Ben Davis: Let’s consign ‘dark patterns’ to history


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There has been no shortage of people talking about the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) as a big opportunity. Heck, it should be a boon for both consumers and businesses. Imagine that.

Writing in Marketing Week, I even called GDPR the ‘bible of customer centricity’.

The problem, of course, is that until plenty of precedents are set for the enforcement of GDPR it’s not exactly the easiest document for the marketer to interpret.

SecurityScorecard’s vice-president of compliance Fouad Khalil put it best writing for Silicon Republic: “The GDPR is notably light on prescriptive commands compared to previous regulations. This can be a good thing, as it encourages companies to consider the spirit of the law rather than just making it a tick-box exercise. However, it has also made the job of compliance much more difficult.”

I don’t know much about ethics in business, but I think it’s fair to say that embracing the spirit of the law is not exactly what has been going on across Europe and beyond over the past couple of years.

However, there are signs this year that attitudes to privacy and transparency are changing, and that both these issues are becoming more important politically.

There was a €50m (£43m) fine dished

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