Weekly Digital Breakdown

Bill Introduced to Ban “Dark Patterns” From Collecting Personal User Data

On Tuesday, April 9th, a bipartisan bill was introduced to prohibit deceptive gathering of personal data known as “dark patterns” on various online platforms such as apps and social media networks.  This practice is done by tricking users into granting consent for their detailed personal information with a misleading prompt or unclear verbiage on a pop-up. Users “consent” by clicking something as non-threatening as “agree and continue” not knowing that in their attempt to remove the distraction, they’ve granted access to personal details.

Once information is accessed, it can then be used by third parties for online targeting.  With digital privacy, or the lack thereof, being an ongoing issue, this legislation is an effort to further protect the public with an added layer of defense.  The bill would require companies to disclose the collection of personal data with “clear, conspicuous, context-appropriate, and easily accessible” language.

If The Deceptive Experience To Online Users Reduction Act (DETOUR) passes, it would also prohibit the segmentation of consumers for the purposes of behavioral or psychological testing for advertising purposes without informed consent.  Consequently, the passing of this act could have further ramifications for digital advertising design and targeting capabilities.


Youtube Content To Be Held to New Metrics

Youtube introduced new metrics for gauging video performance which rewards high-quality content.  This comes in response to recent criticism on how the platform moderates video and text content, according to Bloomberg.  The new metrics have yet to be officially rolled out as YouTube is still ironing out the details of how the measurements will be executed.  

One of the proposed metrics would track a user’s total time spent on the platform, including comments posted  and read. The other is referred to as “quality watch time” for content seen as more constructive to users. Video recommendations and search engine results would be based on the new metrics in an effort to promote more “quality” videos.   

While the metrics would create a shift in mindset for measuring success, this method appears to be subjective and may be hard to implement.  Several unanswered questions remain about the shift such as how “quality watch time” will be officially measured and how the changes will impact video contributors. No matter what the solution, YouTube continue focus on video integrity and providing a positive user experience.


Google Searches By Date Made Easier

Sometimes filtering a Google search for information or a story from a specific time period can be trickier than it sounds.  With an abundance of information available, you may find yourself filtering through several pages of search results.

In an effort to refine searches more easily, Google announced a new search bar command in beta testing that allows results to be filtered by date.  Not only does this help users narrow down their searches for more specific results, but it also gives more insight for SEO campaign data such as ranking patterns over time, the impact of seasonality on their campaigns and even how outside factors can impact performance.

While users could previously search by date by digging through the tools tab, this command makes the process easier in Google’s never ending quest to improve efficiency.