This bill was just introduced to the US Senate: https://www.scribd.com/document/405606873/Detour-Act-Final
In my opinion, the choice quote seems to be the following:
“It shall be unlawful for any large online operator
A) to design, modify, or manipulate a user interface with the purpose or substantial effect
of obscuring, subverting, or impairing user autonomy, decision-making, or choice to obtain consent or user data;
B) to subdivide or segment consumers of online services into groups for the purposes of behavioral or psychological experiments or studies, except with the informed consent of each
user involved; or
C) to design, modify, or manipulate a user interface on a website or online service, or portion thereof, that is directed to an individual under the age of 13, with the purpose or substantial effect of cultivating compulsive usage, including video auto-play functions initiated without the consent of a user.”
Thoughts / Notes:
Every “large online operator” uses A/B testing, so that will be interesting.
In the press materials around this bill, the Senators (Mark Warner and Deb Fischer) make reference to “Dark Patterns” which would not have gotten nearly as much amplification as it did without Tristan Harris’ advocacy.
Though (A) isn’t defined that well… it turns out that the bill proposes that a “professional standards body” to work with the Federal Trade Commission to come up with the actual rules and regulate them.
Here is the related Hackernews discussion: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19619806
What do you think?