On Orbitz, Mac Users Steered to Pricier Hotels

Dana Mattioli, reporting for the WSJ (behind the paywall, alas):

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 Orbitz.com from a Mac — to start predicting their tastes and spending habits.

To be clear, this is about defaulting to showing Mac users higher-priced, better-rated hotels first, not about charging Mac users more money for the same hotel rooms.

No use making jokes here — Matt Novak wins. (At least I think that’s a joke.)

Monday, 25 June 2012