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  • FTC Encouraged by US Lawmaker to Probe Apple Practices


    According to the Washington Post, yesterday Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) encouraged the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to take another look at Apple, specifically the Cupertino-based company's "marketing practices of applications for Apple devices." Markey's concern, in case you're wondering, originates from reports that many apps and programs tailored to young audiences - children in particular - "may not adequately inform users of potential charges."

    Markey expressed his concern in a letter to FTC Chairman Jon Liebowtiz. According to the Post article, it was another Washington Post piece that Markey cited as evidence of Apple's questionable practices. Last Tuesday, the venerable publication ran a story about how several in-app purchases on iPad, iPod and iPhone games (among those named were Smurfs' Village and Tap Zoo) eventually shocked parents when they discovered their little ones' substantial purchases.

    Children used parents' passwords to make real charges on the games. In some cases, children made purchases without even using iTunes passwords because of a 15-minute window for downloads and charges that don't require a password.
    Just how much damage can one kid do when mom and dad think they're harmlessly playing on the iPhone? Well, according to the Post report, little Madison Kay went on a shopping spree of $99 batches of "Smurfberries" to the total sum value of $1,400. As a result, mom and dad weren't pleased. Consequently, Markey says the apps "may be taking advantage of childrens' lack of understanding when it comes to real money and buying pretend services and products on the Web."

    The FTC is yet to offer formal comment on the matter.

    Washington Post
    This article was originally published in forum thread: FTC Encouraged by US Lawmaker to Probe Apple Practices started by Michael Essany View original post