If a crashing stock price wasn't enough, any potential future investors sure won't like this news. Another settled lawsuit adds to the ever-growing list of litigations against Apple. The shiny fruit trading company has settled on a lawsuit that alleged that the iPhone and iPad apps let kids make transactions on their parents' devices without the parents knowing about it or allowing it. The amount that was agreed upon? $100 million. Oh, and that's not in an important currency; it's $100 million in iTunes credits.
Five parents filed a lawsuit over two years ago that claimed Apple did not put enough security measures in place to prevent children from using the microtransaction features inside of videogames or other apps. This meant that children could buy whatever they wanted, sometimes costing parents thousands of dollars. Granted, perhaps parents should supervise their children more when letting them on their personal mobile devices, but what do I know? These adults (I will no longer call them parents) said that they were unaware of the children charging their accounts until the time of billing. The suit also cites some of the issue lies in games targeted to children as young as four years old, which also feature options to spend money without a password checkpoint.
The suit reads,
Apple failed to adequately disclose that third-party game apps, largely available for free and rated as containing content suitable for children, contained the ability to make in-app purchases.
In total, Apple has conceded to give $5 in iTunes credit to around 23 million customers who were affected by this. Apple will also be sending checks to those who were seeking $30 or more in restitution. As of March 2011, Apple, along with developers have added password verification to most apps which give you the option to buy something in-game.