You and a friend might be given two different prices by the same website for the same item. Heck, you might be given two different prices yourself depending on where you are when you're browsing the site. It's a phenomenon that began as dynamic pricing—a computer balancing supply and demand to ensure everything was sold at a price the market was prepared to pay—but it's now gone well beyond that.
As algorithms become smarter and more advanced, and as we voluntarily offer our devices and the companies we do business with more of our information, the prices you see may take into account things like where you are, what device you're on, your shopping history and... well, everything the machine knows about you. Is this the kind of shopping experience we want? If not, what do we do about it?
GUEST: Colin Horgan, writing in The Walrus