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They examined online stores. 75 percent e-shops use prohibited provisions

Prześwietlili sklepy internetowe. 75 proc. e-sklepów stosuje niedozwolone zapisy
  • The Office of Competition and Consumer Protection took part in a global review of the Internet, looking for manipulative sales practices – the so-called dark patterns.
  • Over 75% used at least one dark pattern. from 642 websites and mobile applications examined.
  • On the websites inspected by the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection, the most common problem was pre-selection.

UOKiK with the police in Dino and Biedronka. This time it's about employees

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UOKiK with the police in Dino and Biedronka. This time it's about employees

A global internet review, which examined the websites and mobile applications of 642 entrepreneurs, showed that 75.7 percent of them used at least one dark pattern, and 66.8 percent two or more. However, the results of the Sweep conducted by the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection showed that at least one prohibited practice was found on half of the 10 websites examined. The most common were: pre-selection, i.e. selecting and marking for the consumer one of the possible options, e.g. the most expensive one, and the annotations "most frequently chosen" (social proof).

It is worth knowing that dark patterns are used to describe practices that entrepreneurs use to manipulate consumers' actions in the virtual space. Most often, they are counters measuring fictitious time until the end of the promotion or the practice of informing, inconsistent with reality, how many people are interested in a given offer or which of them is chosen most often.

– The Internet is a place where globalization is palpable. There are no borders online, and the only way to effectively protect consumer rights is close cooperation between institutions from different countries. For many years, the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection has been strongly involved in developing and strengthening international cooperation in order to develop universal standards of consumer protection and combat bad sales practices, including: in e-commerce. Coordinated monitoring activities, such as Sweep days conducted by members of the international ICPEN network, are one of the important elements of this cooperation – explains the President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection, Tomasz Chróstny.

Artificial intelligence at the service of consumers

In the area of combating dark patterns, the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection implements, among others: project "Detecting and combating dark patterns using Artificial Intelligence". It is intended to help prepare a tool that, using artificial intelligence solutions, will automatically detect prohibited practices used on websites providing e-commerce services.

The project also created a White Paper in which the Office presents how artificial intelligence can be used to protect consumer rights and improve law enforcement. The project is co-financed by the European Union.

Consumer protection in the global market

Since 1996, the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection has been part of the International Consumer Protection and Enforcement Network (ICPEN), which currently brings together over 70 countries. In July, Poland completed its one-year presidency of the Internet.

This year, for the first time, the Internet search campaign was coordinated with the Global Privacy Enforcement Network (GPEN). GPEN is an informal network of over 80 institutions dealing with privacy protection. Its aim is to support cross-border cooperation between regulatory authorities.

Both ICPEN and GPEN, which work together to improve consumer protection and individual privacy around the world, today released reports outlining their findings. ICPEN and GPEN reports can be found on their websites.

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