Feeds

Web entrepreneur accused of massive data heist

9,000 plus consumer reports lifted, suit says

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Consumer rating service Angie's List has accused a web entrepreneur of plundering thousands of its records so he could start a rival company that offers a similar service.

In a lawsuit filed in Indiana state court, attorneys for Angie's List claim Christopher "Kit" Cody became a paying member of the site and then used scraping software to mine reports it provided on plumbers, dentists and roofers. Cody allegedly used the records for a competing site that he called Trustys.com.

An attorney for Cody disputed the allegations.

"We consider it industrial espionage," a spokeswoman for Angie's List told IndyStar.com. "He came in to use technology to basically cut and paste reports."

Angie's List boasts more than 750,000 consumers who use the site to screen companies offering services in more than 400 categories. The site, which is something of a Yelp focusing on consumer services, has been expanding rapidly in the US. Members submit reports, which are then relied upon by other members.

The suit claims Cody accessed 9,278 service-provider files from the site using a bot during multiple sessions. During a single two-hour period in early December, he harvested more than 2,450 profiles, IndyStar.com reported.

"We dispute the allegations, and we intend to defend against them vigorously," an attorney for Cody said.

A hearing on the matter is scheduled for next month. ®

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

More from The Register

next story
Amazon says Hachette should lower ebook prices, pay authors more
Oh yeah ... and a 30% cut for Amazon to seal the deal
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
Nintend-OH NO! Sorry, Mario – your profits are in another castle
Red-hatted mascot, red-colored logo, red-stained finance books
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
Feel free to BONK on the TUBE, says Transport for London
Plus: Almost NOBODY uses pay-by-bonk on buses - Visa
Twitch rich as Google flicks $1bn hitch switch, claims snitch
Gameplay streaming biz and search king refuse to deny fresh gobble rumors
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
prev story

Whitepapers

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?