Do All Roads Lead to Datocracy?
Welcome to the second episode of the podcast series focused on Democratic Societies in the Digital Age, organised by the trainees of the European Data Protection Supervisor and European Data Protection Board. Each episode focused on different technological developments that interlace concerns about data protection and about democracy. These podcast series aim to enlighten the issues at stake by bringing together experts from different backgrounds engaging into a live discussion.
This second episode of our podcast series is focused on dark patterns and online manipulation. The digitalisation of our lives, especially in the course of the pandemic, has been, our new normal, as more of our physical processes go through the cyber space, which means more data, more systems, more vulnerabilities, more opportunities for online manipulation and use of deceptive techniques.
To enlighten these aspects of our online, life and behaviour and raise public awareness of deceptive digital practices we invited two outstanding speakers from different backgrounds. Harry Brignull, is an expert witness in Deceptive Design Practices, who coined the term ‘dark patterns’ in 2010 and runs the darkpatterns.org and Finn Lützow-Holm Myrstad, who leads the development of more ethical digital policies at the Norwegian Consumer Council (NCC).
Harry explains how these techniques manipulate users online and provides specific examples of dark patterns that we all encounter in our everyday life indicating the different levels of “deceptiveness”. He proposes the public exposure of dark patterns and provides users with tips on how they can react when confronting such manipulative techniques. Finn refers to dark patterns and privacy. He elaborates on the crossroads of dark patterns and data protection and provides examples of specific cases analysed in the report Deceived By Design. Finally, the podcast concludes with an overview to the wider instance of online ‘manipulation’ and challenges in this field.
This podcast is hosted by Anastasia Pavlou, Trainee of the Cabinet of the Supervisor at the EDPS.