Intellectual property

Polish authority fines company and president for using 'dark patterns'

Published on 13th Oct 2023

Consumer protection body intensifies its crackdown on dark patterns with a heavy fine on a dietary supplement business

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Dark patterns are practices that use knowledge about user behaviour of applications and websites to influence – in an unfair way – purchasing decisions.

The president of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (OCCP) recently imposed a fine on a company selling dietary supplements that engaged in these unfair activities, in another case in which the supervisory authority has punished an entrepreneur for using practices that violate the collective interests of consumers.

The president of OCCP imposed a fine of over PLN 5.1 million on the company and a fine of PLN 110,000 on the president of the management board of the company.

The OCCP stated that customers had been manipulated into subscribing to dietary supplements without their knowledge. There was also a lack of information about the hidden costs of product delivery, And the button used for online ordering has been incorrectly marked.

Companies may face a penalty of up to 10 per cent of the turnover achieved in the previous financial year for this behaviour. In addition, a fine of up to PLN 2 million may be imposed on the management staff. This applies to staff who, by their act or omission, deliberately allow entrepreneurs to infringe collective consumer interests. This applies to both current and former executives.

The president of OCCP announced that the authority would intensify its activities in the area of dark patterns.

How can we help you?

As part of Osborne Clarke, we can offer businesses an internal audit. We also develop procedures and opinions and conduct training in the area of dark patterns.

If you have any questions about dark patterns, please contact us.


* This article is current as of the date of its publication and does not necessarily reflect the present state of the law or relevant regulation.

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