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Dark Patterns and the Legal Requirements of Consent Banners: An Interaction Criticism Perspective

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Abstract

User engagement with data privacy and security through consent banners has become a ubiquitous part of interacting with internet services. While previous work has addressed consent banners from either interaction design, legal, and ethics-focused perspectives, little research addresses the connections among multiple disciplinary approaches, including tensions and opportunities that transcend disciplinary boundaries. In this paper, we draw together perspectives and commentary from HCI, design, privacy and data protection, and legal research communities, using the language and strategies of "dark patterns" to perform an interaction criticism reading of three different types of consent banners. Our analysis builds upon designer, interface, user, and social context lenses to raise tensions and synergies that arise together in complex, contingent, and conflicting ways in the act of designing consent banners. We conclude with opportunities for transdisciplinary dialogue across legal, ethical, computer science, and interactive systems scholarship to translate matters of ethical concern into public policy. CCS CONCEPTS • Human-centered computing → User interface design; • Social and professional topics → Governmental regulations; Codes of ethics; • Security and privacy → Social aspects of security and privacy.
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Dates and versions

hal-03117307 , version 1 (21-01-2021)

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Colin M Gray, Cristiana Santos, Nataliia Bielova, Michael Toth, Damian Clifford. Dark Patterns and the Legal Requirements of Consent Banners: An Interaction Criticism Perspective. CHI 2021 - ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, May 2021, Yokohama, Japan. pp.1-18, ⟨10.1145/3411764.3445779⟩. ⟨hal-03117307⟩
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