Shining a Bright Light on Digital Dark Patterns
The Federal Trade Commission’s lawsuits against Amazon and Publishers Clearing House alleging that the companies used “dark patterns” to enroll consumers or sell products are part of an ongoing effort by the FTC and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to combat what the agencies view as the rise of digital dark patterns to deceive, steer, or manipulate consumers into behavior that is profitable for companies, but often harmful to consumers or contrary to their intent. The Amazon and Publishers Clearing House lawsuits underscore the need for all companies subject to CFPB and/or FTC jurisdiction to understand the agencies’ theory of “dark patterns” so they can take a fresh look at their digital interfaces with consumers to assess their vulnerability to challenges under the Consumer Financial Protection Act, the FTC Act, or other laws and make necessary changes.
- Types of “dark patterns” identified by the CFPB and FTC
- The CFPB’s position regarding the use of “dark patterns” as a violation of the CFPA prohibition of unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices
- The FTC’s position regarding the use of “dark patterns” as anticompetitive and/or a violation of the FTC Act prohibition of unfair or deceptive acts or practices
- Other federal laws that “dark patterns” may violate
- CFPB and FTC enforcement actions targeting the use of “dark patterns”
- State regulation of “dark patterns”
- Best practices for companies to consider in avoiding legal challenges based on “dark patterns” claims
We will be joined by special guest Andrew Nigrinis, PhD, The Former CFPB Enforcement Economist.
CLE Credits: This program is approved for 1.0 CLE credit in CA, NJ, & NY. Uniform Certificates of Attendance will also be provided for the purpose of seeking credit in other jurisdictions. Please note: CLE credit in the following states will not be available: NV and PA.
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