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On April 29, 2021, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will host a virtual public workshop to examine the nature and effects of “dark patterns” on online user behavior. “Bringing Dark Patterns to Light: An FTC Workshop” is expected to explore ways in which user interfaces can have the effect, intentionally or unintentionally, of obscuring, subverting, or impairing consumer autonomy, decision-making, or choice.

Topics include:

  • How dark patterns differ from sales tactics employed by brick-and-mortar stores
  • How they affect consumer behavior, including potential harms
  • Whether some groups of consumers are unfairly targeted or are especially vulnerable
  • What laws, rules, and norms regulate the use of dark patterns
  • Whether additional rules, standards, or enforcement efforts are needed to protect consumers

Suggestions for discussion topics and requests for panelists should be sent to by March 15, 2021.

The FTC will be publishing a formal request for comments on dark patterns soon . Comments must be submitted by June 29, 2021 to

As we indicated in an earlier post, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is planning to hold a webinar on March 2, 2021 to explore how the use of Artificial Intelligence(AI)  and Machine Learning (ML) in consumer products potentially affects consumer product safety.