BY ACQUIRING THE TWO-PERSON MALAYSIAN START-UP OCTAZEN, Facebook grows itself while simultaneously denying competitors of a web-scraping power tool.
Octazen Solutions is good at two things. It can important contact lists and it stays undetected as it scrapes personal data from websites.
As Mike Arrington notes, Octazen gets around everyone's rate limits and detection systems. Facebook is so sanctimonious about protecting their own user data through Facebook Connect, but Octazen has been scraping user data for years off terms of service and then reselling it.
[Bernie Goldbach teaches elements of privacy and encryption on the Clonmel Digital Campus of the Limerick Institute of Technology.]