At last Google is being punished financially to those adults whose children performed unauthorized app purchases from the Android App Store. Google has been agreed to pay to the parents whose children were buying apps from the store without the parental consent. The amount has been estimated around US $19 million. There has been no argument; rather it was a peaceful agreement where Google has agreed upon the term without any hesitation and lawful acts. The complaint came right from the US Federal Trade Commission; FTC which stated in a statement that Google should concern about warning people about how much and what ways they were spending. Most of the purchases were made by the non adults who were interested in purchasing popular Android games. Google have to pay that big amount of money to settle down a formal complaint over in app purchases with unauthorized atmosphere. The settlement also requires this giant group to inform all those people who had made in app buying that how they can get a refund from them. Since the year of 2011, according to FTC, Google have made it extremely easy for the children to buy items charged from 99 cents to $200 in kids focused games by using Android handsets without a parent’s permission.
This incident is the latest reflection of FTC’s three year investigation called ‘in-app purchases’ conducted on Apple, Amazon & Google. While Apple being agreed to pay $32.5 million as a result of a settlement last January, in July Amazon announced that they would fight against the parallel charges filed by the FTC.
In an official public statement, FTC said that Google broke the regulations regarding unfair and unjust commercial practices as it took payments from the parents for the charges that were incurred by their children. According to the complaint filed by the FTC, in 2011 when Google established the Google Play to initiate the app-in purchases, they were not password protected. This had resulted in to easy access for the children who just used to get their desired apps with just one click. In 2012 they had developed a pop up box which asked for a particular password before purchasing but that still offered a thirty minute window open when the password was not needed.
“For millions of American families, smartphones and tablets have become a part of their daily lives,” said by Edith Ramirez, the FTC Chairwoman. He also said, “As more Americans embrace mobile technology, it’s vital to remind companies that time-tested consumer protections still apply, including that consumers should not be charged for purchases they did not authorize.”
Along with the refund, Google have also promised to change its billing policies in order to obtain lawful consent from the customers before buying apps from the Google Play. Google have said that they were already making product changes so that they can ensure the best Google Play experience a customer could encounter.