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What Do We Worry About When We Worry About Price Discrimination? The Law and Ethics of Using Personal Information for Pricing

Akiva A. Miller, Journal of Technology Law & Policy, Vol. 19, p. 41, 2014

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New information technologies have dramatically increased sellers’ ability to engage in price discrimination in retail consumer markets. Debates over using personal information for price discrimination frequently treat it as a single concern, and are not sufficiently sensitive to the variety of price discrimination practices, the different kinds of information they require in order to succeed, and the different concerns they raise. This paper explores the ethical aspects of the debate over regulating price discrimination facilitated by personal information. By drawing distinctions between various pricing practices and the motivations behind them, this paper seeks to clarify the ethical principles that should guide legal and regulatory efforts to control the use of personal information for pricing.

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