Dark Patterns

Earlier this year, the UK’s privacy and competition regulators (the ICO and CMA) issued a joint paper setting out their concerns and expectations in the field of dark patterns – techniques designed to mislead or deceive users of online services – which the regulators refer to as “harmful online choice architectures”. As we’ve previously noted, dark patterns are an area of increasing focus of regulators, and the joint paper reflects the growing interplay between privacy and competition laws – a trend we expect to see continue in 2024.Continue Reading UK Regulators Target Dark Patterns

On April 17, 2023, the Italian Supervisory Authority (“Garante”) published its decision against a company operating digital marketing services finding several GDPR violations, including the use of so-called “dark-patterns” to obtain users’ consent.  The Garante imposed a fine of 300.000 EUR. 

We provide below a brief overview of the Garante’s key findings.Continue Reading Italian Garante Fines Digital Marketing Company Over Use of Dark Patterns

On November 3, the FTC announced that it entered into a significant $100 million settlement with Vonage to resolve allegations relating to the internet phone service provider’s sales and autorenewal practices. The FTC alleged that Vonage violated both the FTC Act and the Restore Online Shoppers’ Confidence Act (ROSCA) by failing to provide a simple cancellation mechanism, failing to disclose material transaction terms prior to obtaining consumers’ billing information, and charging consumers without consent.Continue Reading FTC Flexes ROSCA Muscle With $100 Million “Dark Patterns” Settlement with Vonage

Last week, the FTC announced its release of a staff report discussing key topics from the April 29, 2021 workshop addressing dark patterns. The report states that the FTC will take action when companies employ dark patterns that violate existing laws, including the FTC Act, ROSCA, the TSR, TILA, CAN-SPAM, COPPA, ECOA, or other statutes and regulations enforced by the FTC. The report highlights examples of cases in which the FTC used its authority under these laws and regulations to bring enforcement actions against companies that allegedly used dark patterns. Accordingly, the report builds upon the FTC’s historical approach of using its existing authority to bring enforcement actions in this context.Continue Reading New FTC Report on Dark Patterns

On April 23, 2022, the European Parliament and Council of the EU announced that they reached a provisional political agreement on the Digital Services Act (“DSA”) during their final trilogue meeting.  The news comes roughly one month after the provisional political agreement on the Digital Markets Act (“DMA”).

Both acts are part of the European

On April 12, at the International Association of Privacy Professionals’ global privacy conference, Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser gave remarks on his office’s approach to the rulemaking and enforcement of the Colorado Privacy Act.
Continue Reading Colorado Attorney General Remarks on CPA Rulemaking