This is disturbing not because companies are engaging in unscrupulous activities - but more because I do want the personalized service but not in this way.
Seth Godin has already explained how a good marketing story can make people feel like paying more for essentially the same product (at least it was described that way in this Church of the Customer podcast) - but at least that's honest marketing (oxymoron? hmmm)
I suppose it was simply a matter of time. It's just frustrating that there's so much potential for GOOD to come out of providing some of this information and yet some companies decide to make
If you read the full article, you'll see that we have to wait for a research study and CNN takes the word of a 23-year old who may be more than a little paranoid about it. (many of his comments sound like "preset" statements but then you never know with interviews these days.)
The premise behind personalized sales should be very straight forward: here is the regular price. Because of who you are (previous buyer, reviewer, whatever), we are prepared to offer you this discount but not only that, here's what else we think you would like.
I fully expect that different buyers get different prices (as they do in various countries where haggling is a way of life) - but to actually reverse the logic - seems like a surefire way to lose customers, not gain them.
Boing Boing: Ecommerce sites use personal info to charge you more