Here Come the Screen Scrapers

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With a name like his, Robb First was born to be a pioneer. The 34-year-old advertising executive from Cleveland, Ohio, was an early adopter of cell phones (he has two), computers (he has four) and a PalmPilot (only one, but it's the sleek, thin one). And now he's trying one of the latest and most controversial innovations in online personal finance: screen scraping.

First has signed up with Yodlee of Sunnyvale, Calif., one of several companies that will scrape data from your various online financial accounts banking, brokerage, credit cards and others and track them for you on one password-protected web site. First's site also keeps tabs on his phone bills, updates him on UPS shipments for work and gives him a bottom line of his total assets and liabilities. How does he like it so far? "It's just amazing," he says.