Google Pays Out Following App Lawsuit
The in app purchases problem in the tech industry has bubbled to the surface again this week, as Google has joined the list of companies having to pay out big money refunds for unauthorized purchases made on their app store.
Growing pressure from courts and in the media has seen the problem coming to the forefront of the public consciousness, with parents who have unwittingly paid for useless digital goods finally becoming aware of, and receiving these refunds from the companies responsible.
The US Federal Trade Commission recently successfully demanded that Apple pay out $32.5 million to refund such purchases, and now Google has followed a similar demand and has had to shell out a slightly more modest $19 million to cover the refunds. Amazon is also in the firing line but have said they will resist the demands through the courts.
The issue at hand is Google’s password policy on app stores, as they did make it widely known that after entering a password more than one purchase could be made.
Once password policy had been enacted on their app store, it wasn’t made abundantly clear that once one enters a password to authorize purchases additional payments can be made without needing a password for the next 30 minutes. In other words, one password entry could potentially cover multiple purchases, unbeknownst to the consumer.
The FTC deemed the lack of notifications about the system to be out of line, and as a result people can now apply for a refund on purchases made between March 1, 2011 and November 18, 2014. Purchases can be highlighted and reviewed for a refund, from now up until December 2nd, 2015.
Once proceedings in the courts between the FTC and Amazon begin the scandal will finally be fully dealt with, at least from the biggest offenders. However, it’s certainly indicative of a wind of change in a tech industry that was, until very recently, somewhat of a maverick renegade, as the public at large become more and more aware of what this new technology is capable of.