Consumer organisation voices concerns over Digital Services Act provisions on trader verification and dark patterns
A letter by the European consumer organisation BEUC voiced concerns about the potentially weakened efficacy of the Digital Services Act (DSA) after rounds of negotiations. Regarding online marketplaces, BEUC is particularly concerned about the lack of tracing mechanisms for the identity and credibility of traders. In the texts of DSA, no specific mention of trader verification or digital platforms’ obligation to carry out randomised checking of goods and services is offered. Another issue that worries BEUC is the prohibitions around “dark patterns”, which is a trick that digital platforms employ in user experience to manipulate users into making choices against their best interests (i.e. making it unnecessarily complicated for users to opt-out of data tracking schemes or make accidental payments). BEUC says that the excessive focus on banning dark patterns only on very large online platforms (VLOPs) misses out on opportunities to ban such practices everywhere.