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Google Android The Courts

Google Sued Over Children's In-App Android Purchases 321

Posted by samzenpus
from the won't-somebody-please-think-of-the-children? dept.
jfruh writes "Android apps sold through the Google Play app store require the user to enter their username and password before making an in-app purchase — but once they've done that, they can continue to do so for half an hour without re-authenticating. Now a lawsuit is claiming this loophole allows children to run up in-app purchases on their parents' credit cards, 'causing Google to pocket millions of dollars.'"
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Google Sued Over Children's In-App Android Purchases

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  • Why? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Chatterton (228704) on Thursday March 13, 2014 @05:38AM (#46471563) Homepage

    Why Google didn't reacted following the Apple case? It was just a question of time before the same kind of lawsuit would begin against them...

  • Re:Please.... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bfandreas (603438) on Thursday March 13, 2014 @07:06AM (#46471791)
    This is not a mom/dat CC issue but goes quite a bit further.

    I will try to demonstrate this on a particular piece of shite brought to us from the people we love to loathe.
    Enter Heroes of Dragon Age. This thing is a deck-building game. Think Hearthstone but the game plays your matches for you. In that respect I would consider it nothing more than an elaborate animated screensaver rather than a game. In HoDA the rarest cards pretty much guarantee your wins. You could grind for months and get lucky and get a couple of them. Or you could cough up monies to buy gems. 99 bucks buy you roughly 20 card draws, 18 of which will not be useful in any way shape or form(+/- statistical variance, but bear with me). You could play matches to earn gold to buy the packs which cost gold but your chance to get anything useful from those is so low that people who get lucky immediately start a forum post about that which in turn will become quite lively. Grinding for gold is a possibility but for one snag. You are limited to 6 PvE and 6PvP matches every two hours. Unless of course you pay gems to play more. So far so bad. The PvE campaign is designed in such a way that you will need the best cards after about an hour of play time. You will encounter multiple major brick walls.

    This is one of the freemium offenders I know. I've been grinding as a free player since Christmas since it is a nice diversion which doesn't require a lot of thought or interaction. But I do have to say one thing about this: It smacks of gambling. In fact it is an elaborate variation of a slot machine. And I can see how a gambling addict could sink hundreds if not thousands of dollars into such a thing. And it seems to be completely unregulated.

    OTOH if I gave you 99 bucks to spend on games and you headed over to the nearest Steam sale you would get so many games that you wouldn't emerge until next year if you completed them all. No value for a lot of money driven by addiction. Children are the easiest prey for this but certainly not the most lucrative.

    So if you compare prices for gems with Steam sales you would think that these are not hardcore gamers. Wrong. Surprisingly so:
    http://kotaku.com/who-are-the-... [kotaku.com]
    http://www.theguardian.com/tec... [theguardian.com]

    We are way, WAY beyond "you morons, stop buying gems!". At this point we are in need of regulation Nevada-style. In the meantime suing Google and Apple is the easiest way to apply some pressure but it sure as hell is not enough.

    I would imagine you weren't totally shocked that EA is one of the worst offenders in that particular arena...
  • Re:Please.... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by gnasher719 (869701) on Thursday March 13, 2014 @07:06AM (#46471793)

    First of all, the in-app purchasing is specifically designed to not warn you when a purchase is made, and to make the purchases as subtle as possible.

    Just yesterday there was news elsewhere that with iOS 7.1 (which allows a 15 minute period without password entry), when you enter your password now, a dialog will appear telling you about it, with an OK button and a button that takes you to "Settings" where you can turn that feature off.

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