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Draft Guidelines for Prevention and Regulation of Dark Patterns

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

Source: PIB, ET


Context: The Union government has released draft guidelines aimed at curbing “dark patterns” employed by online platforms.

  • These dark patterns are deceptive strategies used to mislead users into taking actions they did not intend, such as making unwanted purchases or subscriptions.
  • The guidelines define dark patterns as deceptive design patterns in user interface/experience (UI/UX) interactions that impair consumer autonomy and violate consumer rights.


Types of Dark Patterns:

  • The draft guidelines identify ten types of dark patterns, including false urgency, basket sneaking (adding extra items without user consent during checkout), confirm shaming (using fear or shame to nudge user actions), forced action (compelling additional purchases), and subscription traps (making cancellation difficult).

The guidelines will apply to all platforms systematically offering goods or services in India, including advertisers and sellers.