Context: The Consumer Affairs Secretary has said that the dark patterns practices carried out by airlines and travel portals can be deemed cyber-crimes.
- Dark patterns are found in various digital interfaces including websites, mobile apps, and online services.
- These are deceptive design techniques or user interface elements intentionally crafted to trick or manipulate users into making choices that are detrimental to their interests. E.g., Buying a more expensive product, paying more than what was initially disclosed, sharing data, making choices based on false or paid-for reviews, subscription services or recurring payments without their explicit consent.
- Engaging in manipulative conduct using dark patterns in online platforms constitutes unfair trade practice under the Consumer Protection Act 2019.