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FTC Warns Companies Against Using Dark Patterns in Subscriptions

Oct. 28, 2021, 9:22 PM

The Federal Trade Commission issued a policy statement warning companies against using so-called dark patterns to push subscription services on to consumers.

The statement signals a ramp-up of enforcement in response to what the FTC called a rise in consumer complaints about financial harms from deceptive sign-up tactics such as ongoing billing that’s hard for consumers to cancel.

Companies will face legal action if their sign-up process fails to clearly disclose terms up-front, obtain consumers’ informed consent, and make cancellation easy, the commission said Thursday.

The spotlight on dark patterns comes after the agency held a workshop on the issue ...