The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) added newly-approved rules to protect your privacy and personal data from businesses, and they will make browsing websites and smartphone apps a lot less irritating.
New privacy regulation in California has been approved to ban “dark patterns,” which prohibits companies from using "confusing language or unnecessary steps such as forcing them to click through multiple screens." Basically, all those annoying ads that force or trick you to click? Say goodbye to them.
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Additional regulations under the California Consumer Privacy Act have been approved. These regulations prohibit #darkpatterns to ensure that consumers will not be confused or misled when seeking to exercise their data privacy rights. #CCPA https://t.co/BWmtYq89LZ pic.twitter.com/gw0G7pm5nYMarch 15, 2021
As reported by Gizmodo, the new rules CCPA regulations add to the regulations approved in August 2020, which protect consumers from business practices that would otherwise confuse or mislead users when seeking to exercise their data privacy rights.
"California is at the cutting edge of online privacy protection, and this newest approval by OAL clears even more hurdles in empowering consumers to exercise their rights under the California Consumer Privacy Act,” said Attorney General Xavier Becerra in the press release.
The new regulations will also make it easier for users to opt-out of the sale of their personal information thanks to a blue Privacy Options icon, designed by Carnegie Mellon University’s Cylab and the University of Michigan’s School of Information. Now, businesses will need to use this tool.
As for what "Dark Patterns" are, they are tricks used on websites and apps to make consumers buy, sign up or stay subscribed to something. For example, ads displayed on a web page with a huge download button that actually redirect you to another page instead of initiating a download. A Dark Pattern is also when a business makes it hard to unsubscribe from its service by hiding the option in numerous menus.
There are many different types of Dark Patterns, from disguised ads to trick questions and plenty more. There's actually a whole site dedicated to spotting what they are right here. It was created by UX specialist Harry Brignull who coined the term.