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Dark Patterns Guidelines 2023: FAQs & Compliance



  Apr 20, 2024

Dark Patterns Guidelines 2023: FAQs & Compliance



Here are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding the recently issued guidelines for preventing and regulating dark patterns:

What are dark patterns?

Dark patterns are deceptive design techniques used on websites and apps that trick consumers into making decisions they might not have made if given a straightforward choice. Examples include hidden fees, misleading navigation, or deceptive wording that confuses the user.

What prompted the creation of the Guidelines for Prevention and Regulation of Dark Patterns, 2023?

The rise in consumer complaints about deceptive practices online prompted the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) to create these guidelines. Their goal is to ensure fair digital commerce practices and protect consumers from being misled.

Which practices are identified as dark patterns under these guidelines?

The guidelines list 13 specific types of dark patterns, including drip pricing, disguised advertisements, bait and switch, and creating false urgency. These practices are considered unfair trade practices under the Consumer Protection Act, 2019.

How will these guidelines affect e-commerce platforms?

E-commerce entities are required to adhere to these guidelines to prevent manipulative practices that can harm consumers. This includes ensuring that pricing is transparent, advertisements are clearly distinguished from content, and terms and conditions are presented in a clear and understandable manner.

What are the consequences for violating these guidelines?

Violations of the guidelines can lead to actions under the Consumer Protection Act, 2019. This may include penalties for the e-commerce platforms and other parties involved in promoting or using dark patterns to deceive consumers.

How do these guidelines relate to other consumer protection measures?

The "Guidelines for Prevention and Regulation of Dark Patterns, 2023" complement other consumer protection measures like the Consumer Protection (E-commerce) Rules, 2020, and the Guidelines for Prevention of Misleading Advertisements and Endorsements for Misleading Advertisements, 2022. Together, these regulations form a comprehensive framework to protect consumers in the digital marketplace.

These FAQs aim to clarify the scope and implications of the new guidelines, providing consumers and businesses with a better understanding of their rights and responsibilities under India's evolving consumer protection laws.


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