March 10, 2011
Faced with a possible FTC investigation and growing concerns by consumers, Apple has implemented a new policy regarding how purchases are made within apps, according to The Washington Post. The changes became effective with the new iOS 4.3 update and address how in-app purchases are approved. The iOS update comes with a feature that requires a password when purchases are made within an application after it is downloaded. Until today, Apple’s iTunes protocol was that once an account password was entered, all successive downloads, paid or free, did not require the password to be re-entered for 15 minutes. However, this policy caused problems, especially for parents of young children. In December, the free Smurfs’ Village game for the iPhone/iPod touch and iPad was released. Children began making in-app purchases of virtual $99 barrels of Smurfberries. Many parents were unaware of these purchases until receiving their iTunes bill. Because of this, the Federal Trade Commission began a preliminary investigation of Apple’s practices, which certainly lead to today’s changes. AppAdvice readers are reminded that in-app purchases can be eliminated completely by making a change in the iDevice’s Settings app, under General then Restrictions. What do you think of Apple’s new policy? Leave your comments below.
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