All of you committed Mac users read the following and tell me again how great the Mac is. Orbitz is a company that noticed people using Mac computers usually spend more money on hotels, so it decided to take advantage of their likelihood to accept above average travel expenses. Basically, Orbitz Mac users are getting ripped off by 30 percent.
The Wall Street Journal writes that Orbitz informed that it has implemented a new way of tracking online activities for its users. Coincidentally, the company found that people using Macs are generally spending 30 percent more on hotels, so it has decided to reconfigure its offers to be more expensive than those for Windows visitors.
The company explained it’s only an attempt to make its platform more useful to its users. By knowing users’ spending habits and preferences, Orbitz could do a better job delivering the sought answer. Orbitz’s take is that people using Macs usually spend more money than people using Windows or PCs, so given their data it only makes sense to get a more expensive deal on a hotel.
Orbitz Chief Technology Officer Roger Liew said: “We had the intuition and we were able to confirm it based on the data”. The data that sparked controversy shows that on average people browsing their platform from a Mac spend $20 to $30 more for a hotel, than people using other devices. Chief Scientist Wai Gen Yee explained Mac users usually choose more expensive rooms than PC users and are 40 percent more likely to select a four or five star hotel.
Although Orbitz is kind off ripping Mac users, there’s another issue that needs debating and it’s just as controversial. The way Orbitz used to gather the data is a bit creepy and it gave online privacy lawyers reasons for concern. Ever since the company was hit in 2009, high management with Orbitz has been focusing on data mining as a way to bullet-proof sales.
Wendy Davis of The Daily Online Examiner wrote that “Orbitz is fast on its way to becoming poster child for everything people find creepy about online advertising”. And Ryan Calo, privacy expert with Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet and Society, says it’s a legit attitude. “The fact that people are creeped out by this is legitimate, and itself registers as a privacy harm” he told LA Times.