Found on Neil Perkin’s Only Dead Fish: “There was something of a kerfuffle recently when it became public knowledge that travel website Orbitz were recommending different price ranges of hotels based on the user’s operating system. Data mining had told them that Mac users typically pay a premium of upto 30% on a night’s stay so they were using data to improve content recommendation, and in the process their chances of selling products at premium prices.
Dynamic personalisation of content based on data is nothing new of-course. Amazon does it all the time, generating highly customised pages that pull on your purchase history and other data making it highly unlikely that any two of Amazon’s millions of customers will see the same home page when they’re logged in (a remarkable thing, if you stop to think about it). Systems that optimise decision-making around merchandising and pricing by modelling the result of individual discounts or promotional changes are also not new.
But whilst Orbitz may not have been showing different prices for the same goods to different customers, it seems that a growing…read on.”