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Social Media giants are in trouble for tricking users in Europe

Google and Facebook are tricking users in Europe into sharing more personal data than they know. As per a report of a source, the Norwegian Consumer Council has issued a consumer advocacy report and has stated that the two tech giants are using dark patterns or designs and user interfaces to entrap users into involuntarily taking an action to nudge users “toward the least privacy-friendly options to a degree that we consider unethical.”

The report also alleges that Microsoft’s Windows 10 is also doing the same thing albeit to a lesser extent.

The report cites an example by stating that Facebook uses a facial recognition feature and those that wanted to opt out of it were met with a warning that says, “If you keep face recognition turned off, we won’t be able to use this technology if a stranger uses your photo to impersonate you.” The report contends that this framing and wording nudges people into a decision by making them feel like the alternative is “ethically questionable or risky.”

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The report stated out that Google, Facebook and Microsoft use misleading wording and only offer to take it or leave it options, and choice architectures where choosing a privacy-friendly option becomes more of a burden for the user.

The report denotes that nudging users towards the least privacy-friendly option is unethical and “questions whether the consent given in these circumstances is, in fact, explicit, informed and freely given.”


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