Will bots ruin Christmas? | The voice of Apopka

By Juliet Bennett Rylah, The Hustle

Yes Jingle All the Way were made today, it might not be Arnold vs. Sinbad, but Dads vs. Grinch bots.

“Grinch bots” clean up all of the hottest toys on the market before human customers can get them.

Demand drives up the resale price, allowing scalpers to earn a pretty dime from desperate buyers on third-party sites like eBay.

For example, in 2017 the Fingerlings – cute monkey toys – were selling for $ 14.99, but were bought and resold for up to $ 1,000, according to an NPR report.

How do Grinch robots work?

Bots are frequently used on in-demand products including trendy sneakers and the PS5.

Bots search retail websites for a particular item and then checkout faster than any human. Some can even bypass CAPTCHAs.

In 2016, the Better Online Ticket Sales Act – AKA the BOTS Act – banned the use of bots for ticket scalping. Earlier this year, the federal government announced settlements with 3 alleged violators totaling approximately $ 3.7 million.

But what about toys?

Earlier this week, lawmakers introduced the Stopping Grinch Bots Act, which would expand the BOTS Act of 2016 and extend to e-commerce prohibiting bots from bypassing security measures at digital retailers.

The bill is not new. Lawmakers previously proposed him in November 2018 and 2019, but he died in Congress both times.

Chuck Bell, director of advocacy programs for Consumer Reports, said Agitation It is not uncommon for consumer protection legislation to evolve slowly due to power disparities between industry trade groups and consumer organizations.

“If other interest groups are indifferent or opposed, it often takes us longer to get our bills across the finish line,” he said.

The invoice could also be perceived as a seasonal issue …

… Causing weakening interest in the New Year.

But with media reports highlighting bot woes throughout the year (for example, trying to get Nvidia’s new video card or a Nintendo Switch), Bell is hoping there will be an incentive to the action.

Bots don’t even like to play Animal crossing!

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