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Data protection rules: Ban on the use of dark patterns

Data protection

A judge in California decided to stop dark patterns breaking data protection rules. They are interfaces that trick and frustrate users when trying to activate or deactivate cookies, delete an account or cancel a subscription.

California bans tricky patterns

Although the concept appeared in 2010, the authorities’ actions were almost nonexistent. Still, there have been only a few countries that took steps to stop these patterns.

But now, California announced that it is banning the use of these dark patterns. The decision comes as these do not allow users to opt out of the sale of their personal data.

A German court decided, for instance, that the integration of third-party cookies helps websites transmit personal data to third-party providers. And this was against the rules, as the defendant did not provide information about the controllership agreement.

The decision came after The Federation of German Organisations had filed a complaint against an online service. Thus, the group wanted to challenge misleading interfaces, used in the cookie banners.

Now, the decision should “ensure that consumers will not be confused or misled when seeking to exercise their data privacy rights.” The statement came from Xavier Becerra, the state’s Attorney General.

Also, China mentioned the scope of personal data necessary for “38 common types of apps.”

Not all dark patterns will disappear

So, according to the Californian regulation, users have the right “to say no to the sale of personal information.”

Still, the new regulation would not ban all uses of dark patterns. The only data protection rules affected are those that stop consumer’s to decide that their data can’t be sold.

Moreover, the authorities also came with examples. One of them is the use of “confusing language like double-negatives”. Another would be the technique that forces users scroll through the privacy policy to locate the opt-out button.

The decision is not the first attempt of the authorities to regulate the problem. Two years ago, two senators introduced a bill to ban big internet platforms from using these patterns. Still, the bill regarding data protection rules has never reached the Congress.

Laurentiu Titei
About author

Laurentiu, a creative content writer, has been producing articles about technology for more than 10 years. He is interested in all the security and internet news and his mainstream media background helps make them readable for all kinds of users. Moreover, he grows the appropriate social media channels for websites.
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