European consumer protection watchdogs publish 'dark patterns' statistics
National authorities will take action after two-fifths of almost 400 sites were found to rely on manipulative practices
'Dark patterns' is the term used to describe ways of designing online user interfaces so that consumers are manipulated into making certain choices which are not in their best interests.
This could mean, for example, making it difficult for a user to cancel a subscription or pushing them in into sharing personal data by accepting, rather than declining, cookies. Dark patterns have been a growing concern for legislators, regulators and courts in the EU and UK for some time. Although the term is yet to be fully defined legally there are numerous proposals to create additional bands and enforcement sweeps.
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