Government-Led Dark Patterns Buster Hackathon 2023 Concludes with Innovation and Impact

Hackathon 2023

The Department of Consumer Affairs, Government of India, in collaboration with the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) BHU, recently hosted the grand finale of the Dark Patterns Buster Hackathon (DPBH-2023). This event marked the culmination of a nationwide campaign against deceptive online practices, spearheaded by the government. Rohit Kumar Singh, Secretary of DoCA, graced the occasion as the chief guest, commending the students for their unwavering dedication and remarkable solutions.

Hackathon: Nationwide Participation and Innovative Solutions

DPBH-2023 witnessed an overwhelming response from across the country, with over 150 colleges participating in the initiative. The enthusiasm was palpable, with more than 40,000 students forming 380+ teams to compete in the intra-college competition. From this competitive pool, 172+ teams advanced to the Grand Finale, showcasing their real-time working models capable of detecting various types of illegal dark patterns identified by the Government of India.

Innovative Projects Driving Change

The Grand Finale showcased a diverse array of innovative projects aimed at combating dark patterns in the digital landscape. Some notable solutions included:

  • Cutting-Edge Technology Implementation: Projects leveraging advanced technologies such as large language models, serverless architectures, and modular approaches demonstrated scalability and efficiency in identifying and addressing dark patterns.
  • Comprehensive Protection: Adopting a modular approach, several projects integrated text and visual analysis to provide real-time alerts and prioritize user privacy.
  • User-Friendly Platforms: Solutions focusing on web and mobile platforms utilized machine learning and user-friendly interfaces to uncover hidden information and enhance transparency for consumers.

Upholding Digital Transparency and Consumer Rights

The DPBH-2023 stands as a testament to the collaborative efforts of students, educators, and industry experts in combating deceptive online practices. By fostering innovation and promoting ethical digital practices, the hackathon contributes to the broader goal of enhancing consumer rights in the digital age. The event has garnered international acclaim, with the efforts of the students recognized in a webinar organized by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) on “AI and Dark Patterns.”

As the event draws to a close, the declaration of awards and cash prizes on World Consumer Rights Day, March 15, 2024, will mark the culmination of this impactful initiative. The DPBH-2023 not only celebrates the achievements of participants but also serves as a catalyst for continued efforts towards a safer and more transparent online environment.

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