Akamai CTO Patrick Sullivan explains how bots affect pricing and availability for various retail items. He also offers consumers advice on protecting themselves from fraud.
Dan Patterson, a Senior Producer for CBS News and CNET, interviewed Patrick Sullivan, Akamai CTO, Security Strategy, about the ways bots are used in e-commerce and retail. The following is an edited transcript of the interview.
Dan Patterson: Let's walk through a day in the life of a bot user, and let's say I want to deploy a bot against an e-commerce website to scrape the site, find better prices, and maybe arbitrage my way into some profit. Walk me through the process. What's step one? And then what is deployment?
Patrick Sullivan:If you look at the motivations there, there's a few. One would be a competitor. You can figure out with a very, very low interval what pricing that your competitor has. I think, historically, you could …