FTC Announces $19 Million Settlement with Google

Statement from Jim Steyer
Common Sense Media
Thursday, September 4, 2014
Common Sense CEO and Founder, Jim Steyer released the following statement today regarding the FTC's announcement of a $19 million settlement with Google covering in-app purchases by kids:
 
"We applaud the FTC for its third action to help ensure that app stores communicate clearly with parents about the availability of in-app purchases and provide appropriate controls to avoid unwanted charges by children.
 
Although mobile apps may be “free” to download, they are often “pay-to-play.”  Apps have been costly and confusing for parents, who often don’t realize that a “free” app can include offers for in-app purchases – and that providing a password could launch a 30-minute shopping spree.  Mobile apps have also been confusing for kids, who often can’t tell the difference between in-app play money and real dollar purchases that are billed to their parents.
 
The FTC settlement order against Google will help ensure that parents get refunds for past unauthorized charges, and that parents can provide informed consent before their kids make in-app purchases in the future.