Congressman Markey Wants FTC to Probe App Transactions

February 9, 2011 -

Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Ma.) has asked the Federal Trade Commission to take a closer look at the marketing practices of applications on Apple's App store and Google's Android Marketplace. Markey's concerns relate to programs geared towards children that may not adequately inform users of potential charges - particularly micro-transactions.

On Tuesday Markey sent a letter to FTC Chairman Jon Liebowtiz (and copied to Google and Apple), pointing to a story in The Washington Post about how in-app purchases on iPad, iPod and iPhone games such as Smurfs' Village and Tap Zoo have caught some parents off guard. The Children apparently used parents' passwords to buy in-game items instantly.

"I am concerned about how these applications are being promoted and delivered to consumers, particularly with respect to children, who are unlikely to understand the ramifications of in-app purchases," Markey wrote in the letter.

An example cited in the article is youngster Madison Kay, who bought $99 batches of Smurfberries in the game. By the time she was done playing, the little girl had racked up $1,400 on her mom's credit card.

Of course, parents should utilize the parental controls available for Apple's various devices and should probably not give out their passwords to their young children. For the mom of Madison Kay, a lesson has been learned. Moreover, Rep. Markey's heart is in the right place, but calling in the FTC on this is tantamount to calling in the National Guard for littering.

Source: Washington Post

Comments

Re: Congressman Markey Wants FTC to Probe App Transactions

I actually agree with this.  this is a friend of a friend story, and don't know the name of the app.

but he had gotten an aquarium game.  i beleive you raised and sold you fishes to make money.  and as you make money, you can buy more expensive fish and decorations. 

However it turns out that the fishes and decoration weren't being purchased with the in-game money, but with real money.  some items going well over 100$.  charging that much for an in-game item, your consciously trying to screw ppl over.

Re: Congressman Markey Wants FTC to Probe App Transactions

They should implement some form of password system that stops children from being able to buy content... that way parents can be responsible and ultimately control the purchases on their account. 

 
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Matthew Wilsonthe thing is in japan holidays do not drive sales, and x/y came out everywhere on October 12th last year. This is Nintendo thinking japan is more important than the rest of the world, and that has not been true since the early 2000s.09/14/2014 - 5:49pm
InfophileA glitch in SSB 3DS is causing players to get banned for using Peach: http://www.polygon.com/2014/9/14/6147417/report-glitch-serves-up-one-day-bans-for-smash-bros-players-who-pick09/14/2014 - 4:28pm
Jessy Hart@ZippyDSMlee Hopefully!09/14/2014 - 11:32am
Neeneko@Infophile - as someone who dealt with release schedules, holidays and other releases are just the begining ^_^09/14/2014 - 11:23am
ZippyDSMleeJessy Hart:I am sure they will be back as DLC...09/14/2014 - 10:31am
Jessy HartI miss the Ice Climbers :(09/14/2014 - 9:55am
InfophileSimultaneous worldwide releases aren't as simple as they seem. Different places have different holidays, plus different other releases to contend with. So a little bit of staggering makes business sense09/14/2014 - 3:25am
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/09/13/excavated-et-cartridges-will-be-sold-distributed-to-museums/ Alamogordo is going to be selling off a bunch of the games from the Atari Graveyard.09/13/2014 - 9:02pm
Matthew Wilsonnintendo should have done a world wide release for smash. The game is all over twitch.09/13/2014 - 12:47pm
ZenYeah, I got a set of codes yesterday and have been enjoying the heck out of it. Limited characters...but it is a demo lol. Glad there is no play limit though which...well...FINALLY. Now, any ideas why it tracks the coins?09/13/2014 - 10:48am
Andrew EisenThe verbiage was "select Platinum members" so yeah, if it's not a random sampling, the other requirements are hidden. Still, everyone gets the demo next week.09/13/2014 - 10:39am
MaskedPixelanteThere appears to be some other factors determining whether or not you get codes. Some people I talked to said they didn't get codes despite meeting all the announced conditions.09/13/2014 - 9:36am
quiknkoldI got Smash Bros Codes!09/13/2014 - 6:42am
InfophileBasically, anyone who got Platinum level on Club Nintendo last year and has e-mails enabled got four codes yesterday (including me) for early demo downloads. Don't know why Nintendo is doing it this way. Maybe they plan more Club perks like this?09/13/2014 - 4:20am
Matthew Wilson@wym I am just hoping they do not screw up their netcode, but given their history I am not holding my breath.09/13/2014 - 12:05am
Andrew EisenThe Smash 4 demo should be available to all 3DS owners on Sept. 19.09/12/2014 - 8:48pm
WymorenceLucky. I've been drooling at that game hoping they can get it to work for a portable since buying my 3DS09/12/2014 - 8:36pm
MaskedPixelanteMan, the way they animate Mega Man in Smash 4 is so accurate to his sprite it's scary.09/12/2014 - 7:28pm
MaskedPixelante3DS version.09/12/2014 - 3:23pm
Wymorence3DS version or WiiU version?09/12/2014 - 3:22pm
 

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