Apple returning $32.5M to parents as part of FTC in-app purchase settlement

Here’s a blast form the past: all the way back in March… 2011, that is, we were looking at the release of iOS 4.3 and talking about the changes being made to how it handled in-app billing. Before then, there was a 15-minute grace period after a user entered his or her password to authenticate a purchase, when subsequent in-app purchases wouldn’t require password confirmation of their own. iOS 4.3 reversed that behavior, but not before Apple drew some complaints from parents whose children has been ringing-up in-app purchases on their bills. The FTC got involved, and now nearly three years later we finally learn what’s become of its investigation, with Apple agreeing to refund some $32.5M worth of in-app purchases.

Beyond just giving back full refunds to affected parents, Apple has to get “express, informed consent” for any and all in-app purchases going forward; sure, it seems to have learned its lesson a while back, but this codifies its responsibilities from here on out.

The FTC complaint hinged on Apple not adequately notifying users about that 15-minute during which purchases could be made without individual authorization.

Source: FTC

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Stephen Schenck
Stephen has been writing about electronics since 2008, which only serves to frustrate him that he waited so long to combine his love of gadgets and his degree in writing. In his spare time, he collects console and arcade game hardware, is a motorcycle enthusiast, and enjoys trapping blue crabs. Stephen's first mobile device was a 624 MHz Dell Axim X30, which he's convinced is still a viable platform. Stephen longs for a market where phones are sold independently of service, and bandwidth is cheap and plentiful; he's not holding his breath. In the meantime, he devours smartphone news and tries to sort out the juicy bits Read more about Stephen Schenck!