After Apple, it's Google's turn to face music for kids making reckless in-app purchases


While Apple has been asked to cough up full refunds for in-app purchases made by kids, looks like Google is next in the line. Ilana Imber-Gluck, mother of a 5-year old son who made in-app purchases worth $65.95 has sued Google in a northern California court on behalf of herself and several other parents in a similar situation.

 

According to a report by AndroidPolice, a 30-minute window after keying in the password the first time, allows any user to make in-app purchases within an app without the need to type in the password again. This window lets kids make big purchases, that might seem innocuous to them. but ends up hurting their parents' bank accounts.

 

Google allows users to make restriction-free purchases during the 30-minute window after purchasing an app. However, in case of a free app, such a restriction-free window is made available only if the password check is disabled, points out the report. So, it is quite likely that the mother had disabled the password check option or the child may have downloaded the content immediately after downloading the app.

 

Apple recently was asked to refund at least $32.5 million to consumers to settle a federal case involving purchases that kids made without their parents’ permission while playing on mobile apps. The Federal Trade Commission said Apple will make full refunds for any such in-app purchases made by kids using mobile phones and other devices, and incurring charges by accident or without parents’ permission. Apple was also asked to change its billing practices to make it more obvious that an actual purchase is taking place during the course of the game or app.


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