[Ads-l] Legal phrase: dark patterns

Jesse Sheidlower jester at PANIX.COM
Tue Apr 26 19:40:58 UTC 2022

I don't think of this as a legal phrase; it's a UX term, generally agreed to have been coined in August 2010 by Harry Brignull. Here's his own essay on the subject, from 2011:


There's been a hell of a lot written on dark patterns in the last few years.

Jesse Sheidlower

On Tue, Apr 26, 2022 at 03:35:31PM -0400, ADSGarson O'Toole wrote:
> Website: Gilbert + Tobin
> Article: Regulators shine a light on dark patterns
> Date: February 26, 2021
> https://www.gtlaw.com.au/insights/regulators-shine-light-dark-patterns
> [Begin excerpt]
> Companies that are required to comply with the California Consumer
> Privacy Act (CCPA) may need to rethink how they obtain consent from
> consumers, in light of a new law, approved by Californian voters in
> November last year and which is due to come into effect in 2023, that
> will revise the definition of consent under the CCPA to preclude any
> consent obtained through the use of dark patterns.
> What are dark UI patterns?
> Dark patterns are elements of digital user interface (UI) which are
> designed to take advantage of inherent psychological biases and lead
> users towards making certain choices. In user-centred UI design, the
> goal of the designer is to maximise usability and enhance a user’s
> experience of a digital product or service. Dark patterns are
> carefully crafted UI design features which invert the user-centred
> goal to instead influence users to make choices which maximise the
> interests of the online service provider (often without the user’s
> awareness).
> [End excerpt]
> Garson
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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