A class action lawsuit has been filed against Google by a New York mother who alleges Google is unfairly profiting from in-app purchases by permitting minors to make them without parents’ knowledge. The action is similar to an issue that Apple just recently resolved over a similar business model. According to one of the attorneys representing the plaintiff, Google has failed to incorporate reasonable controls that results in minors racking up excessive charges for “worthless in-game currency.”
According to the lawsuit, the plaintiffs are alleging that Google implemented a 30-minute window after password entry specifically to “enable children to purchase in-game currency without parental permission and without having to enter a password.” Google Play requires a password for purchases to be confirmed by default, but users can turn off that feature. In addition, even when a password is entered the system will permit additional purchases to be made for another 30 minutes without re-entering the password.
Shanon J. Carson, with Berger & Montague, is representing the plaintiff in this case after wrapping up a $100 Million settlement against Apple for permitting these types of purchases without parental consent. That lawsuit also triggered FTC action and the practice of allowing in-app purchases, especially in games, is also being investigated by the European Union.
Do you think responsibility for issues related to in-app purchases by minors lies with companies like Google and Apple or with someone else?
source: The Guardian