Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Business, Enterprise & Innovation Billy Kelleher has written to the head of the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) to raise concerns around personalised pricing models and the use of personal data ahead of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Deputy Kelleher was commenting as it was predicted that over €100 million would be spent by Irish consumers over Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

“I believe it is important to examine competition in the digital economy, including how machine learning and algorithms are used to set prices and whether firms could conspire to disadvantage the consumer.

“The CCPC has an important role to play in building up an accurate image of how consumers effectively pay for ‘free’ services by handing over their data. Accurate information on the practices used by firms will also help to build up a clear set of protections for consumers from undue price hikes.

“I have written to Isolde Goggin, the Chairperson of the CCPC requesting information on what steps the Commission is taking to investigate the use of personal data to set personalized prices and actions taken to protect consumers from such practices.

“Consumers need to have their rights fully upheld and protected by the CCPC. This is especially the case as Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales approach,” concluded Kelleher