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Don’t trick consumers: CA Ministry cautions e-commerce platforms against deceptions

Ziraat Times News Network

New Delhi: The Secretary of DoCA stressed on the need to refrain from using such deceptive designs that may mislead consumers into making unintended purchases or subscriptions.

The Department of Consumer Affairs cautioned e-commerce platforms on Tuesday against use of use of deceptive user interface designs also known as “dark patterns” as it will be considered as “unfair trade practice” and violation of consumer rights.

Addressing a stakeholder session, Nidhi Khare, Secretary, DoCA stressed on the need to refrain from using such deceptive designs that may mislead consumers into making unintended purchases or subscriptions.

She suggested improvements like relying on consumer feedback, monitoring user satisfaction and repeat customers, using app features to identify non-compliant patterns, and self-auditing specified dark patterns, an official statement added.

The Department had notified Guidelines for Prevention and Regulation of Dark Patterns 2023 in November 2023. The Guideline specify 13 dark patterns which include creating false urgency, Basket Sneaking, Confirm shaming, forced action, Subscription trap, Interface Interference, Bait and switch, Drip Pricing, Disguised Advertisements and Nagging, Trick Wording, Saas Billing and Rogue Malwares.

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