The US lawmakers from the Democrats wing have tabled the ‘Stopping Grinch Bots Act,’ a Bill that seeks to make it illegal for bots to do online shopping. The Bill further seeks to outlaw the reselling of items purchased by these bots online.
“Lawmakers label them ‘Grinch’ bots because, during the holiday season, resellers use them to buy inventory of highly coveted toys that can be resold at highly inflated prices,” reads in part, a report by CNET.
“Often times, these bots are so quick that they can purchase entire stocks of items before people can even add them to their carts.”
The Bill was made public on Black Friday by Democrat Senators Chuck Schumer, Richard Blumenthal, and Tom Udall alongside Republican Paul Tonko. Though the Bill was sparked by the frenzy online shopping by bots on the recent Black Friday, should the Bill sail through, it will apply to all online retailers throughout the seasons.
Toys are not the only items affected by purchases from a swarm of bots. Cybersecurity experts say that these bots have also been known to buy out those rare sneakers from companies such as Nike and Adidas. And they do so at lightning speeds, that no human shopper could ever possibly dream of achieving.
After mass buying, the bots (rather their creators) put the items bought, back into the market for re-sell. Since the general public can no longer get the given items from their original respective online store, they end up buying the re-sell items at exorbitantly higher prices.
“Middle-class folks save up – a little here, a little there – working to afford the hottest gifts of the season for their kids but ever-changing technology and its challenges are making that very difficult. It’s time we help restore an even playing field by blocking the bots,” said Dem. Senator Schumer from New York.