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Senators present bills to stop the huge platforms that use "Dark Patterns"



The Washington Monument and Capitol building in Washington, DC, March 2019.
Photo: Mark Tenally (AP)

Senators Mark Warner (D-Virginia) and Deb Fischer (R-Nebraska) have passed legislation prohibiting so-called "dark pattern" tactics that are designed to trick users into giving up access to their data, Reuters reports Tuesday.

Dark Patterns A term first used by the darkpatterns.org website describes everything from UI elements to technical tricks that cause users to take action they may disapprove of. These include, for example, in-app purchase buttons or data exchange agreements as more worldly functions appear. In the video below, UX expert Harry Brignull refers to a term that encompasses all terms like a "roach motel": a design that makes it very easy for you to get into a situation, but very hard to come out " An example is the maze of menus through which Amazon customers must navigate to clear their accounts.

If the concept is a bit blurry, Dark Patterns will do a Wall of Shame highlighting some of the worst practices.

The bill, the so-called deceptive experience for online users (DETOUR), does not distinguish between mobile apps and desktop browsing experiences.

According to a draft bill, large public online services with more than 100 million monthly active users are prohibited by law from "designing, modifying or manipulating a user interface to prevent obfuscation. user autonomy, decision making, or the decision to obtain, undermine, or compromise consent or user data. "It also states that such services can not" divide or segment "users into groups without consent" for the purpose of conducting behavioral or psychological experimentation "and says that they can not target people under the age of 13" Purpose or significant impact of cultivating forced operations, including video-auto-play capabilities, that are initiated without the consent of a user. "

In addition, companies would need to do so by creating independent review boards to approve behavioral or psychological experiments as well Establishment of Professional Standardization Bodies Working in Co-ordination with the Fe deral Trade Commission:

Under the terms of the bill, social media companies would set up a professional standardization body to develop best practices for tackling the problem. the misf examined vanced advertising would work with the group.

According to ZDNet, practices that could be targeted by the bill include abruptly interrupting tasks, unless the users pressed the consent buttons privacy settings and creating complicated procedures for users to refuse data collection or block access "until the user agrees to certain conditions."

This would radically change, as a handful of massive companies whose entire business model relies on the monetization of user data. It is also much different than how these companies would prefer imminent regulation, so they would likely experience considerable resistance to these huge platforms.

Warner said that the bill may be included in an ongoing review of the Senate's Data Protection Committee's drafting process (and is still far from becoming law).

"For years, social media platforms have relied on all sorts of tricks and tools to persuade users to submit their personal information without really understanding what they agree with," Warner said in a joint statement. "Our goal is simple: we want to create a little transparency in the still very opaque market and make sure that consumers can make better informed decisions about how and when to share their personal information."

"Any privacy policy that has a Approval requires weakened by the presence of dark patterns. These manipulative user interfaces intentionally limit understanding and interfere with consumer choice. Misleading prompts to simply click the OK button can often transfer contacts, messages, search activities, photos, or location information without you knowing it. "Our two-page legislation aims to curb the use of these dishonest interfaces and increase trust online."

According to an interview with CNBC from Reuters, Warner recently said, "The platform companies are now becoming the Have the opportunity to express their knowledge of money where their mouth is to see if they support this legislation and other approaches.

[Reuters]


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