Apple To Settle Lawsuit Around In-App Purchases Made By Children

Posted Feb 26, 2013

Shortly after Apple announced in-app purchases within applications, parents complained that it was too easy for kids to buy expensive virtual goods built into games.  When a parent buys an app for their kids, they have to log in with their username and password.  Apple did not ask kids to input the password again unless it was at least 15 minutes after a purchase was triggered again.  Apple has has agreed that they will be reimbursing parents whose children bought virtual goods in mobile apps without the knowledge of their parents.

Apple and the plaintiffs asked a judge to approve a settlement over unauthorized in-app purchases last week.  Apple is going to provide iTunes Store credits to people that claim a minor bought less than $30 worth of virtual goods through in-app purchases using their accounts.  People that claim over $30 in purchases can ask Apple for cash.

To circumvent the issue going forward, Apple issued a software update by having users re-enter passwords when making in-app purchases.  There are also additional controls in iOS that lets parents finely control in-app purchases and they can be shut off completely.