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Companies think your computer dictates your budget

by anonymous

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These days, corporations are investing considerable resources into online analytics to learn more about their customers. And, while the ability to predict the best products for you based on earlier preferences can be handy in some cases, sometimes your personal data can be used simply to boost profits.


Last week, the Wall Street Journal blew the whistle on one ecommerce company that has been tailoring its results based on computer brands. After determining that, on average, Mac owners spend about 30 percent more on hotels than people with PCs, executives at the travel website Orbitz reportedly adjusted their algorithms so that Apple fans were shown more expensive travel options than individuals who accessed the website from other devices.


According to the news source, since he started at the company in 2009, Barney Hartford, Orbitz's CEO, has been dedicated to using data mining as a means to predict user preferences.


Through research, the company has not only determined that Mac users spend more on their trips, but has even been able to determine which hotels they may prefer. The media outlet notes that nearly 50 percent of Orbitz bookings at one luxury hotel in Chicago were made from Apple devices.


For now, Orbitz only has definitive information about Mac owners' hotel preferences, but if similar trends crop up in terms of flight fares and car rentals, they may adjust their results accordingly.


Executives from the ecommerce company were quick to point out that these measures were meant to benefit customers, and that anyone could opt out of the whole process by choosing to view their search results by price.


But whether or not Apple users do have more cash to burn, there are certain services, like computer repair, that should remain equally cost-effective for any brand. For local users, Geeks On-site offers reasonably priced Mac repair in Maryland, Washington, D.C and Virginia.


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