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The Minderoo Centre for Technology and Democracy has submitted evidence following the CFPB’s statement on Abusive Acts or Practices.

In the United States, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) implements and enforces Federal consumer financial law and ensures that markets for consumer financial products are fair, transparent, and competitive.

On 3 April, the CFPB released a Policy Statement explaining the legal prohibition on abusive conduct in consumer financial markets and summarising over a decade of precedent.

We have submitted evidence to the CFPB, prepared by Dr Ann Kristin Glenster, Senior Policy Advisor on Technology Governance and Law, Minderoo Centre for Technology and Democracy, University of Cambridge.

Our submission considers how the CFPB Policy Statement conceptualises consumers’ understanding of ‘dark patterns’. We argue the statement falls short of considering how dark patterns are used to extract personal data as a form of taking unreasonable advantage of consumers.

We recommend that the CFPB takes a second look at how companies extract personal data for consumer profiling and the tailoring of bespoke information and marketing regarding financial services and products.