ACM organises seminar on Fair Design in E-Commerce - 5 April 2023

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On Wednesday April 5th 2023, the Netherlands Authority on Consumers and Markets (ACM) will organize a conference on the use of influencing techniques in commercial digital consumer environments (i.e. dark patterns or deceptive design). The event marks ACM’s 10-year anniversary and it will focus as well on the current state of affairs in relation to online influencing as well as on the developments that digital consumers will face in the future. You can sign up for the conference now.

The event will focus on the consequences of the ACM’s recently updated Guidelines on the Protection of the Online Consumer (available in English soon) for the e-commerce business. It is one of ACM’s strategic goals to protect digital consumers and digital markets against unfair and misleading online influencing techniques. As a consequence of dark patterns, consumers can be misled into making decisions that are not in their best interest. The use of dark patterns can also disrupt competition between companies. Research shows that dark patterns are still used on a large scale in e-commerce, on social media and in apps. It has become clear that consumers are often unable or hardly able to protect themselves against the use of such techniques.

With this conference, ACM draws attention to the problems for consumers that arise as a result of the use of dark patterns on websites and platforms, in games and in apps. The conference will also shed light on the legal boundaries that companies have to respect when using online influencing techniques that are incorporated in the law and ACM’s guidelines.

The seminar will be kicked off by Associate Professor Colin Gray from Purdue University (US). The detailed program will follow shortly.