Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn
On April 29, 2021, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will host a virtual workshop titled “Bringing Dark Patterns to Light: An FTC Workshop” to examine digital “dark patterns,” a term used to describe a range of potentially manipulative user interface designs used on websites and mobile apps, according to an FTC press release.
The virtual workshop will explore the ways in which user interfaces can have the effect, intentionally or unintentionally, of obscuring, subverting, or impairing consumer autonomy, decision-making, or choice. The FTC has released the final agenda for the workshop. Some of the topics the workshop will examine include:
- How dark patterns differ from sales tactics employed by brick-and-mortar stores;
- How they affect consumer behavior, including potential harms;
- Whether some groups of consumers are unfairly targeted or are especially vulnerable;
- What laws, rules, and norms regulate the use of dark patterns; and
- Whether additional rules, standards, or enforcement efforts are needed to protect consumers.
The virtual workshop will begin at 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time and a link to the webcast will be posted to the event page shortly before the workshop begins. Registration is not required to watch the workshop. To learn more about the event, visit www.ftc.gov/news-events/events-calendar/bringing-dark-patterns-light-ftc-workshop.
The FTC works to promote competition and to protect and educate consumers. To learn more about consumer topics and report scams, fraud, and bad business practices online, visit ReportFraud.ftc.gov. To learn more about the FTC, receive consumer alerts, read blogs, subscribe to press releases, and visit www.ftc.gov.
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