Apple to Compensate Parents Whose Kids Went Overboard on App Purchases


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.