Opposite forces harshly confront each other on the battlefield of digital services. On one side, privacy-invasive mechanisms like dark patterns pervert the fairness that should govern personal data use. Neither legislation nor slow-paced case law seems able to counteract the pervasiveness and impact of online manipulation.
On the other side, the harm caused by malicious designs is increasingly being exposed and a growing number of transparency-enhancing technologies is being created to support the rights of data subjects.
But we can only devise and implement overarching data protection by design if we become able to anticipate trends, explore the future implications of technology and guide its development towards desirable outcomes. In the end, which brighter worlds do we intend to design to ensure fair, transparent, human-centred use of personal data?
• How are businesses, academics and regulatory bodies currently mitigating dark patterns?
• What kind of transparency mechanisms should be further designed?
• How might we anticipate emerging trends to prevent risks and drive the development of data-driven services?
• How might law, human-centred design and foresight work together to breed trust in digital services and fight online manipulation?