Dark patterns are manipulative or deceptive interface designs that result in unintended outcomes such as recurring subscriptions, oversharing personal information, or making it impossible to close an account. California is banning them, with a monthlong grace period for offenders to fix their shit.
The law bans tricks like burdening users with confusing language or forcing them to click through multiple screens during the process of opting out of selling their information. California is the first state to ban dark patterns. Washington state senators introduced a similar bill earlier this year. Businesses that continue to use dark patterns will receive a 30-day window to change their website design or risk further punishment. If a company doesn't comply, the law states it will be "liable for a civil penalty under laws relating to unfair competition in an action to be brought by the Attorney General."