How could EU Member States and European law be able to limit the use of Dark Patterns?
24/05/2021 – 09:28
Co-hosted by NGI FORWARD and the German Research Institute for Public Administration. Deutsches Forschungsinstitut für Öffentliche Verwaltung, FÖV “Dark Pattern Detection-Project (Dapde) funded by the German Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection, and the Next Generation Internet initiative (NGI) of the European Commission.
At least since the entry into force of the GDPR, Dark Patterns seem to be all over the internet. Companies use interface designs to lead users to take decisions contrary to their actual interests. Consent banners appear to have become more and more loaded with Dark Patterns.
How could EU Member States and European law be able to limit the use of Dark Patterns? The proposed ePrivacy Regulation, set to replace the old ePrivacy Directive (Directive 2002/58/EC) and adapt it to the evolution of electronic communications, could provide a chance for the European legislator to take a stricter stance on Dark Patterns. However, different from, for example the new California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA) of 2020, none of the current proposals for the Trilogue specifically addresses Dark Patterns. Thus, the question arises whether the new ePrivacy Regulation can and should limit the use of Dark Patterns.