Odoo • Bild und Text

Luiza Jarovsky,

Dark Patterns in Privacy

Abstract: Dark patterns are a phenomenon familiar to Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) scholars, who are for almost a decade discussing their characteristics, main manifestation and the role of designers in curbing them. In recent years, with the rise of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the increased public scrutiny received by technology companies regarding their data practices, the topic of Dark Patterns in Privacy – DPP – is gaining increasing attention. Users – the data subject – started to be more critical and vigilant about companies’ discourse and practices involving privacy. However, despite this wave of changes in the data protection scenery, DPP remain flourishing. They manipulate the data subjects’ decision-making process towards alternatives that are more privacy-invasive and, currently, this type of conduct is not regulated by the GDPR. I define DPP as user interface design choices that manipulate the data subjects’ decision-making process in a way detrimental to their privacy and beneficial to the service provider. They involve the exploration of cognitive biases by designers with the aim of negatively impacting privacy and obtaining more data for the service provider. A bad default is a DPP; a confusing privacy menu is a DPP; a social network that continuously pushes for more personal data sharing. In my talk I will explain what are the main characteristics of DPP, a taxonomy for them and their status within the GDPR, showing why they are currently at a legal blind spot. I will discuss the need for a paradigm change in order to make them unlawful and to protect data subjects.

Bio: Luiza Jarovsky is a Ph.D. candidate at the Zvi Meita Center for Advanced Legal Studies at the Tel Aviv University. In 2020, she was awarded the President’s Scholarship for Excellence in Science and Innovation in Israel. She previously received a Ph.D. fellowship from the Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, being part of the EU project Privacy&Us. Before starting her Ph.D., she did an LL.M with specialization in Law & Technology at the Tel Aviv University and worked for six years as a commercial lawyer in São Paulo. Her research deals with dark patterns in privacy, fairness and data protection.