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Data Use Policy

The Dark Patterns Tip Line ( is an initiative coordinated by the Digital Civil Society Lab at the Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society (Stanford PACS). (“Lab,” “we,” “us,” “our). The Lab is committed to transparency about data use and to protecting the privacy of your personal information. This Data Use Policy is designed to let you know how we collect, use, and disclose information through this website.


The Tip Line does not use either first or third-party cookies. We use Matomo ( for site analytics, an open source tool that does not sell data to third parties and respects Do Not Track. For more details on Matomo’s privacy practices, or to opt out of Matomo’s site analytics, please visit:

When you submit a tip, you may optionally include your email address. Please do not provide your email address if you are under 16 years of age. We only use these email addresses to follow up with you in the event we have a question about your submitted tip. You are not required to provide an email address with your submission. We will periodically delete submitted addresses from our database. Email addresses will never be sold, and should we wish to share your email address with a researcher not affiliated with Stanford University or Stanford PACS, we will ask your permission first.


We recognize the particular importance of protecting privacy where children are involved. We do not knowingly collect personal information online from children under the age of 16. If a child under the age of 16 has provided us with personal information online, we ask that a parent or guardian email us at

How we use your Tip Line submission


When you submit a tip, you agree that we may use, share and make public your screenshot and other information you share (except for your email address). We publish tips anonymously and will make efforts to remove any personal information, but please don’t submit screenshots that contain information you wouldn’t want to be made public. If you decide to share your email address with us, we may contact you to ask for more information, or to interview you for a story.


We may use your submission to the DPTL platform in research studies, for teaching, or to illustrate and explain dark patterns to the public, the media and policymakers. If we include your submission, we will not use any identifying information about you. For example, if your screenshot is not anonymized, we will strip any identifying information, such as an account name, from it first. We also may disclose your submission to other researchers.


We may disclose your screenshot and tip information you submit to us with research partners, teaching colleagues, media, public agencies and other parties. These third parties may use, share and make public your screenshot and tip information. We won’t share your email.


If you have any questions about this statement or how we use the data we collect, please contact us at