The U.S. Federal Trade Commission is taking a close look at Apple’s policies for in-app purchases after a series of reports showing that kids ran up huge tabs without realising what they were doing.The Washington Post reports that the FTC sent a letter to Representative Ed Markey of Massachusetts saying that it “will look closely at the current industry practice with respect to the marketing and delivery of these types of applications.”
Earlier this month, the Post reported that a second-grader ran up a $1,400 bill after purchasing virtual goods in a game called Smurfs’ Village. That’s an extreme case, but Apple has made in-app purchases very easy: users have to enter a password to download apps, but then get a 15-minute window to make in-app purchases without having to put their password in again. Apple is considering shortening the window.
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