Google Play Store allowing 30 minutes of unsupervised spending
A researcher went “undercover” posing as a child to expose the news
According to sources, earlier today Apple signed an agreement to refund over $30 million to parents, whose children spent time unsupervised in their App Store. Apparently the parents weren’t aware of this development and that once the password had been entered, the kids were free to shop whatever they wanted for about 15 minutes.
Apple agreed to provide full refunds to consumers, paying a minimum of $32.5 million, to settle a Federal Trade Commission complaint that the company billed consumers for millions of dollars of charges incurred by children in kids’ mobile apps without their parents’ consent. Under the terms of the settlement with the FTC, Apple also was required to change its billing practices to ensure that it has obtained express, informed consent from consumers before charging them for items sold in mobile apps.
With the Google Play Store, the situation is that kids can spend up to 30 minutes, thus doubling the App Store time limit. A few people decided to go “undercover” by posing as a child on the website, where they purchased a game meant for kids and then they made several in-app purchases after they started playing.
They even bought the same game that made headlines in the Apple lawsuit, where a parent said that their child had made about $2.600 playing the game Tap Pet Hotel and it’s considered one of the more sensational stories of the case.
Coming back to Google Play Store’s case, a researcher managed to leave the game and go back into the store and buy another app for $2.99, without needing a password. He estimated that the 30 minute foray into childhood costs his adult self $9.92. After the 30 min time limit, the password firewall kicks in back again, but not before adding a small fee.
A Google spokesperson released a statement, saying that they always appreciate feedback and that they are currently working on new features that give the customers even more information and control over their Google Play purchases.
Source: Android Community