Parents sue Apple over in-app charges

“Apple is being sued by parents who claim the iPhone-maker is unfairly profiting from in-app payments in games aimed at children,” BBC News reports. “Many games on the iOS platform are free to download but offer game add-ons, some of which cost nearly £70.”

“The group said it was too easy for children to run up big bills without ‘authorisation of their parents,'” The Beeb reports. “Apple had called for the case to be dismissed, pointing out that in-app purchasing can now be disabled. However, US District Judge Edward Davila said the hearing could now go ahead.”

The Beeb reports, “In a recent update to its iOS software, Apple added extra steps in the in-app purchasing process, including the requirement to enter an additional password to buy items within apps. It is now also possible to turn the feature off entirely.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Once again, the legal system lags behind technology. And, shouldn’t these parents and their lawyers really be suing Lodsys? 😉

Now, if they were smart, they’d go get Kindle Fires and then they’d really have a case.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Lynn Weiler” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
Lack of parental controls on Amazon’s tiny screen Kindle Fire lets kids charge up a storm – December 12, 2011
Freemium and Apple’s App Store: The in-app purchasing model really works – October 14, 2011
Following Lodsys legal threats, Apple reportedly stops approving iOS apps with In-App Purchases – May 18, 2011


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  1. Oh, and they can work off adding money to the card, through a combination of chores and grades. Oh, and they are allowed to be creative by hiring neighborhood kids to cut lawns and paying them minimum wage but charging the client a huge amount. And they can charge the client of during-business purchases i.e. washing a car, etc.

  2. God forbid parents actually monitor what their precious little snowflakes do. oh no, it’s not bad parenting, it must be all big bad Apple’s fault. it’s akin to giving your 14 year old the credit card and dropping off at the mall and then wondering why the bill is so high? i hate these ridiculous parents who have no idea how discipline their kids or make their electronics safe. i have 2 kids and they both have/use our ipads/iphones/ipod touch. neither of them have EVER run up a bill. how about some personal accountability?!?

  3. Why are they suing? Why don’t they take out an ad in every paper in the world and declare “We are clueless dipshits that are incapable of understanding simple devices and will not take responsibility for our or our children’s actions”.

  4. Just more people convinced by active litigating attorneys that they can benefit by joining the “class”.

    It would be neat if the “class” got together to limit their attorney’s fees.

  5. Granddaughter Tori comes up to Grandma Liz last Friday with our iPad and says, “Would you please enter your password so I can get to the next level in this game?” She was playing the “free” Smurfs game. Liz enters the password so Tori can play her game. The next day we get a bill from Apple for $260 for the purchase of a “bushel”, a couple of “baskets”, and a “wagon” of Smurfberries. Apparently Tori needed Smurfberries to “level-up” in Smurfville. So much for “free”. Had to sit Tori down and explain the commerce side of “free” games. Had to sit down Liz and explain the purpose of a password.

  6. It’s very simple. Monitor what your kids do, and don’t give them your iTunes password until you have discussions with them and their agreement not to download a bunch of stuff. The next step, if you’re that untrusting of your kids, is don’t link your iTunes account to your bank account or credit card. Use gift cards instead with a set limit.

    As to MDN’s take, the legal system inherently CANNOT be in front of tech advances. If most people, tech pundits, and even industry execs can’t predict what will be hot and what won’t, or what even will be created, how in the world can the legal system predict what may come and legislate for/against it preemptively? What a stupid comment.

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