Lawsuit, Citing EPIC, Alleges Amazon Locks Customers Into Prime Subscriptions With Dark Patterns EPIC: “A recent class action filed in Washington alleges that Amazon used dark patterns to make cancelling customers’ Prime subscriptions more difficult.
Dark patterns “are design features used to deceive, steer, or manipulate users into behavior that is profitable for an online service, but often harmful to users or contrary to their intent.” The lawsuit cites to EPIC’s 2021 complaint to the D.C. Attorney General’s office, which explains how Amazon’s deceptive cancellation interface effectively prevents Prime subscribers from ending their memberships, leads to further subscription fees, and allows the company to continue collecting, retaining, and using the personal data of misdirected subscribers.
The class action alleges that Amazon violated the Washington Consumer Protection Act and asks the court to enjoin Amazon from using dark patterns in the Prime cancellation process. EPIC has repeatedly highlightedAmazon’s unfair and deceptive use of dark patterns and has advocated for enforcement action against companies that trick consumers with deceptive design.”
Arnett, Chaz, Data, the New Cotton (June 6, 2022). Just Tech: Social Science Research Council (May 25, 2022), U of Maryland Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2022-07, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4129512
Rolling Stone is shocked to discover: DOJ Investigated Journalists for Insider Trading, Stalking … and Worse.
The Biden administration has taken pains to distance itself from Donald Trump’s treatment of the media — which the 45th president delighted in railing against as “the enemy of the people.”
And in late October, Attorney General Merrick Garland officially announcedthat the Department of Justice will no longer investigate members of the media for their news reporting — including for the possession of classified information. In his remarks, Garland celebrated an independent press as “vital to the functioning of our democracy.”
On the surface, this new policy — initially published in July, 2021 — represents a sea change from the chilling tactics of the Trump era. A little-noticed DOJ report documenting federal warrants and subpoenas against reporters over the course of 2021 appears to show a cease-fire in government hostilities against acts of journalism.
But that same report also records a significant number of federal investigations against reporters for other crimes — including financial crimes, stalking, and child exploitation, according to records reviewed by Rolling Stone. In each and every case, the Justice Department asserts, “the suspected criminal conduct was wholly outside the scope” of the journalist’s “newsgathering activities.”
These contrasting facts leave skeptics with concerns: Could any of the recent criminal investigations against journalists mask payback for unwanted reporting?
Why would Rolling Stone be shocked that Obama administration retreads are hostile to Democratic party operatives with bylines? As Michael Barone noted in 2013: Obama administration cracks down on journalists more than any since Woodrow Wilson.