Wall Street Journal Finds Websites Vary Prices Based On What They Know About You

Archived From: Deal Discussion
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The Journal identified several companies, including Staples, Discover Financial Services, DFS +0.23%Rosetta Stone Inc. RST +0.65%and Home Depot Inc., HD -1.05%that were consistently adjusting prices and displaying different product offers based on a range of characteristics that could be discovered about the user. Office Depot, for example, told the Journal that it uses "customers' browsing history and geolocation" to vary the offers and products it displays to a visitor to its site.

I dont have a free link but if you google for "wall street journal online retailers " you bypass the WSJ paywall and get to read the article.

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Heres some info on how to avoid getting ID'd--- I hope some of the more technical folks on FW will contribute

1) Run a cookie cleaner such as CC Cleaner to destroy all cookies before you shop
2) Dont bother clicking on any offer you get in the email...that identifies you immediately to the website (as well as third party tracking)
3) Your IP whether dyanamic or static can give your location away- the only way to combat this is to use a VPN or proxy service. This does not stop cookies and some proxies still let certain identifying info--like your ip-- through
4) There has been news articles of websites using the HTTP GET ENVIRONMENT object to finger print you. This command returns alot of info to the web site, your browser, your os, dll versions, possibly graphics subsytem info, maybe audio depending on broswer.

I wonder if there is now a market for concierge type proxy or vpn service, which for some nominal fee, combats this tracking.

Priceline increases prices each time you do the same search

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