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We've all seen those personalized internet ads. You search the internet one day for pair of shoes. Then, for the next two months, you receive countless ads for shoes right on your browser. Thanks to Big Data, Big Brother — or Big Business — is watching.
Now, some big travel websites and online general merchandisers are using that data in a new way: they're charging different people different prices for the same goods — or pushing some people toward higher-priced offers. It's called "price discrimination" and we're learning more about it thanks to new research from Northeastern University.
- "You know that friend who always scores hotel deals you never seem able to find? The reason might not be her skill at ferreting out online bargains."
This segment aired on October 23, 2014.