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Apple has been ordered to refund at least $32.5 million in the next year to parents whose children have made in-app purchases without their consent. The decision, courtesy of the US Federal Trade Commission, also advises that the company alters its procedures (including the App Store’s policy that lets users enter their passwords once for a single purchase then continue to buy things during a fifteen minute period) to make it more difficult for children to engage in micro-transactions.
In-app purchases are (depressingly) big business, contributing heavily to the $10 billion worth of revenue raised for developers via the App Store in 2013. In the most extreme cases a single transaction has cost anywhere up to $70, and some parents complained that their little ones had cleared spent well beyond $2000 on a game. Personally, I feel that a lot of the blame lies with the parents failing to observe the content or practices of the games their children are playing, but there is little doubt that some developers have deliberately cashed in.
Apple CEO Tim Cook has stated that the company has begun the process of reimbursing near to 40,000 claims, although took issue with the ruling claiming “It doesn’t feel right for the FTC to sue over a case that had already been settled”. Continue reading WEEKLY NEWS UPDATE FOR 13TH – 19TH JANUARY