The Obama administration has released a 22-page report on big data and the issues around so-called price discrimination. “One of the many questions raised by big data is whether companies will use the information they harvest to more effectively charge different prices to different customers, a practice that economists call price discrimination,” the report states. The confluence of big data analysis and price differentiation has raised concerns, and “many companies already use big data for targeted marketing, and some are experimenting with personalized pricing,” the report states. It suggests many concerns “can be addressed by enforcing existing antidiscrimination, privacy and consumer protection laws” and calls for increased transparency on how consumer data is used and shared.
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