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Do you want to play a Dark Patterns quiz?  

The new Digital Services Act imposes a ban on ‘Dark Patterns’.

The Council of the European Union has officially given its final approval for the new Digital Services Act (DSA). That means that in about fifteen months’ time, the rules on dark patterns found in that new Act will start to apply.

After the Council and the European Parliament reached a provisional agreement on the DSA in April of 2022, on October 4th, 2022, the Council provided its approval of the Parliament’s position. Including publication and implementation periods, the rules of the DSA will start to apply from early 2024 onwards. Together with the newly introduced Digital Markets Act (DMA), these new rules are designed to provide a safer and more accountable online environment.

Contents of the DSA

How does the DSA contribute to this goal? By providing new rules on a number of topics. As the Council states in its press release:

Amongst other things, the DSA:

  • lays down special obligations for online marketplaces in order to combat the online sale of illegal products and services;
  • introduces measures to counter illegal content online and obligations for platforms to react quickly while respecting fundamental rights;
  • better protects minors online by prohibiting platforms from using targeted advertising based on the use of minors’ personal data as defined in EU law;
  • imposes certain limits on the presentation of advertising and on the use of sensitive personal data for targeted advertising, including gender, race and religion;
  • bans misleading interfaces known as ‘dark patterns’ and practices aimed at misleading

Zooming in on one of the less familiar terms of the new regulation; “dark patterns”. Any idea what they are and how to recognize them?

Banning dark patterns means that service providers are no longer allowed to "design, organise or operate their online interfaces in a way that deceives, manipulates or otherwise materially distorts or impairs the ability of recipients of their service to make free and informed decisions ". They can be found in online interfaces where for instance you are asked to agree to terms of service or a cookie statement, to share your personal information to receive a discount, or to register for a trial.

Ready to take the quiz?

Curious to test your understanding of dark patterns and see if you would be able to recognize them? We have created a ‘Dark Patterns Quiz’ containing samples of online interactions followed by one simple question: dark pattern or not?

Interested in playing this quiz and learning all about dark patterns? Drop us a message or give us a call. We are happy to host the quiz for you, either live or virtually!

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