Latest CFPB Lawsuit Sheds Light On Digital Dark Patterns [telecom]

by Alexandra Megaris (Venable LLP) and Leonard Gordon (Venable LLP)
A lawsuit filed by the CFPB last week against a national credit
reporting agency provides some insight into the types of website
features and designs that regulators like the Consumer Financial
Protection Bureau and Federal Trade Commission will target. As we
covered previously, digital dark patterns--or website design,
features, and interfaces used to allegedly deceive, steer, and
manipulate users--are a priority for both rulemaking and enforcement
actions by the FTC. Although the focus has been on website features
that "trick or trap" consumers into subscriptions, the potential for
broad and arbitrary application of this concept is worrisome. What is
the line between a website that is acceptably optimized for conversion
and one that is illegally steering users to make purchases?
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Bill Horne
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