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Google to refund at least $19 million for unauthorized in-app purchases

Google has to pay approximately $19 million for unauthorized payments made by the kids through in-app purchases. Various in-app purchases, that allow the users to acquire virtual items in “free” games, need to be refunded due to deceptive marketing.google-play-store

US Federal Trade Commission has been investing against a series of complaints regarding the in-app purchases, the consumer complaint about the unauthorized in-app purchases bills racked up by their children. After downloading games from the Google Play Store, youngsters were able to acquire virtual items through IAPs ranging from $1 to $200. Google introduced the in-app purchase options in 2011. However, in mid-2012, apps started to show up a pop-up box that asked for a password for the payment, but that still opened up a 30-minute window during which a password wasn’t required.


The Federal Trade Commission claimed that around 84 percentage of the free apps allows in-app purchases after downloading them from the Google Play Store. Google employees consider this problem as a family fraud, but US consumers said that the Google has charged without accessing or gaining proper consent.

FTC chairwomen, Edith Ramirez said:

“For millions of American families, smartphones and tablets have become a part of their daily lives. 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,”

In return, Google has said:

“We’ve already made product changes to ensure people have the best Google Play experience possible. We’re glad to put this matter behind us so we can focus on creating more ways for people to enjoy all the entertainment they love.”

Google has accepted for the refund process and also in addition to that, Google agreed to also planned to modify the billing system and it will inform the consent before charging the amount for the mobile apps.

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About John W Arthur

John is the head of our IT Security team and he writes about Security, IT news on The Next Digit. He was the Employee of the Year 2013 for his selfless support and efficiently setting up the whole security infrastructure. He also occasionally writes on "IT Sec Pro" Print Media of Sweden. All posts by John

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