Apple to Compensate Parents Whose Kids Went Overboard on App Purchases

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Apple is set to compensate millions of parents whose children made purchases from apps downloaded from the iTunes store without permission.

The California-based computer giant has agreed to pay out more than $100 million to parents who sued the company for making it too easy for kids to rack up charges by buying add-ons to games and other "free" apps.

The 2011 class-action suit alleged children had used iPhones and iPads to make "in-app" purchases of virtual items bought within games. In some cases, kids were able to rack up hundreds of dollars in purchases with their parents' credit card and PayPal accounts within a few minutes.

"A lot of parents feel, 'I don't know anything about technology,'" said Caroline Knoff, parenting editor at Common Sense Media. "That's how they got sucker-punched with the in-app purchases."

Meanwhile, Common Sense Media quoted Naren Prabhu, a Silicon Valley networking engineer, as saying:

Under the settlement, people who can show that a minor made an in-app purchase (IAP) can claim either iTunes Store credits, or cash settlements in cases where parents say the cost of purchases exceeded $30.

The proposed settlement still needs to be reviewed by U.S. District Court Judge Edward J. Davila in San Jose on Friday, March 1.