Google Settles In-App Purchasing Suit for $19M
Google today agreed to settle a lawsuit filed against it by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission over unauthorized in-app purchases made by children. Google will pay the FTC a fine of $19 million to settle charges that it was too easy for kids to spend money on applications without obtaining the account holder's consent. Google also has to put more safeguards in place so customers' accounts are not hit with unauthorized in-app charges. Apple reached a similar settlement with the FTC in January, though it is paying $32.5 million.
Google Overhauls YouTube Kids App for Mobile Devices
Google today pushed out a significant update to its YouTube Kids mobile application, giving both kids and their parents new features to enjoy. For example, kids can create their own profiles each with a customized appearance.
Amazon Held Responsible for Kids' In-App Purchases
A federal judge says Amazon deserves to be on the hook for charges rung up by children on mobile devices. Consumers complained it was too easy for children to spend money on in-app purchases without proper authorization.
Amazon Must Repay Customers for In-App Purchases
Amazon will have to reimburse customers whose children ran up large bills making in-app purchases, says a federal judge. The FTC sued Amazon in 2014 following consumer complaints about the ease with which children were able to spend money in apps.
Google to Refresh YouTube Kids with Better Parental Controls
Google today said it plans to release a new version of YouTube Kids that will address some complaints about the app. The intent behind YouTube Kids was to give younger views a simpler way to watch videos curated for education and entertainment purposes.
Sprint and Verizon Fined Total of $158M to Settle Cramming Charges
The FCC today said Sprint and Verizon Wireless have agreed to pay $158 million to settle charges that they fraudulently charged customers for third-party services — a tactic referred to as cramming. Specifically, Sprint will pay a total of $68 million, $50 million of which will go back to customers, $14 million of which will go to state governments, and $2 million of which will go to the federal government.