Australian programmers have created software that uses data scraping to set up free electronic programme guides, it has been revealed.
According to The Age, thousands of Australians use these guides and most of the aforementioned software scrapes data from websites such as ninemsn.com.au.
Ninemsn added an extra layer of encryption to its TV guide as it tried to fight off the hackers but the Media Centre community cracked the company’s code in a couple of hours, the news provider revealed.
A person known as OdGregg developed one of the first free Australian TV guide scrapers called TVHarvest and he told the website that he was asked by Ninemsn subsidiary and TV guide data licensee HWW Limited to stop hosting it.
He noted that he stopped with immediate effect.
Experts at Sentor say that one of the prime targets for data scraping are online directories, although anyone publishing original content on the web is affected by scraping to some extent.