Web scraping is an extremely amongst researchers and web developers. The best example may be Google Search. When you use Google to find information, you are (in highly over simplified terms) not actually searching the "live" internet, but rather a database of webpages that Google has mapped. If Google is allowed to do it, why can't you!?
Before assuming that your project is both legal and ethical, you need to ask yourself a lot of questions regarding the nature, scope, and purpose of your web scraping activities. If your web scraping project is focused on collecting data that is in the public-domain from publicly available websites and individual datum do not connect directly to individual humans in the real world and your web scraping activities represent minimal technical burden on the part of the website owner, then you are in the clear!
However, in truth, most web scraping research projects are not so clearly defined. While you will have to make the determination yourself regarding whether your project is both legal and ethical, the questions below are meant to prompt the kind of thinking that may not be immediately obvious the first time you start scraping the internet for data.
Sometimes it is not clear whether or not an individual web scraping project is fully legal or ethical. For GSU researchers, there are two key resources available for helping make this determination. For legal questions and guidance, GSU's Legal Services office are the best people to contact. For issues and questions concerning research ethics, especially when research involves collecting online data about people (e.g. social media), then GSU's IRB office is the best point of contact.