Interdisciplinary Research Group in Socio-technical Cybersecurity
Dark Patterns by Privacy Salon
Dark patterns are manipulative designs aimed at influencing the decisions users take online about their purchases, use of time and disclosure of personal data. Websites and applications ranging from social media to video games or e-commerce extensively employ dark patterns. They expose users to privacy harms and impact collective welfare with repercussions on competition and consumer trust.
Under the GDPR, dark patterns are illegal when they circumvent the principles of transparency and fairness, and infringe the requirements of consent and data protection by design. They can also be considered unethical because they undermine the self-determination of users. Dark patterns are embedded both in user-facing front-end and in back-end technologies. This is why solutions call for a socio-technical approach.
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