In-App Purchasing lawsuit against Apple allowed to proceed

“A group of California parents calling Apple’s in-app purchasing practices rotten for luring their kids with expensive ‘addictive’ game apps gets to proceed with a class-action lawsuit. A San Jose judge recently denied Apple’s effort to get the case dismissed,” Michelle Maltais reports for The L.A. Times.

MacDailyNews Take: Ooh, Apple and “rotten.” How original.

Maltais reports, “n the suit, the parents allege that their minor children were able make purchases of ‘game currency’ within free games without their knowledge or permission. And the ‘highly addictive’ nature of the games ‘compel children playing them to purchase large quantities of game currency, amounting to as much as $100 per purchase or more,’ the suit alleges.”

“Although Apple has since made adjustments, at the time the suit was filed, several purchases could be made for a period after the password was initially entered to buy the app,” Maltais reports. “While the case can go forward, whether the parents prevail remains to be seen, of course. Apple has argued that parents can easily block their children from making such charges.”

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
Parents sue Apple over in-app charges – April 16, 2012
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


  1. Let someone else parent our kids, while we absolve ourselves of all responsibility. Someone else’s problem, as usual.
    People should be prevented from having children until they’ve proved they can show they can raise them in a responsible manner.

    1. “You need a license to drive a car. You need a license to have a dog. Hell, you need a license to catch a fish, but they’ll let any butt reaming asshole be a parent.” &mdash Todd Higgins (character in Parenthood)

    1. I use this setting to keep MYSELF from accidentally making in-app purchases. Plus the parents had no business having a credit card on file for their child’s iTunes account. I don’t even have one for my own account. Instead iTunes accounts should be fed small amounts of money from 20% off iTunes Cards. This is totally the parents fault not Apple’s.

      1. this is exactly what I do.

        I have a $30 (3 pack of $10 cards) hanging on my cork board at home that I paid like $23 for I think.

        I always buy the cards on sale and input as needed. My balance right now… $.95 I can’t even buy anything.

        CC will not be put on my account, maybe if I needed to buy a big $$ app.. But it will be removed when done.
        Parents don’t want to be parents, they want someone else to be responsible for them.. They want apple to be their parents in this case.

  2. Some people should not be able to have children. Talk about utter B.S. This is so laughable that it makes my stomach hurt from laughing too hard. Parents need to take responsibility for their kids actions.

  3. … “default settings” that would make sense to protect children from themselves, but not much that would protect my grandson – the sophomore in high school – from such allurements.
    Which is why Apple ought to get into the “credit” business in a small way, setting up Debit Cards for minors to use on their various stores. Given that many parents don’t think to protect themselves and are often subject to the whims and wits of high school and Jr.HS kids, perhaps that, too, should be set up as a default for ALL.

  4. I am so tired of parents wanting to blame someone else for their poor supervision. My daughter did this and I asked my wife if she bought them. She said my daughter asked her to put the password in. She did and we got charged 100 bucks.

    Did I go get a stupid lawyer. No I am no a victim. We made a mistake and we’re irresponsible.

    I spoke with my wife. I spoke to my daughter. I called Apple. The charges were rescinded and I changed the settings on the iPod.

    I did not hire a lawyer and try to use my mistake and stupidity as a means to make money. Call me old fashion but i don’t get this.Wwhen the kid is looking at illegal porn and the Feds come to the door, who are the patents going to blame then?

    1. Probably the children using their parents iTunes account. Regardless, parents ought to be parenting themselves before they think about parenting their children.

  5. My sisters son bought $1500 in ‘in game purchases’ one day. They knew it was their fault. I said for them to call Apple. Apple reversed the charges and helped them disable in game purchases.

    I see no problem here.

  6. The lack of personal/parental responsibility is amazing. It’s always “someone else’s fault” with these people. Consider this:
    1. You need a computer. Who provided the child with the computer? The parents. Not Apple.
    2. You need an iOS device. Who provided the child with the device? The parents. Not Apple.
    3. Who did not configure said iOS device with the parental controls/restrictions provided by Apple? The parents. Not Apple.
    4. Who allowed their child unsupervised access to their computer (if the child created their own iTunes account)? The parents. Not Apple.
    5. Who provided their password to access and make purchases (if child is using a parent’s account)? The parents. Not Apple.
    6. Who allegedly made the in-app purchases? The child. Not Apple.
    7. Who created the app with the in-app purchases? Not Apple.
    8. Who downloaded the app? The parents or the child. Not Apple.

    Apple only created the iOS device (and computer if you’re using a Mac) and app store and approved the app to be in the store. That alone does not make in-app purchases appear on your bill. Everything else is beyond Apple’s control.

    1. Actually there are a large number of apps that target children. They are free to download and then allow in ap purchases with no password required. parents like me download them on a shared family iPad. The kids play the games and rack up a bill. If you call apple they credit it back and tell you how to disable in ap purchases. It’s great they credit the charges but I still think it is unethical. The apps are clearly targeting children. There must be a lot of purchases that go unnoticed. Apple get a third of the cash so little incentive to fix it. Probably not worth suing over though. Apple are really good about refunding you and if it happens twice it’s probably your own fault for not disabling in ap purchases.

  7. “Hi. We are entitled assholes who can’t manage our own kids or figure out security settings. Can you guess what educational system we are a product of?”

    1. I had a US public school education. Little did I know what a great school district I had and what great fellow students I had. The horror stories of some of the schools these days inspires me to barf. I can only feel sorry for the kids who got ripped off of a great education.

      Education enables all the great things in the USA. Screw over students and you screw over EVERYTHING, especially our future.

  8. I set my kids up with an iTunes allowance. They get a set amount every month and they can buy whatever they want. This tactic along with restrictions keeps them out of trouble. This has actually helped them learn how to budget their available funds as well.

  9. I’m sorry, but I just don’t see why this is Apple’s fault. They didn’t write the apps in question. If I buy pre-packaged food at a grocery store, and it makes me sick, is the grocery store liable? I would think the food distributor would be liable. Apple just created in-app purchases — they’re not the one abusing the innovation. Why wouldn’t they sue the developers?

    Oh, right. Because it’s not about who’s logically at fault. It’s about who has the deeper pockets.


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