New Delhi, October 26, 2023 – The Centre has announced the commencement of the “Dark Patterns Buster Hackathon 2023” aimed at fostering the creation of innovative applications or software capable of identifying dark patterns prevalent on e-commerce platforms.
This initiative coincides with the Centre’s ongoing efforts to formulate guidelines for the prevention of dark patterns. In collaboration with IIT (BHU), the Department of Consumer Affairs inaugurated the “Dark Patterns Buster Hackathon 2023” today (October 26, 2023).
The Hackathon’s main deliverables will encompass the development and prototyping of inventive applications or software solutions, including browser extensions, plugins, add-ons, and mobile applications, with the ability to identify and quantify the presence of dark patterns on e-commerce platforms.
The launch event witnessed the participation of legal institutions, esteemed educational establishments, experts from both national and international academic circles, students, as well as various companies and e-commerce platforms, both in physical and digital spheres.
On September 7, the Department of Consumer Affairs released draft guidelines pertaining to the “Prevention and Regulation of Dark Patterns,” inviting public input and feedback until October 5, 2023. This expanded the list of specified dark patterns to include new entries such as rogue malwares, misleading language, and SaaS billing, in addition to the existing ten.
The primary objective of this undertaking is to safeguard consumers against all forms of unfair trade practices.