California bans website ‘dark patterns’, confusing language when opting out of having your personal info sold

The rule amendments [PDF], just approved by the American state’s Office of Administrative Law, were proposed last October after a set of initial rules for enforcing the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) were adopted last August, a month after CCPA enforcement began.

The CCPA amendments:

  • Clarify that businesses operating offline need to provide a way to opt-out of data sales.
  • Establish a standard Opt-Out Icon for notice and consent of data sales.
  • Prohibit designs that impair or subvert a consumer’s choice to opt-out.
  • Require that opting out takes no more steps or clicks than opting in.
  • Ban confusing language, like the double negative “Don’t not sell my information,” when presenting an opt-out choice.
  • Forbid asking for personal information not necessary to carry out an opt-out request.
  • Disallow forcing people to scroll through a privacy policy if they’ve opted out or to review reasons not to opt-out.

[…]

Research published in 2019 found 22 companies selling manipulative interface design or dark patterns as a service and found 1,841 examples on 1,267 websites employing these dubious techniques out of 11,000 surveyed.

Source: California bans website ‘dark patterns’, confusing language when opting out of having your personal info sold • The Register

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