OFT Investigates Personalised Pricing

By: Richard Beaumont | Friday, November 16, 2012 | Tagged: Cookie Law | Leave Comment

The UK Office of Fair Trading has announced a call for information about practices surrounding personalised pricing in ecommerce websites.

There have been stories circulating for some time that some businesses are using profile information, gathered through cookies and similar technologies, to show different prices for the same product or service, to different users.

This can of course include things like offering returning or repeat customers special discounts.  However the OFThas recognised that it is equally possible for sites to inflate prices for visitors based on tracking profiles.

They therefore want to find out more about what is going on, and ultimately ensure that consumers' rights are properly protected in this area.  Their website is inviting any parties with information on this to get in touch.

This comes after a new survey has been published by Truste highlighting consumer concerns about online privacy.

This shows that 69% of British consumers are concerned about online privacy.  A higher number, 76% expect companies to comply with the cookie law, and one third of people went so far as to say they would only visit websites that comply

There were similar figures for consumers in France, the Netherlands and Germany.  You can see an infographic on the survey here.

What all this shows is that, far from not caring about privacy, the European public have high expectations that they should be protected online.  So it is only right that the OFT should be taking this action, and we look forward to the outcomes.

If you are interested in finding out more about online privacy issues, don't forget the seminar hosted by the ICC in London on 27th November.  We will be there as sponsors and you can find out more information and book here.

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