Online tracking gets more and more sophisticated every day.

From the Wall Street Journal:

On Orbitz, Mac Users Steered to Pricier Hotels

Orbitz Worldwide Inc. has found that people who use Apple Inc.’s Mac computers spend as much as 30% more a night on hotels, so the online travel agency is starting to show them different, and sometimes costlier, travel options than Windows visitors see.

The Orbitz effort, which is in its early stages, demonstrates how tracking people’s online activities can use even seemingly innocuous information—in this case, the fact that customers are visiting from a Mac—to start predicting their tastes and spending habits.

Just to clarify: Orbitz isn’t offering the same hotel room at different prices to PC and Mac users. It’s showing more expensive hotels to the Appleniks, as this handy WSJ chart shows.

And here’s the kicker:

The sort of targeting undertaken by Orbitz is likely to become more commonplace as online retailers scramble to identify new ways in which people’s browsing data can be used to boost online sales.

That’s great news, eh?

We neither.

(For the record, all Sneak ADtack employees employ Macs. Then again, we don’t travel, so it’s no big deal.)



John R. Carroll, who also writes at Campaign Outsider and It's Good to Live in a Two-Daily Town, is an NPR media analyst and a journalism professor at Boston University.
John R. Carroll has 298 post(s) on Sneak Adtack