at large and legislators worldwide in the interest of informed, empowered action,” said Christian Dawson, i2 Coalition’s Executive Director. “This will promote industry-led stewardship of important – and already widely adopted – technology in the interest of solving any present challenges and setting the industry up for forthcoming success.”
To learn more about the EWDCI or join as a member, please email Hilary Osborne.
To learn more about the i2Coalition, please visit www.i2Coalition.com.
About i2Coalition’s Public Data Aggregation Integrity Initiative
I2Coalition’s initiative regarding integrity in Public Data Aggregation (working title: the Ethical Web Data Collection Initiative [EWDCI]) is an industry-led consortium that promotes business security and consumer education by increasing understanding of and determining best practices for the field of Public Data Aggregation. This initiative leverages first-hand knowledge to create, validate, and advocate for guidelines that strengthen trust and transparency in data aggregation, supporting business goals and mitigating risks for consumers worldwide.