The FTC's recently announced settlement with “instant” cash advance app Bridgit will require the company to pay US$18 million in consumer refunds, stop its deceptive marketing promises, and end tactics that prevented customers from cancelling. In this Press Release, the FTC highlights and discusses some key issues it looks for when examining mobile apps and websites such as:
- Dark Patterns (including “adding friction” to prevent cancellations)
- Availability and Clarity of Disclosures
- Compliance with the Restore Online Shoppers' Confidence Act (ROSCA)
While the complaint focuses on a financial app, many of the issues discussed are applicable to any app or website that sells products or services.
This settlement serves as an excellent reminder that consumer protection principles apply to websites and mobile apps (and the business strategies behind them), and that they should be continually reviewed by experienced counsel to ensure they remain compliant and do not run afoul of consumer protection principles. By designing clear, consumer friendly, and legally compliant apps and websites, companies can minimize the risk of an FTC complaint and inspire consumer trust.