Dark patterns is a phrase used to refer to design practices companies use to manipulate you. The DETOUR Act wants to change that (via LA Times).
The DETOUR Act, or Deceptive Experiences to Online User Reduction, is bipartisan legislation from Senators. Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Deb Fischer (R-Neb.). It would empower the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to crack down on dark patterns.
It would make it illegal to “to design, modify or manipulate a user interface with the purpose or substantial effect of obscuring, subverting or impairing user autonomy, decision-making or choice to obtain consent or user data;”, require websites to disclose “any form of behavioral or psychological research” and “any experiments” they employ to manipulate user behavior;” and create an independent review board to oversee “any behavioral or psychological research, of any purpose, conducted on users.”