Online price discrimination based on location and search terms

We know price discrimination happens on the internet.  In the past, a study showed that Macs were targeted for higher prices than PCs.  This paper below highlights that location and search terms are also used and the researchers build a watchdog system to detect such practices:


Price discrimination, setting the price of a given product for each customer individually according to his valuation for it, can benefit from extensive information collected online on the customers and thus contribute to the profitability of e-commerce services. Another way to discriminate among customers with different willingness to pay is to steer them towards different sets of products when they search within a product category (i.e., search
discrimination). Our main contribution in this paper is to empirically demonstrate the existence of signs of both price and search discrimination on the Internet, and to uncover the information vectors used to facilitate them. Supported by our findings, we outline the design of a large-scale, distributed watchdog system that allows users to detect discriminatory practices.

“The paper only has preliminary results (hotnets targets fairly early ideas), but so far has only detected discrimination based on location and search terms.”

via There was an academic paper on this published in the fall by Telefonica in Spain… | Hacker News.