San Francisco – The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has joined Consumer Reports, Access Now, PEN America, and DarkPatterns.org in launching the “Dark Patterns Tip Line”—a project for the public to submit examples of deceptive design patterns they see in technology products and services.
“Dark patterns” design tactics are used to trick people into doing all kinds of things they don’t mean to, from signing up for a mailing list to submitting to recurring billing. Examples seen by users every day include hard-to-close windows urging you to enter your email address on a news site, email opt-outs on shopping sites in difficult-to-find locations in difficult-to-read text, and pre-checked boxes allowing ongoing charges.
“Your submissions to the Dark Patterns Tip Line will help provide a clearer picture of peoples’ struggles with deceptive interfaces. We hope to collect and document harms from dark patterns and demonstrate the ways companies are trying to manipulate all of us with their apps and websites,” said EFF Designer Shirin Mori. “Then we can offer people tips to spot dark patterns and fight back.”
“If we want to stop dark patterns on the internet and beyond, we first have to assess what’s out there, and then use these examples to influence policymakers and lawmakers,” said Mori. “We hope the Dark Patterns Tip Line will help us move towards more fair, equitable, and accessible technology products and services for everyone.”
For the Dark Patterns Tip Line, hosted by Consumer Reports: