Deceived by Design is a report by Norway's consumer protection bureau on 'dark patterns' -- the interface tricks and traps used by tech companies to fool users into doing things they don't want to.
The combination of privacy intrusive defaults and the use of dark patterns, nudge users of Facebook and Google, and to a lesser degree Windows 10, toward the least privacy friendly options to a degree that we consider unethical.
We question whether this is in accordance with the principles of data protection by default and data protection by design, and if consent given under these circumstances can be said to be explicit, informed and freely given.
A trivial but perfectly illustrative example: Facebook uses fake "notification" dots to encourage users into quickly agreeing to new terms to get access to their account.
Red dots signifying message notifications were the only part of the regular Facebook interface that was
visible during the process, leading the user to think that there were messages waiting. These dots were displayed even if
the user did not have any unread messages. This placed further pressure on the user to go through the process quickly, and not delete the account, so that these apparent messages could be read. If this was in fact a deliberate design from Facebook, this is a very clear example of use of dark patterns to manipulate users.
Firefox's screenshot tool has a lot going for it, but after two days of trying to use it I gave up and went back to using Ksnapshot (now Spectacle) for the near-constant screenshotting I do, all day long: that's because when you hit "save" in Firefox's screenshot UI, it didn't save it to your hard-drive, […]
Alisdair McDiarmid's Kill Sticky Headers bookmarklet banishes all fixed-position CSS elements, like navigation bars, cookie consent popups, email list subscription solicitations, and so on -- these are an annoyance at best and an accessibility problem at worst; if you have low vision like me and habitually scale up the type on the pages you browse, […]
Thousands of Amazon reviews are bought and paid for, and the company has a significant, algorithm-led effort to weed out sellers and scammers who abuse the system. But Amazon itself also rigs the UI to make it hard to leave negative reviews, writes Stephen Eggers: After spending ~5 to ~10 minutes filling it out I […]
Heads up: The clock is winding down on a free-entry contest to win not only one of the best smartphones on the market but a handy pair of earbuds. A simple sign-up is all you need to be eligible to win a 256 GB iPhone XS Max, along with AirPods. And while “free” is tough […]
Kudos to those of us who have chosen a less wasteful third option to “paper or plastic” at the supermarket or club stores. Tote bags are reusable, but they can be a pain to tote around. Here’s an upgrade to that planet-saving measure. The Club Cart Lotus Trolley Bag is that rare tote you’ll want […]
Looking for a career in IT, gaming or software development? In the ever-changing world of the internet, versatility is your biggest asset. In other words, mastering Java might not cut it in an interview if you don’t know C#. However, there’s a bundle that covers the essentials in most any language. The Legendary Learn to […]