Feeds

Apple to cough up $100m after kids rinse parents' credit cards on apps

Compensation offered for virtual fruit spending sprees

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

Parents whose credit cards took a hammering after their kids went on iTunes spending sprees are in line for some compensation from Apple - in a lawsuit settlement that could cost the fruity biz $100m.

Parents were horrified to receive huge bills from their iTunes accounts for items such as virtual vegetables for iPad games. A number brought a class-action suit against Apple, filed with the Northern District of California Court on 11 April, 2011.

The legal action cited apps aimed at children that are free to download but encourage users to spend money in-game on goods such as fruit, vegetables, ammunition and currency.

In the settlement proposed on Friday - which is to be formally agreed in court on 1 March - Apple agreed to pay a minimum of $5 in compensation to American claimants who can prove that their children bought items on iTunes through in-app games without permission during a particular 45-day period.

And full refunds could be available if parents meet the above requirements and fill in an online claim form.

Apple will also pay the legal bill for the case and promised to send an email notification about the settlement to everyone who made an in-app purchase of Game Currency and would fall into the class affected.

Sums under $30 will be refunded in iTunes credits rather than cash.

At the heart of the case was the 15-minute authorisation window after a user signs into an iTunes account: an Apple ID and password is required for purchases on iTunes-linked credit cards but only for fifteen minutes after one signs in. Kids were able to buy items of value up to $99.99 with just one click during that window. And Apple takes 30 percent of all app sales through iTunes.

Apple has since changed the parental controls on devices allowing users to disable in-app purchases or require a password before every transaction. ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Apple fanbois SCREAM as update BRICKS their Macbook Airs
Ragegasm spills over as firmware upgrade kills machines
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Captain Kirk sets phaser to SLAUGHTER after trying new Facebook app
William Shatner less-than-impressed by Zuck's celebrity-only app
Do YOU work at Microsoft? Um. Are you SURE about that?
Nokia and marketing types first to get the bullet, says report
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.