News & articles about dark patterns and unethical design.

September

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…

August

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 | Globalnews.ca
Daniel Therrien, a former national security official and privacy commissioner, said he was not told the RCMP had found ways to circumvent encrypted communications.

July

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

June

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

April

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…

March

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

February

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…

January

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