Home / Marketing/ US senators introduce social media bill to ban ‘dark patterns’ tricks

US senators introduce social media bill to ban ‘dark patterns’ tricks


Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Thursday, 11 April 2019 00:00

Facebook

WASHINGTON (Reuters): Two US senators introduced a bill on Tuesday to ban online social media companies like Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc. from tricking consumers into giving up their personal data. 

The bill from Democrat Mark Warner and Republican Deb Fischer would also ban online platforms with more than 100 million monthly active users from designing addicting games or other websites for children under age 13. 

The bill takes aim at practices that online platforms use to mislead people into giving personal data to companies or otherwise trick them. The so-called ‘dark patterns’ were developed using behavioural psychology. 

“Misleading prompts to just click the OK button can often transfer your contacts, messages, browsing activity, photos, or location information without you even realising it,” Fischer said in a statement issued by both senators. 

Restrictions on how social media companies collect information about users could hurt their ability to sell advertisements, a key source of profit. 

A website aimed at tracking dark patterns identifies behaviour, such as a website or app showing that a user has new notifications when they do not. 

Warner said in an interview on CNBC that the legislation could be included in a federal privacy bill that lawmakers in the Senate Commerce Committee are drafting. Congress has been expected to take up privacy legislation after California passed a strict privacy law that goes into effect next year. 

Warner noted that Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg, Google and others have expressed support for privacy regulation. 

“The platform companies are now going to have an opportunity to put their money where their mouth is, to see if they support this legislation and other approaches,” he said. 

The bill would bar companies from choosing groups of people for behavioural experiments unless the companies get informed consent. 

Under the terms of the bill, social media companies would create a professional standards body to create best practices to deal with the issue. The Federal Trade Commission, which investigates deceptive advertising, would work with the group. 

Facebook, Google, Twitter and other free online services rely on advertising for revenue, and use data collected on users to more effectively target those ads.


Share This Article

Facebook Twitter


DISCLAIMER:

1. All comments will be moderated by the Daily FT Web Editor.

2. Comments that are abusive, obscene, incendiary, defamatory or irrelevant will not be published.

3. We may remove hyperlinks within comments.

4. Kindly use a genuine email ID and provide your name.

5. Spamming the comments section under different user names may result in being blacklisted.

COMMENTS

Today's Columnists

Revitalising the tourist inflows

Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Easter Sunday 21 April terror acts have dealt a very heavy blow on tourism. The inflow has dried up for the moment while it can be presumed that forward selling too may have become sluggish. It is noted that Government has introduced a series of meas


Truth has now arrived, and falsehood has perished

Wednesday, 22 May 2019

“And say: Truth has now arrived, and Falsehood has perished: for Falsehood by its very own nature is bound to perish.” Holy Quran: Chapter 17 Verse 81. Every discussion, debate and discourse that we see and hear over the audio – visual and prin


Afghan refugees face Jaffna’s hostility: These Sri Lankans are crazy

Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Abbas Ahmadi, an IT specialist, was rather high in the Afghan provincial civil service. He is of Hazara ethnicity and persecuted by the majority Pashtuns who ironically dominate the ruling faction as well as the rebelling Taliban.The Hazaras are inpa


One month gone: No charge on over 200 Catholics murdered

Wednesday, 22 May 2019

It’s been one month since the murder of around 300 innocent Catholic children and parents but no has yet been charged for the biggest negligence of duty that Sri Lanka has seen in recent history. The President and Prime Minister have both denied a


Columnists More