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Apple in legal trouble over free-to-play apps aimed at kids

 

A class-action suit against Apple over free-to-play apps that trick children into making in-app purchases is proceeding to trial

Last year, a federal judge in California consolidated a number of class-action lawsuits from parents who alleged that Apple incorrectly listed apps as free-to-play, only to have children rack up immense bills for digital purchases. These parents have found $100+ iTunes account bills due to these so-called "bait apps".

An Apple user normally has to enter a password to buy items in-game, but Apple previously allowed a 15-minute window after the initial purchase, during which players can make in-app purchases without entering a password. This window allowed children to rack up huge bills on their parents' iTunes accounts in a short period of time, prompting Apple to later remove the 15-minute window.

Apple filed to have the consolidated class-action suits dismissed, but last week U.S. District Judge Edward Davila upheld the original claims against Apple.

"Contrary to Apple's argument, Plaintiffs have alleged with specificity which misrepresentations they were exposed to, their reliance on those misrepresentations, and the resulting harm. Plaintiffs pled specific facts that Apple "actively advertis[ed], market[ed] and promot[ed] its bait Apps as 'free' or nominal ," Judge Davila stated.

Now Apple must dispute the claims, with the company expected to file its defense on May 24.

Source: gameindustry.biz

So, who is right here, the plaintiffs or Apple? And what do you think about business practices like these? Sound off below with your thoughts.



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It's called watch your children and teach them what not to do.

Without order nothing can exist - without chaos nothing can evolve.

"I don't debate, I just give you that work"- Ji99saw

If a game is free to play, it should be free to play. If its so easy for a kid to make an in-app purchase, someone has to be responsible. Besides parents, Apple is to blame here.

This is very much Apple's fault... reasonable levels of security should be the default, a 15 minute window is dumb. I mean if you leave your house, but it takes 15 minutes till your door is locked that would be ridiculous. Yes in cases like these there is always some blame to be put on the parents, but the main portion of the blame rests on whoever decided that 15 minute window.

I think it is much more likely that the parents themselves downloaded all of that stuff and then blamed their kids for downloading it.

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Ji99saw said:
It's called watch your children and teach them what not to do.


^ This pretty much, the same argument can be used for everything else , the so called "Violence" from video games being mimicked as well.



This is why kids don't play with my phone and if I gave my kids a tablet/smartphone it would only received apps I purchased on my device and then gifted to them. Keeps them with no ability to buy crap on their own. Finally, teach your kids that they cannot purchase anything without your direct approval.

I mean its very easy to go on to your cable/sat and buy a movie. But, these companies don't get sued for this. Parents whoop that ass instead.

Either way if it is free to play there should not be any problems. Unless it is free to play up to a point. If the parents give the kids their credit number and the kids no what to do then it is the parents fault.

VGKing said:
If a game is free to play, it should be free to play. If its so easy for a kid to make an in-app purchase, someone has to be responsible. Besides parents, Apple is to blame here.

I agree with you on something xD.

Apple should not of allowed a 15 minute window its that simple. Free to play is just that, if said game has in game options to buy stuff then the password should need to be re entered, allowing 15 minutes to buy in game stuff without re entering the password puts the blame on apple. I think this will be one Apple will lose.



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superchunk said:
This is why kids don't play with my phone and if I gave my kids a tablet/smartphone it would only received apps I purchased on my device and then gifted to them. Keeps them with no ability to buy crap on their own. Finally, teach your kids that they cannot purchase anything without your direct approval.

I mean its very easy to go on to your cable/sat and buy a movie. But, these companies don't get sued for this. Parents whoop that ass instead.


Can't speak for other cable providers but with Dish Network, there's a code you enter when buying something.