“Elite” Online Shopper? Expect Special Treatment

If you shop online, chances are you’ve been assigned a secret e-score. These “consumer valuation” or “buying-power scores” rank your potential value as an online shopper.

According to the New York Times, these highly secretive, highly controversial scores have taken on an “increasingly important, and controversial, role in e-commerce.”

The New Digital Divide

While it might not be surprising that companies are turning to complex algorithms to identify and woo potential big spenders, e-scores also help companies avoid less affluent shoppers.

“In most cases, you don’t know who is collecting the information, you don’t know what predictions they have made about you, or the potential for being denied choice or paying too much,” Ed Mierzwinski of the United States Public Interest Research Group told the newspaper.

For example, an e-score can be used to determine whether a caller will be “routed promptly to an attentive service agent or relegated to an overflow call center,” according to the article.

You can read more about the e-score industry at www.nytimes.com.

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