Web scraping focuses more on the transformation of unstructured web content, typically in HTML format, into structured data that can be stored and analyzed in a central local database or spreadsheet. In other words, they can spy on home owners through snitching Home Away’s data and then go flog them.
Ski Towns Cracking Down on Under The Table Rental Owners
Last week I told you how New York state is gigging out of state home owners for state taxes even if you don’t sleep there. Head west to the Rockies for this tall tale: the Colorado Association of Ski Towns, or CAST, is holding off on plans to¬† hunt down vacation rental owners who aren’t remitting lodging taxes or paying necessary business license fees.¬† An Austin, Texas based company called Home Away, the parent company to VRBO.com (Vacation Rentals By Owner), has threatened legal action against CAST if it begins to use a newly developed software program to gather information from online vacation rental advertisements, cross-referencing that information with town records. They want to do this to find out who is illegally renting out their property. Actually, let me re-phrase that: who is renting out the property he or she owns but not telling the state and remitting taxes or fees.
Virginia-based Eye Street Solutions, the software company that developed this program, says it’s perfectly legal and they track Internet sites in the same way as Google.
Better hurry up and lease:¬† the CAST towns have asked Eye Street to get out the lawyers and come up with indemnification language for all the contracts signed between the towns and Eye Street, Burford said. Then they’ll go back to snooping on homeowners to see who is leasing, and who is not.