Apple refunds $32.5m for kids' purchases

2014-01-15 22:31
Apple App Store. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Apple App Store. (Duncan Alfreds, News24) (Duncan Alfreds)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

  • Steve Jobs
    An extraordinary book which gives us a unique insight into the life and thinking of the man who has... Now R437.00
    buy now

Washington - Apple has agreed to refund at least $32.5m to US customers for children's purchases from its online App Store without parental consent, US regulators said on Wednesday.

The Federal Trade Commission said Apple also agreed to modify its practice - which until now had allowed children to make purchases on an iPhone or iPad 15 minutes after a password was entered.

FTC chair Edith Ramirez said Apple failed to inform parents of the 15-minute window that could allow children to make purchases ranging from one dollar to $100 for each app.

Ramirez told reporters that because of the loophole, "children ran up millions of dollars in charges without their parents' knowledge and consent," a violation of federal rules.

Consumers "will be obtaining full redress" for any unauthorised charges, she added.

Ramirez said the FTC believes there are "many thousands of consumers which were impacted" and could get refunds.

She said the consent decree signed with Apple sets a minimum of $32.5m, with no maximum. But if the refunded amount is less than $32.5m, the balance will be paid to the regulatory agency.

Apple chief executive Tim Cook, in a letter to employees obtained and posted by the website 9to5mac, said the company has already been following the practices requested by the US regulators.

"The consent decree the FTC proposed does not require us to do anything we weren't already going to do, so we decided to accept it rather than take on a long and distracting legal fight," Cook was quoted as saying.

Cook's memo said Apple had "heard from some customers with children that it was too easy to make in-app purchases, so we moved quickly to make improvements."

He said the company sent emails to 28 million App Store customers offering refunds and that "when some emails bounced, we mailed the parents postcards."

"In all, we received 37 000 claims and we will be reimbursing each one as promised," Cook said in the memo.

Ramirez told reporters however that the FTC settlement "provides more robust relief" than Apple's voluntary actions.

She said under the agreement, Apple must notify parents of the 15-minute window that allows further app purchases after a password is entered.

Ramirez would not comment on any other investigations but said the agency "is obviously concerned" about other companies in the mobile space where children may be able to make purchases without parental consent.

Read more on:    apple  |  us  |  technology
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
5 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Music
Traffic & Train Alerts
Traffic
Cape Town 12:55 PM
Road name: Nelson Mandela Boulevard Inbound

FLOODING near the Strand Street exit - approach with caution

Goodwood 12:14 PM
Road name: N7 Vanguard Drive Southbound

SLOW TRAFFIC towards Voortrekker Road

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to 30% off top fragrances

Get mind blowing savings on selected fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 40% off fashion accessories

Save up to 40% on selected handbags, purses, watches, jewellery and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2000 on top electronics

Get every day mind bowing savings on top electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to 50% on Women’s month treats!

Celebrate the awesome women in your life with awesome treats like beauty products, fashion accessories, bestselling books, electronics and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Today you may want to bond with your children and need to connect to your imaginative and playful side. It may be that you are...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.