• Apple Tightens In-App Purchase Controls in iOS 4.3

    Last month we reported that US Congressman Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) reached out to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) questioning Apple's "marketing practices of applications for Apple devices. Two weeks later, the Federal Trade Commission responded to Congressman Markey's letter, promising to probe Apple's business practices relating to the concerns expressed. "We fully share your concern that consumers, particularly children, are unlikely to understand the ramifications of these types of purchases," FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz wrote.

    Apparently, Apple has been listening closely to the growing concerns about its "lax" in-app purchase controls. And, as a result, the controls in question have been tightened as part of the iOS 4.3 update. In addition to a password being required to purchase an app on the App Store, a reentry of your password is now required when making an in-app purchase, a representative from Apple reiterated, while not commenting on the possible FTC probe or whether this security tweak would be sufficient to prevent any potential investigation.

    Since Apple introduced in-app purchases, thousands of dollars have reportedly been charged in error to user accounts for unintended purchases - most memorably, the shopping spree by a little girl of $99 batches of "Smurfberries" to the total sum value of $1,400 on mom and dad's mobile phone bill. Regardless of the incidents referenced, many believe Apple has been cast in a negative light in response to the failure of some parents to closely monitor the iPhone playtime engaged in by their kids. Still, while the finger of blame may be pointed in every direction, the end result is clear. Apple has made the likelihood of accidental in-app purchases exponentially more difficult.

    Source: The Washington Post
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