Apple is in a spot of bother over their handling of in-app purchases on their iOS devices. A father of two is taking Apple to court for their non-regulation and moderation of in-app purchase.
Garen Meguerian of Phoneinxville, Pennsylvania, is claiming that Apple’s iOS platform allowed his 9 year-old daughter to purchase roughly $200 in virtual goods without permission.
Meguerian’s daughter was able to make the unauthorized transactions via a loophole in iOS devices. If you make an app purchase or an in-app purchase you must enter your iTunes Store credentials to confirm the transaction but if you make any other transactions within a 15 minute period; you don’t have to re-authenticate. It is this loophole, or window of opportunity, that enabled Meguerian’s daughter to charge her father’s account with approximately $200 in in-app purchases.
Apple have already pretty much admitted their negligence in the affair by changing the above process in recent versions of iOS. You must now enter your credentials for all in-app purchases.
While Apple’s new approach to in-app purchasing is a welcome inclusion in iOS, I believe a far greater resolution would be to include profiles in iOS – a much requested feature request. The ability to quickly change between an adult’s profile and a locked-down profile for that of a child would prevent many headaches.
We reported a few months ago on a mother’s dismay when her daughter racked up a charge of $1,400 while playing Smurf Village on her iPhone. In that case, Apple were kind enough to reimburse the mother.
But Meguerian’s court case is a far more serious hurdle for Apple to jump and could have major ramifications if the court find Apple were negligible with their handling of in-app purchases.