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
95 months ago
Always find it laughable that governments go after companies for irresponsible parenting.
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JayLenochiniMac Avatar
95 months ago
Nanny state hard at work.
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
attila Avatar
95 months ago
I find parents' knowledge about their own technology lacking.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Dave-Z Avatar
95 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
95 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
95 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)

Related Stories

studio buds family

Beats Studio Buds Debuting Today With Active Noise Cancellation, Stemless Design, and More for $150

Monday June 14, 2021 8:00 am PDT by
We've seen a lot of teasers about the Beats Studio Buds over the past month since they first showed up in Apple's beta software updates, and today they're finally official. The Beats Studio Buds are available to order today in red, white, and black ahead of a June 24 ship date, and they're priced at $149.99. The Studio Buds are the first Beats-branded earbuds to truly compete with AirPods...
os x mountain lion macs 16x9 2

Apple Makes OS X Lion and Mountain Lion Free to Download

Wednesday June 30, 2021 12:19 pm PDT by
Apple recently dropped the $19.99 fee for OS X Lion and Mountain Lion, making the older Mac updates free to download, reports Macworld. Apple has kept OS X 10.7 Lion and OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion available for customers who have machines limited to the older software, but until recently, Apple was charging $19.99 to get download codes for the updates. As of last week, these updates no...
iPhone 13 Dummy Thumbnail 2

Kuo: iPhone 13 to Feature LEO Satellite Communications to Make Calls and Texts Without Cellular Coverage

Sunday August 29, 2021 7:39 am PDT by
The iPhone 13 will feature low earth orbit (LEO) satellite communication connectivity to allow users to make calls and send messages in areas without 4G or 5G coverage, according to the reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In a note to investors, seen by MacRumors, Kuo explained that the iPhone 13 lineup will feature hardware that is able to connect to LEO satellites. If enabled with the relevant...
youtube apple tv

YouTube Discontinuing 3rd-Generation Apple TV App, AirPlay Still Available

Wednesday February 3, 2021 3:09 pm PST by
YouTube is planning to stop supporting its YouTube app on the third-generation Apple TV models, where YouTube has long been available as a channel option. A 9to5Mac reader received a message about the upcoming app discontinuation, which is set to take place in March.Starting early March, the YouTube app will no longer be available on Apple TV (3rd generation). You can still watch YouTube on...
General Apps Messages

Android iMessage Competitor Puts Pressure on Apple

Friday July 30, 2021 3:15 am PDT by
Google and the three major U.S. carriers, including Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile, will all support a new communications protocol on Android smartphones starting in 2022, a move that puts pressure on Apple to adopt a new cross-platform messaging standard and may present a challenge to iMessage. Verizon recently announced that it is planning to adopt Messages by Google as its default messaging...
bluetti eb70 main

MacRumors Giveaway: Win a Bluetti EB70 Portable Power Station and 200W Solar Panel

Friday September 3, 2021 11:13 am PDT by
For this week's giveaway, we've teamed up with MAXOAK to offer MacRumors readers a chance to win a Bluetti portable power station and an accompanying solar panel. Bluetti makes a range of portable power station options that are useful for camping, emergencies, power outages, off-grid living, and similar situations. The Bluetti EB70 is a solid middle of the road option that offers 716Wh and...
personal hotspot 1

Apple Acknowledges Personal Hotspot Issues Affecting Some iOS 13 and iPadOS 13 Users

Saturday March 21, 2020 10:04 am PDT by
In an internal document distributed to Apple Authorized Service Providers this week, obtained by MacRumors, Apple has acknowledged that some iOS 13 or iPadOS 13 users may experience issues with Personal Hotspot. Apple has told Authorized Service Providers to expect customers who are unable to connect to a Personal Hotspot or experience frequent disconnection from one. Customers may also...
iphone 13 teal with text

Apple Begins Preparation for iPhone 13 Production Ahead of Fall Launch

Monday June 28, 2021 3:29 am PDT by
We're just a few months away from when Apple is expected to reveal the 2021 iPhone, dubbed the "iPhone 13." In preparation for its launch, it has been pulling in shipments of different components needed to produce the new iPhones, according to a report from DigiTimes. In years past, Apple released its latest iPhone lineup, alongside a new Apple Watch, during a September event at Apple Park....
General Spotify Feature

Spotify Partners With Delta to Provide Free In-Flight Music and Podcasts Service

Thursday September 2, 2021 12:59 am PDT by
Spotify has announced a new partnership with Delta that will see the streaming service take over the "audio" section of Delta's in-flight seatback entertainment, making select playlists and podcasts freely available to all passengers. You are now free to roam about the cabin—and get the music and podcasts you love at 30,000 feet. Beginning today, we're taking off in a new partnership with...