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‘Dark Patterns’ That Complicate Consumer Privacy on FTC’s Radar

Sept. 15, 2022, 8:48 PM

Businesses that deploy digital design practices known as “dark patterns” to manipulate consumers’ behavior could face scrutiny and possible fines from the Federal Trade Commission, according to a new staff report.

Dark patterns can influence consumers to make certain choices, such as buying products or services. They also can complicate data privacy by nudging users into freely sharing personal information with an app or website. The regulator’s report warns that enforcement actions may be brought against businesses that use such tactics in violation of consumer protection law.

Consumer advocates are urging the FTC to investigate Alphabet Inc.‘s Google for ...