Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution
azadi ka amrit mahotsav g20-india-2023

Department of Consumer Affairs proactively tackling challenges presented by ever-evolving online sector

Department of Consumer Affairs urges e-commerce companies & industry associations to refrain from indulging in any design or pattern in online interfaces deceiving or manipulating consumer choices

Posted On: 02 AUG 2023 6:13PM by PIB Delhi

The Department of Consumer Affairs has taken a proactive approach in tackling the challenges presented by the ever-evolving online sector. Recently, the Department has noticed emergence of unfair trade practices known as “dark patterns” which involve using design and choice architecture in online interfaces to deceive, coerce, or influence consumers into making choices that are not in their best interest. Dark patterns encompass a wide range of manipulative practices such as drip pricing, disguised advertising, bait and click, choice manipulation, false urgency and privacy concerns.

The Department is keeping abreast of the initiatives undertaken by various regulators around the globe in other jurisdictions against dark patterns involving unfair and deceptive practices in online interfaces. The Department of Consumer Affairs (DoCA) conducted an interactive consultation in Mumbai on June 13, 2023 with various stakeholders including Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI), ecommerce companies, industry associations etc.

 The Department of Consumer Affairs, Government of India, has urged the e-commerce companies, industry associations to refrain from indulging in any design or pattern in the online interfaces of their platform that may deceive or manipulate consumer choices and fall into the category of dark patterns.

This information was given by the Union Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, Shri Ashwini Kumar Choubey in a written reply today in the Lok Sabha.



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