News & articles about dark patterns and unethical design.

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Poland’s Office of Competition and Consumer Protection investigates ‘dark patterns’
Recently, one of
Fortnite maker Epic Games will pay $520 million to settle privacy and deception cases
The company is refunding $245 million to customers who made unwanted purchases because of poor game design, and is paying a $275 million fine for collecting personal data from kids without consent.
California’s Website Data Tracking Opt-Out Plan Pleases No One
Both consumer advocates and business groups are dissatisfied with how California privacy regulators say company websites must recognize universal opt-out tools.


FTC, Vonage reach $100M Settlement for what agency terms ‘dark patterns’
Internet phone service provider Vonage is paying $100 million to its customers after the Federal Trade Commission alleged the company used “dark patterns” and junk fees.Consumer Investigator Caresse Jackman breaks down the lawsuit with an FTC attorney and gets advice on how you can avoid similar que…
Manipulation through Design: A Law and Economics Analysis of EU Dark Patterns Regulation
Dark Patterns are ubiquitous: deliberate choices in website- or app-design that exploit unobservant or irrational behavior of users, tricking them into reaching
Amazon Uses ‘Dark Patterns’ to Hinder Consumers Looking to Cancel Prime Membership, Class Action Says
A class action alleges Amazon relies on a “layered and confusing” process rife with “dark patterns” in an effort to prevent consumers from canceling their Prime memberships.
Dark Patterns that Mislead Consumers Are All Over the Internet – The Markup
Think you can tell a dark pattern from an ethically designed prompt? Take our quiz to find out
Disguised ads, hidden costs — regulator ASCI now tackling ‘dark pattern’ ad tactics, says its CEO
No clear central law on what differentiates brand extensions from surrogate ads, other issues like privacy also proving difficult to navigate, self-regulatory body’s CEO says in interview.
CFPB Sues Payment Platform Over Dark Patterns
On October 18, the CFPB sued a software company for utilizing their online payment platform to enroll unknowing consumers into annual subscriptions through deceptive acts and “dark pat


Federal Trade Commission Explores Rule Cracking Down on Junk Fees
The Federal Trade Commission announced today that it is exploring a rule to crack down on junk fees proliferating throughout the economy.
What Investors Should Know About Behavioral Tricks in Financial Products
The sinister side of behavioral science in product design.
Pervasive ‘Dark Patterns’ Are Fooling People Into Signing Up for Services They Don’t Want
We’ve known about manipulative user interfaces for a long while now, but the FTC reported that more and more companies are tricking site visitors.
Edtech, dark patterns to be focus areas for ASCI going ahead | The Financial Express
According to ASCI’s secretary general and chief executive Manisha Kapoor, dark pattern refers to design behaviourial techniques being deployed by advertisers to manipulate the customers through fake reviews or falsehoods on pricing


Cookie pop-ups have taken over the internet. Here’s how to stop them.
Save time and preserve your privacy.
FTC Staff Report Details Rise in Dark Patterns
A September 2022 FTC Staff Report has revealed that manipulative marketing practices by businesses, termed “dark patterns,” is on the rise. The…


Dark Patterns: Deceptive App Design Isn’t Good for Business
Companies are starting to face legal and financial consequences for their alleged use of dark patterns, deceptive website or app user interfaces used to trick or pressure consumers into making choices they otherwise might not. Dorsey & Whitney’s Jamie Nafziger and Bianca Tillman explain what com…
Canada’s former privacy watchdog ‘surprised’ by RCMP spyware program - National |
Daniel Therrien, a former national security official and privacy commissioner, said he was not told the RCMP had found ways to circumvent encrypted communications.


Attorney General Miller urges FTC to address deceptive ‘dark patterns’ in digital advertising
Attorney General Tom Miller today called on the Federal Trade Commission to strengthen and update its guidance on digital advertising disclosures.
How I was let go for refusing to deploy a dark pattern
Instagram gets worse with dark patterns lifted from TikTok – TechCrunch
I, of all people, got a fresh new user interface in Instagram the other day. Although the company has not rolled it out to all users yet, the changes seem in line with its intention to move away from its original model of photo sharing among friends, to the one pioneered by TikTok: showing as [&hel…
Amazon drops Prime cancellation ‘dark patterns’ in Europe – TechCrunch
The complaints about Amazon’s confusing and convoluted cancellation process for Prime were announced 2021; it’s this long for the e-commerce giant to agree to change


Federal lawmakers aim to crack down on ‘dark patterns’ that trick users online - Pennsylvania Capital-Star
The legislation would place limits on how internet firms with over 100M monthly users could ask for information
‘Chances are you’ve seen a dark pattern online’: Sen. Warner seeks ban on deceptive internet marketing
When he goes online, Sen. Mark Warner gets particularly bugged when he’d like to download something but can’t tell which of several links scattered among the advertisements is one he wants, rather than one that sticks him with a marketing link. That’s just one variety of a so-called “dark pattern,”…
New FIFA 22 loot boxes consumer report cites “dark patterns”
A report authored by the Norwegian Consumer Council says gamers are “manipulated” to spend money by Raid: Shadow Legends and FIFA 22 loot boxes alongside others


The FTC is going after dark patterns. That’s bad news for Amazon Prime.
Companies including Amazon present customers with confusing screens, disclose fees in small print and require that people traverse labyrinths before they can cancel.
‘EU’s digital rule-book reboot could fumble dark pattern ban’ – TechCrunch
When the European Commission presented its Digital Services Act (DSA) proposal in December 2020, it listed beefed up consumer protections as a headline goal for the flagship update to the bloc’s rules for digital services. But now, as negotiations over the draft law are in the final stretch, …
Banning Dark Patterns – Far From a Light Task
Dark patterns refer to how internet platforms trick and deceive users into clicking on something they don’t want to do.
Dark patterns in social media platform interfaces: How to recognise and avoid them (Guidelines 3/2002)
In an effort to strengthen the data protection granted to users , the European Data Protection Board has established guidelines relating to dark…


Fareportal to Pay $2.6 Million Over Dark Patterns | JD Supra
Last week, the New York Attorney General announced that Fareportal had agreed to pay $2.6 million to end an investigation over its use of “dark...
The Web Foundation is working to counter deceptive design – TechCrunch
The Web Foundation’s Tech Policy Design Lab is working on an interesting-looking project to counter deceptive design


Canceling an Online Subscription Shouldn’t Be a Nightmare
Here’s what you need to know about the tactics companies use to keep people from leaving.
What are dark patterns and how are they used to deceive online? | BCS
Dr Deepthi Ratnayake explores the impact of dark patterns on web applications.
ANALYSIS: FTC Dark Patterns Strategy Could Use Some Illumination
Deciphering FTC’s “dark patterns” enforcement approach is akin to searching for light at the end of a tunnel, based on a deep read of the agency’s latest policy guidance. It seems that the FTC has added more vagueness and ambiguity, not less, in its attempt to increase scrutiny of deceptive dark pat…


European Parliament approves initial proposal to ban some targeted ads
The proposal also pressures platforms to remove illegal content.
‘Fear of missing out’ driving social media addiction, study suggests
Fear of missing out, or ‘FOMO’, is among the biggest causes of social media addiction, a new study suggests.
“Design Is Inherently An Unethical Industry”
Readers respond to a <em>Co.Design</em> story asking: What role do designers play in an industry ruled by A/B testing and optimization?
Dark Pattern Design — It’s Downright Unethical & Irresponsible
The Norwegian Consumer Council (Forburkerrådet) recently has released a report, Deceived by Design —it reveals some tech companies are…
Facebook Launches ‘Privacy Center’ to Educate Users on Data Collection and Privacy Options
Facebook has launched a new “Privacy Center” to educate users about data collection and privacy options.
Can’t Unsubscribe? Blame Dark Patterns
Jennifer King, HAI Privacy and Data Policy Fellow, explains the importance of tracking and regulating manipulative online tactics.
France fines Google and Facebook for pushing tracking cookies on users with dark patterns
Google and Facebook make it harder to reject cookies