Google pays $19m over settlements for in-app purchases
In response to the complaint by the Federal Trade Commission, Google has agreed to pay customers the inappropriate app purchases made by the customers’ children without the permission of their parents. This is not something new as Amazon and other companies have done the same already.
Children sometimes make in-app purchases without the permission from their parents and the lack of a secure system that prompts for a password for purchases increases the bill for the parents which they claim from the company. When this accumulates, it amounts to a huge figure as this and after being told by the FTC, Google has agreed to return the amounts claimed by the users.
The FTC has also asked the company to tweak the password policy so that it can be greatly reduced in future and children will not be able to make purchases without the consent and help of their parents. While some apps are free and the others come with a low price, there are also apps which cost as high as $200 and a careless download could spike up the bill for the parent.
While there are passwords required, if the user has already entered their credit card information on Google Play, it does not ask for it ever again and only a confirmation of the purchase is required in order to let the user download the app while it will be claimed from the user’s account.
Notably, Apple has made a similar settlement in January this year. Google has also extended the period within which users can return an app for which they have paid to download. Previously, users can return an paid app within 15 minutes if they are not satisfied with it and the time is extended to 2 hours now, giving users more time to assess the app and decide if they really want to keep it or return it back.