Addictive design of online services and consumer protection

A group of friends using smartphone while drinking a coffe ©AdobeStock/Mirko Vitali
© AdobeStock/Mirko Vitali

IMCO adopted an own-initiative report on addictive design of online services and consumer protection in the EU single market. The Rapporteur is Ms Kim Van Sparrentak (Greens/EFA). The report was subsequently adopted in plenary on 12 December 2023 and urges the Commission to address existing legal gaps and introduce new legislation against addictive design. If not addressed, Parliament use its right of legislative initiative.

Their report calls for an assessment and a ban on harmful addictive techniques not covered by the directive on Unfair Commercial Practice, such as infinite scroll, default auto play, constant push and read receipt notifications.
Following the vote, Ms Van Sparrentak (Greens/EFA) said: "No self-discipline can beat Big Tech's tricks, fuelled by armies of designers and psychologists to keep you glued to your screen. If we do not act now, this will have an impact on the mental health and brain development of generations to come. Today, the European Parliament sends a strong signal: the EU has to be the first in the world to tackle the addictive design of online services".