This browser is not actively supported anymore. For the best passle experience, we strongly recommend you upgrade your browser.
| less than a minute read

Importance of Clear Disclosures & Avoiding Dark Patterns in Mobile Apps Underscored by US$18M Consumer Refund Mandate in Recent FTC Complaint

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.  

Apps like Brigit may be new, but established consumer protection principles apply. [...] The FTC will continue to shed light on dark patterns. Subjecting consumers to deceptive design tricks, confusing navigation, and exhausting “save” strategies can run afoul of the FTC Act. The FTC couldn’t be clearer that illegal dark patterns are on its law enforcement radar screen. [...] Is it time for a ROSCA rethink at your company? Companies that sell products or services online using negative options must comply with protections of ROSCA. [...]


dark pattern, dark patterns, mobile app, ftc, consumer protection, rosca, disclosures, online shopping, online lending, innovative technology, service app