EU Finds Apple Lacking in Efforts to Address In-App Payment Issues

in-app-purchaseThe European Commission announced today that Apple has not adequately addressed the issue of unauthorized in-app purchases, providing "no concrete and immediate solutions" to the problem, reports Reuters. This subject of in-app purchases within free apps was the focus of a recent EU investigation following complaints from several consumer groups in European Union member countries.

Apple said in a statement that it would address these concerns, but failed to disclose when and how it would make any necessary changes.

Apple takes great pride in leading the industry in parental controls that are incredibly easy to use and help ensure a great experience for parents and children on the App Store. The parental controls in iOS are strong, intuitive and customizable. And over the last year we made sure any app which enables customers to make in-app purchases is clearly marked. We've also created a Kids Section on the App Store with even stronger protections to cover apps designed for children younger than 13.

These controls go far beyond the features of others in the industry. But we are always working to strengthen the protections we have in place, and we're adding great new features with iOS 8, such as Ask to Buy, giving parents even more control over what their kids can buy on the App Store.

Our goal is to continue to provide the best experience for our customers and we will continue to work with the EC member states to respond to their concerns.

Apple faces legal action from European Union member countries if it is found to be in violation of the EU consumer protection law. The company currently is being investigated by Italy's Antitrust and Competition Authority, which is reviewing in-app purchasing policies for apps that are labeled as "free." Apple faced similar scrutiny in the US, recently settling with the FTC in an agreement that provided $32 million in refunds to parents whose children purchased unauthorized in-app items.

Apple's lawyers had tattled on Google to the FTC in an effort to point out that Apple was not alone in experiencing issues with unauthorized in-app purchases by children, but the EU today praised Google for its changes to address the problem, including moves to ban the use of the word "free" when referring to apps with in-app purchases.

Apple has implemented a series of changes in recent versions of iOS that prevent errant in-app purchases. iOS now requires users to enter their passcode before initiating an in-app purchase, notifies consumers before an in-app purchase is made and obtains express consent from consumers before billing them for an in-app purchase. More recently, Apple added an "Offers In-App Purchases" disclosure to app detail pages and inserted an "In-App Purchases" label for apps listed in its featured Top App Charts

Top Rated Comments

ThisIsNotMe Avatar
110 months ago
Always find it laughable that governments go after companies for irresponsible parenting.
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JayLenochiniMac Avatar
110 months ago
Nanny state hard at work.
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
attila Avatar
110 months ago
I find parents' knowledge about their own technology lacking.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Dave-Z Avatar
110 months ago
[LIST=1]
* Don't add/leave a credit card on your iTunes account.
* Don't let your children use your Apple ID.
* Require a password for in-app purchases.
* Disable in-app purchases.


Clearly Apple "has not adequately addressed the issue of unauthorized in-app purchases." :rolleyes:
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Tubamajuba Avatar
110 months ago
Apple has implemented a series of changes in recent versions of iOS that prevent errant in-app purchases. iOS now requires users to enter their passcode before initiating an in-app purchase, notifies consumers before an in-app purchase is made and obtains express consent from consumers before billing them for an in-app purchase. More recently, Apple added an "Offers In-App Purchases" disclosure (https://www.macrumors.com/2013/03/22/apple-adds-offers-in-app-purchases-disclosure-for-app-store-apps/) to app detail pages and inserted an "In-App Purchases" label (https://www.macrumors.com/2014/04/22/in-app-purchases-top-charts/) for apps listed in its featured Top App Charts

How is this not enough? You can't initiate an IAP without entering your passcode and/or password and confirming your purchase. You can completely disable IAPs if you like.

At some point, it's the user's responsibility to learn how to use the functionality that the device manufacturer has given them, whether it's an iPhone or an Android phone. It seems as if the EU actively discourages people from thinking for themselves.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Steve121178 Avatar
110 months ago
I find parents' knowledge about their own technology lacking.

Which is why Apple should accommodate their customers properly.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

maxresdefault

Can't Get an iPhone 14 Pro? Here's Why You Should Wait for the iPhone 15 Ultra

Monday December 5, 2022 11:44 am PST by
Due to production issues at Apple supplier factories in China, the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max are backordered and basically out of stock at every store. If you were planning to gift or receive an iPhone 14 Pro model for the holidays and didn't already get one, you're basically out of luck because they're gone until late December. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more ...
Apple advanced security Advanced Data Protection screen Feature

FBI Calls End-to-End Encryption 'Deeply Concerning' as Privacy Groups Hail Apple's Advanced Data Protection as a Victory for Users

Thursday December 8, 2022 2:45 am PST by
Apple yesterday announced that end-to-end encryption is coming to even more sensitive types of iCloud data, including device backups, messages, photos, and more, meeting the longstanding demand of both users and privacy groups who have rallied for the company to take the significant step forward in user privacy. iCloud end-to-end encryption, or what Apple calls "Advanced Data Protection,"...
General iOS 16 Feature Yellow

iOS 16.2 for iPhone Launching This Month With These 8 New Features

Thursday December 1, 2022 8:44 am PST by
Apple plans to publicly release iOS 16.2 for the iPhone in mid-December, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. The update remains in beta testing for now, with at least eight new features and changes already uncovered so far. iOS 16.2 introduces a number of new features, including Apple's new whiteboard app Freeform, two new Lock Screen widgets for Sleep and Medications, the ability to hide...
maxresdefault

Hands-On With Apple Music Sing in iOS 16.2

Wednesday December 7, 2022 12:24 pm PST by
With the iOS 16.2 release candidate that came out today, Apple added the new Apple Music Sing feature that was announced earlier this week. We thought we'd check out the new karaoke feature to see how it works. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Apple Music Sing is available on modern iPhones and iPads, as well as the newest Apple TV 4K. It's built in to the Apple...
Apple car wheel icon feature yellow

Apple to Charge Under $100,000 for Apple Car, Launch Planned for 2026

Tuesday December 6, 2022 2:31 pm PST by
Apple is aiming to launch an Apple-branded consumer-oriented vehicle by 2026, and its goal is to hit a price point under $100,000 to make the car appeal to a wider range of customers, reports Bloomberg. Apple initially planned to design a car that might look similar to Canoo's Lifestyle Vehicle, where passengers could face one another in a limousine-style car with no steering wheel or...
General iOS 16 Feature Yellow

iOS 16.2 for iPhone Expected to Launch Next Week With These 12 New Features

Thursday December 8, 2022 7:05 am PST by
iOS 16.2 is expected to be released next week following nearly two months of beta testing. With last-minute additions like Apple Music Sing and Advanced Data Protection, the software update now has over a dozen new features for the iPhone. Below, we've recapped many of the new features coming with iOS 16.2, including Apple's new whiteboard app Freeform, two new Lock Screen widgets, the...
introducing apple music sing

Apple Music Adding a Karaoke Experience With Apple Music Sing

Tuesday December 6, 2022 7:09 am PST by
Apple today announced Apple Music Sing, a new feature in Apple Music that lets users sing their favorite songs with adjustable vocals and more. Apple Music Sing will utilize Apple Music's real-time lyrics to allow users to sing to their favorite songs using adjustable vocals, background vocals, and duet view to allow more than one singer.Apple Music Sing includes: Adjustable vocals: Users...
Twitter Feature

Twitter to Charge $11 Per Month for Twitter Blue on iPhone, $7 on Website

Wednesday December 7, 2022 6:47 pm PST by
Twitter plans to charge $11 per month for a Twitter Blue subscription on the iPhone in order to account for the 30 percent cut that Apple takes from in-app purchases, reports The Information. On the web, Twitter Blue will be priced at $7 per month. Prior to when Twitter Blue was paused, Twitter was charging $7.99 for a subscription, but the pricing will change before it relaunches. According ...
Apple advanced security Advanced Data Protection screen Feature

Apple Announces End-to-End Encryption Option for iCloud Photos, Notes, Backups, and More

Wednesday December 7, 2022 10:00 am PST by
Apple today announced it is expanding end-to-end encryption to many additional iCloud data categories on an opt-in basis for enhanced security. iCloud already protects 14 data categories using end-to-end encryption by default, including the Messages app when backups are disabled, passwords stored in iCloud Keychain, Health data, Apple Maps search history, Apple Card transactions, and more,...