Moms Columns & Blogs

March 5, 2013

Oops app purchases

Has your child ever "accidentally" made an in-app purchase from your iTunes account? Apple is agreeing to a settlement to pay parents $100M for kids’ unauthorized app orders.

By Anika Myers Palm

Orlando Sentinel

So let’s say you’re a silly parent, like me.

Maybe your small child shows some interest in playing a game, or even watching a movie, on your brand new phone or tablet. You’re thrilled that the child has found something to do to occupy himself or herself for a few minutesuntil you realize you’ve forgotten to update the parental-control settings on your e-device and your beloved child, who is more technically savvy than you even knew, has racked up a bill purchasing items from applications on the phone or tablet.

It happened to me – and it’s happened to enough parents that Apple has decided to pay out $100 million in credits to parents whose children have made “surprise” in-app purchases, according to a San Jose Mercury News report.

Some of the children in question spent up to $300 on in-app purchases (I now consider myself lucky that my little one only bought a couple of $10 movies on my tablet before I realized what was happening!).

The settlement will give the credits to parents whose children made such unauthorized purchases a couple of years ago without parental consent. Each parent will get approximately a $5 iTunes credit, but must confirm that a child purchased something from an app and that the parent didn’t provide a password.

Sadly, I won’t be eligible for these credits because the unauthorized purchases in my household happened after the period in question, but Apple is sending notices to more than 20 million people whose accounts showed purchases from the relevant apps, so if you could be one of those folks, keep your eyes open for the notification.

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