Apple sued over apps luring kids into spending money
April 23, 2012
First Published: 11:43 IST(23/4/2012)
Last Updated: 12:41 IST(23/4/2012)
A group of parents in the United States have sued Apple saying they didn't know their children were spending money while playing games using the tech giant's apps.
Customers visit the Apple Store in New York City's Grand Central Station. Credit: Reuters/Brendan McDermid
In the suit, the group of California parents, claimed the firm made it possible for children to continuously use 'game currencies,' which allow players of games and other apps available through Apple products to use actual money to buy virtual coins and tools.
The suit claimed that the youngsters could 'purchase the currencies' without their parents' knowledge while playing game applications, advertised by Apple as 'free.'
According to ABC News, the parents also claimed that the games are designed to be "highly addictive," with specific reference to the Smurf Village app as a "bait-and-switch" type game in which the app is free, but the 1,000 in-app credits offered cost 59 dollars.
Prior to early 2011, Apple allowed users buy game currency up to 15 times without re-entering a password in the game.
The parents claim they were unaware that purchases could be made without re-entering the password, which resulted in children charging the parents' accounts in amounts ranging from 99.99 to 338.72 dollars.
According to the report, Apple fixed the issue in early 2011, but the parents claimed the company was in the wrong and that it still makes it too easy for kids to buy without parent permission.