Online price discrimination: A data protection issue?

Online merchants can offer each website customer a different price given that it can recognise such customer through the use of a cookie and can therefore categorise the customer based on other information (previous purchases, etc.). Many regard price discrimination as unfair or manipulative and I have already blogged about this issue a while back: Dynamic pricing on websites: illegal or unfair?

A new article entitled “Online Price Discrimination and Data Protection Law” is now available on SSRN. The article is authored by Frederik J. Zuiderveen Borgesius from the University of Amsterdam – Institute for Information Law. This article examines whether European data protection law applies to personalised pricing. The author argues that personalised pricing generally entails the processing of personal data and that therefore, data protection law generally applies to personalised pricing. This translates in the fact that organizations should be transparent about using dynamic pricing practices with their customers.

Another great (older) article on the topic is Privacy, Economics, and Price Discrimination on the Internet authored by Andrew Odlyzko from the Digital Technology Center, University of Minnesota.


This content has been updated on September 29, 2015 at 13 h 49 min.