Regulators, legislators and private litigants are increasingly looking at how companies attract and conduct business with consumers in online settings, and particularly whether these companies are designing user experiences to manipulate behavior in a way that can prove harmful to the consumer. The inquiry into these so-called “dark patterns” is intensifying, and financial institutions should focus their attention on the potential risks of the online experience they are creating for their customers. In this guest article, Buckley attorneys Elizabeth E. McGinn, Amanda R. Lawrence, Sherry-Maria Safchuk and David Rivera examine the concept of dark patterns, provide common examples of them, analyze regulatory views and actions and offer advice on what financial institutions should do in light of recent regulatory focus on this issue. See our two-part series on the CCPA and online ads: “Facebook Finally Acts, AG Starts Enforcement
” (Jul. 29, 2020); “Contract and Compliance Consequences
” (Aug. 5, 2020).