On 21 March 2022, the European Data Protection Board (“EDPB”) published on its website the first version of Guidelines 3/2022 on Dark patterns in social media platform interfaces: How to recognize and avoid them, adopted during the March ’22 plenary.
By “dark patterns”, EDPB refers to interfaces and user experiences implemented on social media platforms that aim to influence users’ choices relating to their personal data, thus obstructing users’ ability to effectively act in accordance with their data protection interests.
On the one hand, these guidelines aim to increase awareness among users of social media platforms about the risks entailed by sharing too much personal data in an uncontrolled manner and educate them to recognize and consciously respond to the so-called dark patterns.
On the other hand, these guidelines provide practical recommendations for designers of the social media platforms’ user interfaces on how to avoid dark patterns that infringe the GDPR requirements, presenting examples of such dark patterns, as well as best practices facilitating the effective implementation of the GDPR on each use case. Furthermore, a checklist of dark patterns categories is included as an annex to these guidelines, together with examples for each assessed dark pattern.
These guidelines are subject to public consultation, and the feedback should be sent by 2 May 2022 at the latest.