Excerpt from the Federal Trade Commission article "How Companies Manipulate You Online – and What the FTC is Doing to Protect You"
When you’re online, some companies try to trick you into buying things you don’t want. Or into giving them permission to use your personal information. The use of these deceptive designs, known as dark patterns, is on the rise, according to a new report from the FTC. So, what do these dark patterns look like — and how do they take your money and your data?
Companies deploy a variety of dark patterns. Here are a few examples:
- They place online ads that look like editorial content.
- They hide fees and charges until late in the buying process.
- They offer a free trial that leads to a recurring subscription charge.
- They have processes that make it hard to cancel a subscription.
- They collect personal information even if they don’t need it to complete a transaction.
- They give you confusing privacy choices that trick you into giving away your information.
To learn more about these tactics and what the FTC is doing to protect you, check out the report, Bringing Dark Patterns to Light.