Kottke.org recently highlighted an interesting video about how we are tricked online by deliberately confusing user experiences a.k.a. dark patterns. What are dark patterns?
UI design that tricks users into doing things they might not want to do. For instance, as he shows in the video, the hoops you need to jump through to delete your Amazon account are astounding; it’s buried levels deep in a place no one would ever think to look.
All examples of very unethical design choices. But not illegal. So the only thing we can do to defend ourself against it is learning to recognize them.