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2024-07-11 00:56:41| Engadget

Most subscription sites use "dark patterns" to influence customer behavior around subscriptions and personal data, according to a pair of new reports from global consumer protection groups. Dark patterns are "practices commonly found in online user interfaces [that] steer, deceive, coerce or manipulate consumers into making choices that often are not in their best interests." The international research efforts were conducted by the International Consumer Protection and Enforcement Network (ICPEN) and the Global Privacy Enforcement Network (GPEN). The ICPEN conducted the review of 642 websites and mobile apps with a subscription component. The assessment revealed one dark pattern in use at almost 76 percent of the platforms, and multiple dark patterns at play in almost 68 percent of them. One of the most common dark patterns discovered was sneaking, where a company makes potentially negative information difficult to find. ICPEN said 81 percent of the platforms with automatic subscription renewal kept the ability for a buyer to turn off auto-renewal out of the purchase flow. Other dark patterns for subscription services included interface interference, where desirable actions are easier to perform, and forced action, where customers have to provide information to access a particular function. The companion report from GPEN examined dark patterns that could encourage users to compromise their privacy. In this review, nearly all of the more than 1,000 websites and apps surveyed used a deceptive design practice. More than 89 percent of them used complex and confusing language in their privacy policies. Interface interference was another key offender here, with 57 percent of the platforms making the least protective privacy option the easiest to choose and 42 percent using emotionally charged language that could influence users. Even the most savvy of us can be influenced by these subtle cues to make suboptimal decisions. Those decisions might be innocuous ones, like forgetting that you've set a service to auto-renew, or they might put you at risk by encouraging you to reveal more personal information than needed. The reports didn't specify whether the dark patterns were used in illicit or illegal ways, only that they were present. The dual release is a stark reminder that digital literacy is an essential skill.This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/report-finds-most-subscription-services-manipulate-customers-with-dark-patterns-225640057.html?src=rss


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2024-07-10 22:55:21| Engadget

Google and Apple are launching a new tool to transfer images from Google Photos to iCloud. As part of the Data Transfer Initiative (DTI), the tool will add iCloud transfers to Google Takeouts export options. 9to5Mac first spotted the announcement. The tool, which will roll out over the next week, automates the transfer process from Google Photos to iCloud, so you dont have to download, upload or do anything beyond initiating the process on the web. An Apple support page says it could take several hours to a few days to complete, depending on the transfer size. Transferring your pictures from Google to iCloud wont delete them from Google Photos, so youll have to do that manually if you want. In addition, the service wont work for child accounts, Managed Apple ID accounts (those set up through IT admins) or iCloud accounts with Advanced Data Protection turned on. The tool follows the 2021 launch of one that does the inverse: moving your images from iCloud to Google Photos. The DTI launched in 2023 as a collaboration between Apple, Google and Meta. Officially, it was formed to further the goals of the open-source Data Transfer Project (DTP), which began five years earlier. Unofficially, well, its probably not a coincidence the DTI commenced a couple of months before the European Commission named its gatekeepers under the Digital Markets Act, and the DTIs goals happen to align with the governing bodys regulations. (Fancy that!) Once its live (we arent seeing it available just yet), you can begin the process in Google Takeout. In the meantime, you can read Google and Apples instructions for all the fine print.This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/google-photos-will-soon-seamlessly-transfer-to-apples-icloud-205521915.html?src=rss


Category: Marketing and Advertising

 

2024-07-10 22:38:14| Engadget

The social media platform formerly known as Twitter has been at the center of multiple legal battles from the very beginning of Elon Musk's takeover. One such suit relates to the more than 6,000 employees laid off by Musk following his acquisition of the company and his alleged failure to pay them their full severance. Yesterday, Musk notched a win over his former employees. The case in question is a class-action lawsuit filed by former Twitter employee Courtney McMillian. The complaint argued that under the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), the Twitter Severance Plan owed laid off workers three months of pay. They received less than that, and sought $500 million in unpaid severance. However, on Tuesday, US District Judge Trina Thompson in the Northern District of California granted Musk's motion to dismiss the class-action complaint. Judge Thompson found that the Twitter severance plan did not qualify under ERISA because they received notice of a separate payout scheme prior to the layoffs. Instead, she dismissed the case, ruling that the severance program adopted after Musk's takeover was the one that applied to these former employees, rather than the 2019 one the plaintiffs were expecting. This ruling is a setback for the thousands of dismissed Twitter staffers, but there are future chances for them to win larger payments. Thompson's order noted that the plaintiffs could amend their complaint for non-ERISA claims. If they do, Thompson said "this Court will consider issuing an Order finding this case related to one of the cases currently pending" against X Corp/Twitter. There are still lawsuits underway on behalf of some past top brass at Twitter, one which is seeking $128 million in unpaid severance and another attempting to recoup about $1 million in unpaid legal fees.This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/elon-musk-escapes-paying-500-million-to-former-twitter-employees-203813996.html?src=rss


Category: Marketing and Advertising

 

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