Consumer Law

The EU Digital Services Act (“DSA”) will start applying from February 17, 2024 to a broad array of intermediary services offered in the EU, including online marketplaces, web-hosting services, cloud services, search engines, and social media platforms.  The DSA will require these providers to include certain information in their existing terms and conditions (“T&Cs”).  We set out below an overview of the chief changes providers will need to make to their T&Cs in light of the DSA.

(For a general overview of the DSA, its scope of application and obligations, see our previous blog posts here, here and here).Continue Reading Digital Services Act’s Impact on Terms of Service

On December 9, 2022, the European Commissioner for Justice and Consumer Protection, Didier Reynders, announced that the European Commission will focus its next 2023 mandate on regulating dark patterns, alongside transparency in the online advertising market and cookie fatigue. As part of this mandate, the EU’s Consumer Protection Cooperation (“CPC”) Network, conducted a sweep of 399 retail websites and apps for dark patterns, and found that nearly 40% of online shopping websites rely on manipulative practices to exploit consumers’ vulnerabilities or trick them.

In order to enforce these issues, the EU does not have a single legislation that regulates dark patterns, but there are multiple regulations that discuss dark patterns and that may be used as a tool to protect consumers from dark patterns. This includes the General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”), the Digital Services Act (“DSA”), the Digital Markets Act (“DMA”), and the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive (“UCPD”), as well as proposed regulations such as the AI Act and Data Act.

As a result, there are several regulations and guidelines that organizations must consider when assessing whether their practices may be deemed as a dark pattern. In this blog post, we will provide a snapshot of the current EU legislation that regulates dark patterns as well as upcoming legislative updates that will regulate dark patterns alongside the current legal framework.Continue Reading The EU Stance on Dark Patterns

Consumer Law Developments

Over the past 5 years, the EU has launched several legislative initiatives aimed at revamping EU consumers protection laws.  One such initiative was the “New Deal for Consumers” adopted by the European Commission on April 11, 2018.  The New Deal for Consumers amends existing EU consumer legislation in order to, on the