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BRUSSELS – A European Commission study of 400 websites, including from the fashion industry, found almost 40 per cent rely on manipulative practices to dupe customers. The study focused on three specific types of manipulative practices known to push consumers into making choices that may not be in their best interest – so-called ‘dark patterns’. These include fake countdown timers, web interfaces designed to push consumers to purchases, subscriptions or other choices, and hidden information. The investigation showed 148 sites contained at least one of these three dark patterns.

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