Narendra Modi Government’s New Guidelines Ban 13 Dark Patterns on E-commerce Websites

Main Image
  • Like
  • Comment
  • Share

India is witnessing an unprecedented surge in e-commerce, but alongside this growth, a disturbing trend has emerged. Some online retail companies are resorting to deceptive practices, known as ‘dark patterns,’ to manipulate users into making decisions that might not be in their best interest.

In response to this issue, the Narendra Modi government announced comprehensive guidelines on November 30 to regulate and control these dark patterns. The Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) has identified and defined 13 types of dark patterns, up from the 10 initially outlined in the draft.

What is a Dark Pattern?

According to the CCPA, dark patterns are deceptive design practices that use user interface interactions to mislead or trick users into actions they didn’t intend, impairing consumer autonomy and violating consumer rights. Essentially, these design choices prioritize the interests of the business or platform over the user’s clarity and autonomy.

These guidelines apply to all platforms offering goods or services in India, including advertisers and sellers. The CCPA has specifically outlined deceptive designs called “Specified Dark Patterns” in the ‘Guidelines for Prevention and Regulation of Dark Patterns, 2023.’

13 Dark Patterns Explained:

1. False Urgency

Deceptive practices conveying a false sense of urgency or scarcity to prompt immediate purchases. Examples include falsely presenting high demand without context and creating time-bound pressure with labels like ‘exclusive sale.’

2. Basket Sneaking

Including additional items during checkout without explicit consent, leading to the total payable amount exceeding the intended purchase amount. This excludes disclosed fees and necessary charges.

3. Confirm Shaming

Instilling fear, shame, or guilt to manipulate users into specific actions, such as making a purchase or continuing a subscription.

4. Forced Action

Compelling users to take actions, like purchasing additional goods or sharing unnecessary personal information, connected to their original intent.

5. Subscription Trap

Making the cancellation of subscriptions overly complex, hiding cancellation options, and using ambiguous instructions to hinder users from easily opting out.

6. Interface Interference

Manipulating the user interface to mislead by emphasizing specific information while obscuring other relevant details.

7. Bait and Switch

Advertising a specific outcome but providing an alternative one, such as claiming a product is unavailable and offering a more expensive alternative.

8. Drip Pricing

Not disclosing prices upfront or revealing them subtly, leading to charges higher than initially indicated at checkout.

9. Disguised Advertisement

Presenting ads as other types of content to trick users into clicking, including misleading advertisements.

10. Nagging

Repeated and persistent disruptions or annoyances to influence user behavior for commercial gains.

11. Trick Question

Using confusing language or tricks to mislead or divert users from taking desired actions.

12. SaaS Billing

Collecting payments from consumers in a recurring manner in SaaS business models, exploiting positive acquisition loops.

13. Rogue Malwares

Deceptive use of ransomware or scareware to make users believe their computer is infected, leading them to pay for fake malware removal tools.

The government’s move aims to protect consumers from these deceptive practices and promote fair and transparent e-commerce practices in India.

Related Articles

ImageExclusive: Google Pixel Fold 2 360-Degree Video And 5K Renders Reveal; No More Horizontal Camera Visor

It’s not every day that we see radical new smartphone designs that could change the course of developments. For years, the Google Pixel phones have followed a similar design language, helping the models establish their identity. Leading the front is the horizontal camera visor, which has been around since the Pixel 6 came out in …

ImageFlipkart Temporarily Suspends Services; Amazon, Snapdeal, Myntra and Others Join National Lockdown

Amid current COVID-19 pandemic, one of India’s largest e-commerce firm Walmart-owned Flipkart has temporarily closed down all its services in the interest of customers in accordance with the Government advisories. In order to convey the new development to its customers, Flipkart has put a banner on its homepage saying “Hello Fellow Indians, We are temporarily …

ImageNarendra Modi’s Party Spokesperson Responds to Alleged iPhone Hacking Attempts Claims by Opposition Leaders

A controversy has erupted in India as several opposition leaders reported receiving alerts from Apple, cautioning them about potential “state-sponsored attackers attempting to compromise their iPhones remotely.” These leaders, including prominent figures like Priyanka Chaturvedi, Mahua Moitra, Raghav Chadha, Shashi Tharoor, Pawan Khera, and Sitaram Yechury, shared purported screenshots of these messages on their social …

ImageSony Launches Inzone H5 With 28 Hours Playtime And 360 Spatial Sound

Sony India has launched a new wireless headset called Inzone H5. The headphones are made in collaboration with the eSports team Fnatic and claim to offer 28 hours of gameplay. They will be available in Sony retail stores, including Sony Center and Sony Exclusive, and other major electronics stores and e-commerce websites starting November 30, …

ImageUpdated PS5 DualSense Controller Spotted Online, Listing Revealed 12-Hour Battery Life

In a surprising turn of events, a publication spotted an updated version of the PS5 DualSense controller on an e-commerce platform. Even though Sony didn’t reveal the controller at CES 2024, it showcased new PS5 colors, including red, silver, and blue. Nonetheless, the new controller reportedly offers better battery life than the one currently available …


1 Comment
Satyam Kumar
Satyam Kumar
2 months ago

How to complain against such Dark Pattern action about any e-commerce website?


Related Products