A deceptive design pattern or dark pattern is a method employed by companies to make consumers do unintended things or to make it harder to do what they intended to do. Examples include free trial subscriptions which eventually turned out to be pricey and charged automatically to credit cards; additional charges or items appearing when proceeding to check out online shopping carts; accepting unwanted conditions and so on.
In order to prevent customers in Singapore from being subject to fraudulent or dishonest business tactics, the country will implement consumer protection measures, as reflected by the UK-Singapore Digital Economy Agreement signed between both countries in June 2022. This may necessitate revising the Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act of 2003 to include black-and-white designs.
This will be a welcome step ahead as the current Code of Advertising Practice as published by The Advertising Standards Authority of Singapore is based entirely on voluntary compliance.
A version of this article first appeared on the GALA Blog. For more information, please visit http://blog.galalaw.com/.