Apple dealt class action lawsuit over in-app purchases, child ‘exploitation’

zombie_cafe_apple_lawsuit_in_app_purchaseA Pennsylvania father has filed a lawsuit against Apple for allowing in-app purchases in free iPhone games, which he claims allows children to spend real-world money without even knowing it.

Filed by Garen Meguerian of Phoenixville, PA, on behalf of himself and other parents and legal guardians, the lawsuit charges that Apple has enabled unauthorized charges for in-game content, which amounts to “unlawful exploitation” of children, reports Apple Insider. The suit specifically targets games made for iOS devices, like the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch that include the option for digital merchandise.

The games that sparked the lawsuit include Zombie Cafe, Treasure Story and City Story. Through these games, Meguerian’s two daughters, ages 9 and 12, racked up $200 in in-app purchases, for things like “Zombie Toxin,” “Gems” and “City Cash.”

The problem, says Meguerian in the suit, was that Apple allowed for in-app purchases for 15 minutes after the iTunes account password has been entered. This enabled app users to authorize whatever purchases they like, even if they didn’t have permission from the account holder, who was then stuck with the bill.

As noted in the lawsuit, Apple recently changed its policy for in-app purchases in the iOS 4.3 update to require password entry for each purchase. But this wasn’t good enough for Meguerian, who charges that Apple pocketed “millions of dollars” before implementing the policy change. He also says that the password is not enough to stop unauthorized purchases.

“Because the passwords now required for purchases of Game Currency are the same passwords required for any Apple purchase, minors aware of such password may purchase Game Currency without authorization from their parents for that purchase,” the lawsuit states.

This lawsuit follows an instance in which an 8-year-old girl was able to amount a $1,400 bill through in-app purchases made in the Capcom game Smurf’s Village. Following this case, the US Federal Trade Commission launched an investigation against Apple for its in-app purchase system.

Mobile

Updating to Apple’s iOS 12 will make your iPhone a whole lot smarter

iOS 12, the latest version of Apple’s iOS, is officially here. We took it for a spin to check out its new noteworthy features, and if it truly changes our smartphone habits for the better.
Mobile

Google Maps is available on Apple CarPlay with iOS 12

After months of betas, the final version of iOS 12 is here to download. The new OS comes along with tons of new capabilities from grouped notifications to Siri Shortcuts, here are all the features you'll find in iOS 12.
Mobile

Google’s Family Link expands globally, now works on more devices

Google's Family Link app makes it easier for parents to keep track of their kids' smartphone usage. They can restrict them from downloading apps, see which services they use the most, and more. Here's everything you need to know.
Gaming

Everything you need to know about 'Black Ops 4' and its new mode Blackout

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 arrives on PS4, Xbox One, and PC on October 12. Here's everything you need to know about the game, including info on multiplayer, Zombies, Blackout, and Signature Weapons.
Deals

Save up to $1,000 with the best smartphone deals for September 2018

Need a better phone but don't want to spend a fortune? It's never a bad time to score a new smartphone and save some cash. We rounded up the best smartphone deals available that can save you as much as $1,000.
Mobile

Here are the iPads and iPhones that support Apple’s iOS 12

iOS 12 is officially here and it has iPhone and iPad devices feeling brand new again. But which iOS devices support the update? We've complied a list of 22 devices compatible with iOS 12.
Business

Report: President Trump to spare Apple from tariffs on Chinese goods

According to a new report, Apple and other tech firms may be spared from the Trump administration's upcoming tariffs on Chinese goods. While devices like the Apple Watch were on a preliminary list, they have reportedly been removed.
Mobile

iOS 12 is now available -- here's how to install it on your Apple device

Apple unveiled iOS 12 at this year's WWDC and it's now ready for everyone. Here's how to install iOS 12 on an iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch using your device's settings or with iTunes on your computer.
Mobile

Handy iOS 12 tips and tricks to master Apple's latest update

Apple's iOS 12 mobile operating system introduces a ton of new features, with more options to help boost productivity. But updating to it can be overwhelming, so we're here to make it easier with some iOS 12 tips and tricks.
Wearables

WatchOS 5 is now available -- here's everything we know so far

Months after Apple announced its latest software at WWDC, you can now download WatchOS for the Apple Watch. WatchOS 5 brings a number of new features including new watch faces and improved health tracking.
Apple

Overheating problems may force Apple to extinguish the AirPower charger

At its September event last year, Apple unveiled the AirPower -- its new wireless charging mat that will allow you to charge multiple devices at one time. It has not yer been released. Here's everything we know about the device so far.
Mobile

Memoji in iOS 12 lets you create an avatar that looks and moves just like you

Apple's Memoji feature on iOS 12 allows you to send a customize Animoji that looks exactly like you. In comparison to other apps that allow you to make your own custom avatar, Memoji doesn't overcomplicate it.
Mobile

Here’s how to use Apple’s augmented reality Measure app in iOS 12

Included within iOS 12, the Measure app uses Apple's ARKit to measure objects and spaces in the real world with your camera. Using the app, you can measure a piece of furniture, the distance between points, and more.
Mobile

How to downgrade your iPhone or iPad from iOS 12 to iOS 11.4

Apple's iOS 12 may be the latest and greatest version of the mobile operating system, but perhaps it's not right for you right now. If that is the case, thankfully there are some ways to go back to iOS 11.4.