The California Attorney General recently approved modified regulations under the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). One part of the modified regulations bans “dark patterns” on a website. What are dark patterns? Public comments to the proposed regulations describe dark patterns as deliberate attempts to subvert or impair a consumer’s choice to opt-out on a website. Dark patterns could be used on a website to confuse or distract a consumer into granting knowing consent instead of choosing the opt-out option.
The modified regulations therefore ban the use of dark patterns that:
- Use an opt-out request process that requires more steps than the process for a consumer to opt back into the sale of personal information after previously opting out;
- Use confusing language (e.g., double-negatives, “Don’t Not Sell My Personal Information”);
- Require consumers to click through or listen to unnecessary reasons why they should not submit a request to opt-out before confirming their request;
- Require a consumer to provide personal information that is unnecessary to implement an opt-out request; or
If your website uses any such dark patterns you may wish to revise those mechanisms and implement clearer, more transparent methods for your website’s users to opt-out.