15-minute window costs Apple nearly $33m in FTC settlement

6:45 AM, Jan 16, 2014   |    comments
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iPhone 5 (Photo Courtesy: Getty Images)

Apple has agreed to pay out millions of dollars in a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission.

In a press conference, FTC Commissioner Edith Ramirez said the tech giant failed to notify parents that once they entered their passwords for their kids to make initial purchases, a 15-minute window was opened in which children could make unlimited app purchases without parental authorization.

One parent said her daughter had spent $2,600 in the app Tap Pet Hotel. Other parents were surprised by $500 bills racked up by their kids.

Apple has agreed to provide full refunds to those affected, and the company has already emailed consumers who may be seeing some unauthorized charges.

Ramirez stated a company cannot charge consumers for purchases they did not authorize. As such, Apple will be required to pay out approximately $33 million in the settlement.

Prior to the settlement, Apple changed its billing practices by notifying parents of the 15-minute window and giving them the option to cancel at any time.

Apple said protecting children has always been a top priority for the App store.


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