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The Ethical Web Data Collection Initiative

Working Groups & Initiatives: The Ethical Web Data Collection Initiative (EWDCI)


The EWDCI is a consortium of web data collectors focused on strengthening public trust, promoting ethical guidelines, and helping businesses make informed data collection choices.

The Public Deserves Digital Peace of Mind

The i2Coalition has convened the Ethical Web Data Collection Initiative (EWDCI), an international, industry-led consortium of web data collectors focused on strengthening public trust, promoting ethical guidelines, and helping businesses make informed data aggregation choices.  As AI applications require more and more data in order to learn, web data collection is too important to let bad actors set the agenda.  This page describes what the EWDCI does, why it’s important, and how you can get involved. But first, those unfamiliar with web data collection technology are invited to learn more about what “web scraping” is.

Earning and Building Public Trust

The Data Aggregation industry is still young and growing. As with any industry in its early stages, those working in this field have a unique opportunity to shape how it is developed and perceived.

This emerging industry needs a voice, or it will end up getting defined by others with their own agendas. This is why the EWDCI is dedicated to defining positive and beneficial uses of the important abilities and potential of web data collection and aggregation at scale.

What the EWDCI does:
Advocate for responsible web data collection and use of personal data
Educate and guide the industry on the use of ethical resources and tools used in web data collection
Foster consumer confidence in data collection through transparency and accountability
Enable commercial innovation
Promote online safety

EWDCI Guiding Principles 

The working group has defined a set of core principles by which member companies abide:

Web Data Collectors will only scrape and use tools to scrape data within the confines of legislation and regulation from relevant jurisdictions, and will strive to keep up to date with judicial cases that may affect the legal boundaries of web data collection.

Relevant laws, Privacy, and Proxies


Companies engaged in collecting web data will follow a strict ethical framework, including ethical principles related to four main pillars: websites, customers, proxies, and data.
Websites and Customers, Proxies and Data

Ecosystem Management
Web Data Collectors are in a symbiotic relationship with the free and open internet ecosystem and strive to engage it collaboratively in an open and communicative manner.
Data Accessibility, Healthy Competition

Social Responsibility
Web data should never be used to the detriment of society, and members pledge to support and collaborate with civil society and governmental organizations for societal benefit.
Societal Benefit, Donating Data

Find out more about these principles and what they entail for web data collectors and aggregators, as well as everyday Internet users, in our EDWCI Principles 1.0 document.

EWDCI Certification: A Signal to the World

Those pledging to work within this ethical framework are awarded the EWDCI Certified designation to display on their websites. This informs their partners, customers, and the public that they adhere to these agreed-upon principles and the highest degree of ethics when collecting public web data; while also further advancing the industry’s best practices and accountability. If your company works with web data collection, you can earn the EWDCI Certified designation by contacting Hilary Osborne at [email protected]

EWDCI Member Companies

 These are the organizations that are working to define and refine the EWDCI Principles. If you would like to become part of this collaborative effort, contact i2Coalition Membership Director Hilary B. Osborne at [email protected].

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