Apple Settles In-App Purchase Lawsuit, Offers iTunes Credits and Refunds to Parents

NewImageApple has settled a lawsuit brought in 2011 after children ran up hundreds of dollars in spending on in-app purchases in freemium games.

The company will give iTunes credits to parents who claim their minor bought in-app items without permission and the option of cash refunds for claims over $30.

Reports GigaOm:

The proposed settlement comes after parents sued Apple in 2011 upon discovering that their minor children had racked up credit card charges in supposedly free games. The issue was the subject of a Daily Show feature about a father whose kids racked up hundreds of dollars to keep virtual fish alive in a game called “Tap Fish.”

[…]

In order to collect under the settlement, Apple users will have to attest that a minor bought “game currency” and that the user did not provide the minor with the Apple password.

The FTC looked into parental concerns over in-app purchases, but apparently let the lawsuit run its course before acting. The agency has examined other issues with kids using mobile apps, particularly around privacy. Late last year, the agency expanded the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act to cover mobile games and social media.

Apple will send email notices to the 23 million iTunes account holders who are affected by the settlement. The full settlement document is available on Scribd.

The company began requiring passwords for in-app purchases in iOS 4.3, soon after concerns over unauthorized purchases came to light. In-app purchases can now also be shut off entirely.

Top Rated Comments

komodrone Avatar
110 months ago
"but I gave my child full access to my phone, and my child did something I didn't want my child to do. WAHHHHHHH IT'S YOUR FAULT APPLE"
Score: 44 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Squilly Avatar
110 months ago
How is this Apple's fault?
Score: 32 Votes (Like | Disagree)
arn Avatar
110 months ago
More like parenting fail. I rarely am on Apple's side on some issues, but this is one where parenting needs to happen. Things as common as telling your kids, don't buy stuff even if its the game are common sense.

Parenting now a days is easier than ever and yet, parents keep finding the blame anywhere but themselves.
it's not as straightforward as that.

Many games were designed to take advantage of this fact by making the in-app-purchase deceptively easy to purchase, and it not being very clear that real money was being charged (since no password was required).

arn
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
coolfactor Avatar
110 months ago
Why can't there be an option to disable in-app purchases?

Did you read the article? There is that option now, but there wasn't at first.

I think this is partially Apple's responsibility, since they weren't requesting a password when the in-app purchasing feature was first added, making it too easy for kids to make unauthorized purchases.
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Radio Avatar
110 months ago
Parents out there

Stop spoiling your kids!

Go throw them outside and let them play for Christ sake!

Why back in my days we'd play till it got dark not on our devices.
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
madsci954 Avatar
110 months ago
How much of this is just bad parenting?

At least 95%
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

General Apps Messages

All Three Major U.S. Carriers and Google Adopt Rich Communication Services, But No Sign of Apple Interest

Tuesday July 20, 2021 1:15 pm PDT by
For the last several years, Google has been pushing a new communications protocol called Rich Communication Services, or RCS. RCS is designed to replace SMS, the current text message standard, and it offers support for higher resolution photos and videos, audio messages, bigger file sizes, better encryption, improved group chat, and more. Verizon today announced that it is planning to adopt...
AirPods Pro Beta Firmware

AirPods Pro Beta Firmware Now Available

Wednesday July 21, 2021 6:50 am PDT by
Upcoming AirPods Pro firmware updates are now available to Apple Developer Program members as beta versions. AirPods Pro firmware beta one features FaceTime Spatial Audio and Ambient Noise Reduction. Custom Transparency mode, including Conversation Boost, was initially expected to be included in the beta but appears to have been delayed for a later version. Apple made the announcement...
maxresdefault

Apple Music to Livestream Premiere of Kanye West's New Album 'Donda' on Thursday

Wednesday July 21, 2021 1:49 am PDT by
Apple Music on Thursday will host a global livestream for the premiere of Kanye West's tenth studio album, titled "Donda." The sold-out event will take place at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia, and Apple Music's livestream will start at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time. The livestream was revealed in a Beats Studio Buds ad that aired during the NBA Finals. The ad features U.S. track...
ios wifi settings

Apple Confirms iOS 14.7 Fixes WiFi Bug and Many Other Vulnerabilities

Wednesday July 21, 2021 11:38 am PDT by
Following the release of iPadOS 14.7 this morning, Apple has shared details on the security updates that are included in iOS 14.7, iPadOS 14.7, macOS Big Sur 11.5, watchOS 7.6, and tvOS 14.7, all of which came out this week. Notably, Apple's documentation confirms that the iOS 14.7 and iPadOS 14.7 updates address a WiFi-related vulnerability that could impact iOS devices when joining a...
16 inch macbook pro m2 render

Gurman: Redesigned MacBook Pros to Launch Between September and November

Sunday July 18, 2021 7:39 am PDT by
Apple can be expected to release its redesigned 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros sometime between September and November, as part of another packed fall season for new product launches, according to Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman. In the latest edition of his Power On newsletter, Gurman says that the new MacBook Pros will go into production in the third quarter and can be expected to be...
macOS Malware Feature

Common Windows Malware Can Now Infect Macs

Wednesday July 21, 2021 8:13 am PDT by
A common form of malware on Windows systems has been modified into a new strain called "XLoader" that can also target macOS (via Bleeping Computer). Derived from the Formbook info-stealer for Windows, XLoader is a form of cross-platform malware advertised as a botnet with no dependencies. It is used to steal login credentials, capture screenshots, log keystrokes, and execute malicious files. ...
magsafe battery pack solo

Hands-On With Apple's MagSafe Battery Pack

Tuesday July 20, 2021 11:14 am PDT by
The new MagSafe Battery Pack that Apple debuted this week is arriving to customers starting today and it's also now available for in-store pickup in many Apple retail locations around the world. We snagged one this morning and thought we'd take a look at it to let MacRumors readers know if it's worth the $99 asking price. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. As the name ...
macOS Big Sur Feature Orange

Apple Releases macOS Big Sur 11.5 With Podcast App Updates and Bug Fixes

Wednesday July 21, 2021 10:15 am PDT by
Apple today released macOS Big Sur 11.5, the fifth major update to the macOS Big Sur operating system that launched in November 2020. macOS Big Sur 11.5 comes two months after the release of macOS Big Sur 11.4. The new ‌‌‌‌‌macOS Big Sur‌‌‌‌ 11.5 update can be downloaded for free on all eligible Macs using the Software Update section of System Preferences. macOS Big Sur...
apple tv 4k design green

Apple Releases tvOS 14.7 for Apple TV HD and Apple TV 4K

Monday July 19, 2021 10:04 am PDT by
Apple today released tvOS 14.7, the seventh update to the tvOS 14 operating system that initially debuted in September 2020. tvOS 14.7 comes two months after the launch of the tvOS 14.6 update. tvOS 14.7, which is a free update, can be downloaded over the air through the Settings app on the Apple TV by going to System > Software Update. ‌‌Apple TV‌‌ owners who have automatic software ...
ipad pro m1 feature

Apple Releases iPadOS 14.7 With Apple Card Merging Option, Fix for 3.5mm Headphone Jack to USB-C Adapter Bug

Wednesday July 21, 2021 10:18 am PDT by
Apple today released iPadOS 14.7, marking the seventh major update to the iPadOS operating system that came out in September 2020. Apple already released iOS 14.7 on July 19, but for some reason, delayed the iPadOS 14.7 debut until today. The iPadOS 14.7 update can be downloaded for free and the software is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the new ...