When tech companies exploit customers, they risk undermining trust in the entire digital ecosystem. One common form of exploitation occurs when digital platforms are designed to take advantage of customers’ behavioral biases. Managers need to understand these biases and make a good faith effort to earn customer trust with ethical platform design choices.

Policymakers in Europe and the UK have studied how the design and architecture of online interactions impacts consumers and markets, and they have already issued regulations to protect consumers. More recently, the U.S. FTC has begun to study the issue as well but currently there are few constraints on firm behavior. When consumers are likely to be harmed, well-designed regulation can protect consumers as well as the firms that abide by the rules.

But companies must also play a proactive role in this process. There are concrete steps managers can take to support…

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