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Shining a Light on "Dark Patterns"

Executive Summary

Regulators and class-action attorneys are increasingly on the lookout for so-called "dark patterns" in online consumer experiences — allegedly deceptive practices that manipulate consumers into behaviors they would not otherwise engage in. In this complex and rapidly evolving environment, brands need effective strategies to understand and mitigate potential litigation and regulatory risks related to alleged dark patterns. Yet dark patterns remain an elusive and hard-to-define concept. Consumer surveys, when properly conducted, can be powerful tools for brands to gauge whether an online experience might be a dark pattern, to measure consumer perceptions, and to evaluate litigation and regulatory risks. This panel, hosted by Applied Marketing Science, Inc. (AMS), reviews types of alleged dark patterns, discusses key ways in which surveys can be used to assess consumer perceptions of online experiences, and delves into other practical issues that brands should weigh when considering litigation and regulatory survey research into alleged dark patterns.

Jason Och
Principal and Practice Lead
Applied Marketing Science, Inc. (AMS)

Amanda Ford
Associate Principal
Applied Marketing Science, Inc. (AMS)

Randal M. Shaheen
BakerHostetler LLP

Stephanie Weiss
Senior Corporate Counsel
Hyatt Corporation

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