FTC Sues Amazon Over In-App Purchases

July 10, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Amazon said in June that it would fight the Federal Trade Commission if it tried to make it settle complaints from parents who claim they did not authorize purchases for their children on various apps in its store. Apple settled a lawsuit in January to the tune of $32.5 million, but Amazon wrote a letter to the FTC last month telling them that they would not settle because they have been making changes to how children have access to purchasing power within its store and the apps that appear in it.

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Report: Apple Tattled on Google to FTC About In-App Purchase Policies

July 10, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

In January of this year Apple was the first company to settle with the Federal Trade Commission over Apple’s handling of in-app purchases. The company agreed to make it harder for children to purchase in-game content and apps without the express consent of parents or guardians, and Apple agreed to pay out $32.5 million to parents affected by its lax policy - and if the payouts were less than that amount the balance of the settlement would go to the FTC.

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Amazon Refuses to Settle With FTC Over In-App Purchases

July 3, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Amazon is refusing to comply with a Federal Trade Commission settlement plan related to in-app purchases. Apple settled for $32.5 million in refunds to parents who claim they were billed for games and in-app content their children were playing on their mobile or tablet devices without their express consent. Apple was also ordered to change its billing practices to make sure that in-app purchases require consent from parents or device owners before transactions could be completed.

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Apple Shows Customers How to Get Refunds for 'Unauthorized In-App Purchases'

April 7, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Apple has laid out the steps consumers need to take in order to get a refund for unapproved in-app purchases in iOS apps, Polygon reports. The refund process is part of the company's efforts to fulfill its part in a recent $32.5 million settlement of a federal complaint.

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Sen. Al Franken Tells FCC, FTC, and DOJ Comcast-TWC Merger Goes in the 'Wrong Direction'

February 14, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Senator Al Franken (D-Minnesota) has come out strongly against a proposed merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable. In a letter to the Federal Communications Commission, the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission, Sen. Franken said that there is already not enough competition in this [we assume he means broadband and cable television] space and this deal goes in the wrong direction. He also said that he is thinks this deal will increase cable prices and decreased the quality of service for Time Warner Cable customers.

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Report: Comcast to Buy Time Warner Cable

February 13, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Comcast is expected to announce a deal worth $44 billion to buy out rival cable operator Time Warner Cable today, according to a Bloomberg report. The company will reportedly announce today that it plans to pay $159 a share to Time Warner Stock holders.

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Report: Some Developers Pay a Fee to be Featured on Conan O’Brien's 'Clueless Gamer'

January 24, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

While it's fun watching "Clueless Gamer," Conan O’Brien's regular segment where he plays video games and makes witty comments for his show on TBS, apparently it can cost a developer or publisher a lot of money to get air time on the show. While not everyone pays to be on the show, about a quarter of the products featured on the segment have to pay some sort of fee. The show does not disclose this fact either.

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FTC: Microsoft and EA Are Not Breaking Any Laws With YouTube Paid Endorsement Schemes

January 23, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

While Microsoft (through a marketing partnership with Machinima) and Electronic Arts (through its "Ronku" marketing program) paying content creators to promote its games to followers on YouTube without disclosing the relationship may be unethical, neither company is breaking the law and it is unlikely that anyone involved could be fined for not disclosing a relationship according to what a Federal Trade Commission spokesperson tells Polygon.

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FTC: Apple Must Refund $32.5 Million to Consumers of Children's App Purchases

January 16, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

The Federal Trade Commission ruled this week that Apple must refund at least $32.5 million to parents whose children made in-app purchases on iOS devices without their consent. In its ruling, the agency said that Apple did not do enough to ensure purchases made by children were knowingly authorized by their parents. The FTC also highlighted a practice it did not like: allowing users to enter their passwords once for a single purchase then continue to make purchases throughout a 15-minute window.

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ESRB Launches Privacy Certified Program

June 25, 2013 -

The Entertainment Software Rating Board announced a new privacy seal certification program called ESRB Privacy Certified. The new program offers expanded services to help companies manage their mobile app privacy practices. The program’s services include helping companies achieve compliance with the recently revised Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) Rule, which the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requires by July 1st.

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Report: FTC Expected to Launch Investigation into Patent Troll Practices

June 21, 2013 -

This week the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will announce plans to start an investigation into the questionable practices employed by patent trolls, according to a New York Times report. The investigation will be announced at a conference headed up by FTC chairwoman Edith Ramirez.

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Super Podcast Action Committee - Episode 46 LIVE

March 25, 2013 -

On this week's show we go live on Google + for a lengthy (video) discussion on the "RPG Camp" Kickstarter controversy, the results of the FTC's latest Secret Shopper Survey to test ratings enforcement at retail, Sega's decision to stop pulling Shining Force videos from YouTube and a whole lot more. Download Episode 46 now: SuperPAC Episode 46 (1 hour, 34 minutes) 240.0 MB.

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EMA Applauds Retailers' High Marks in FTC Ratings Enforcement Report

March 25, 2013 -

The Entertainment Merchants Association (EMA) today applauded the efforts of retailers in the United States for continuing to show record levels of enforcement of video game and DVD ratings. The praise comes in response to the results of a Federal Trade Commission survey released today. That survey found that video game retailers turned away unaccompanied 13- to 16-year-olds who attempted to purchase Mature-rated games 87 percent of the time and turned away under-aged children who attempted to purchase R-rated or unrated DVDs 70 percent of the time.

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Video Game Retailers Receive High Marks from 2012 FTC Secret Shopper Survey

March 25, 2013 -

The Federal Trade Commission today released the results of its "Secret Shopper Survey" to test whether retailers were doing their part to keep adult entertainment out of the hands of children. The results of that survey are here, but the take-away is that retailers are continuing to self-police - without government intervention, I might add - just who buys video games, music and other entertainment.

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FTC Chairman Resigning in Mid-February

February 1, 2013 -

Federal Trade Commission (FTC) chairman Jon Leibowitz announced that he would be leaving the government watchdog agency in mid-February. Leibowitz served as chairman for four years, dealing with everything from Google's search to violations of the Children's Online Privacy Protections Act (COPPA) against social network Path, and the battle between Motorola and Microsoft over patents. As for where Leibowitz goes from here we do not know - but we hope he doesn't join a corporation he used to regulate or a lobbying group that will seek favors from the FTC.

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Google Terminates ITC Complaint Against Microsoft's Xbox 360

January 9, 2013 -

As expected, Google has backed off of its International Trade Commission complaint against Microsoft's Xbox 360 console, which uses one of its video compression patents. The company had sought to stop the sale of the system in the United States while Microsoft and its subsidiary Motorola duked it out in court over royalty payments related to FRAND patents. But earlier in the week the Federal Trade Commission stepped into the fight, ordering Google to take a more reasonable approach to "essential patents."

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Microsoft Expects Motorola to Abandon ITC Complaints Against Xbox 360

January 7, 2013 -

On Friday after the Federal Trade Commission issued an order on Google's Motorola patents and how the subsidiary needed to stop charging high royalties on FRAND patents it holds, Microsoft went into action.

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FTC Orders Google to Stop Charging High Royalties on FRAND-Related Patents

January 4, 2013 -

The Federal Trade Commission issued a Consent Order (PDF) this week forbidding Google from charging a lot of money for certain critical patents it gained when it bought Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion in May 2012. This is good news for both Apple and Microsoft, but particularly for Microsoft because (according to Microsoft) Motorola Mobility wanted to charge $4 billion a year in royalties for patents Motorola holds on Wi-Fi and video technology.

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FTC Updates Child Online Safety Regulations to Deal with Social Networks, Apps

December 19, 2012 -

The Federal Trade Commission announced today that it has updated its ten-year-old rules on children's online safety but came just short of adding changes that would sanction or hold responsible platform holders like Facebook and Apple, reports All Things D. The new rules hope to tighten privacy and sharing restriction rules for children who might use social networks or mobile apps.

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Senator Jay Rockefeller Introduces Bill to Study How Violent Video Games Affect Children

December 19, 2012 -

Senator Jay Rockefeller (D - West Virginia) has introduced a bill that would have the U.S. National Academy of Sciences study how video games and other media like films and television affect children. The bill would also expand studies already conducted by the Federal Trade Commission and Federal Communications Commission.

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SpongeBob Diner Dash Yanked From Apple Store After Complaint to FTC

December 18, 2012 -

Nickelodeon has removed the SpongeBob Diner Dash app from Apple's iTunes after advocacy group The Center for Digital Democracy (CDD) filed a formal complaint with Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The CDD said that the app starring the popular cartoon icon collected email addresses of children without getting parental consent.

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FTC Report Criticizes Data Collection and Sharing Practices of Kid App Developers

December 11, 2012 -

The Federal Trade Commission released a report on Monday that came to the conclusion that the majority of mobile apps aimed at children collect and transmit data that they shouldn't such as the device being used - and they do not disclose this fact to the parents. According to the report, around 60 percent of 400 popular kids’ apps made for phones and tablets running Android and iOS transmitted information about the device to the app’s developer or to a third party such as an ad network.

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Center for Democracy & Technology Offers Form for Opposing Comments on FTC's Proposed Changes to COPPA

September 21, 2012 -

The Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT) has put up a form that interested parties can sign onto concerning some changes that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has planned for the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).

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FTC Urges ITC to Refrain from iOS and Xbox 360 Device Bans

June 7, 2012 -

Florian Mueller, patent law expert and proprietor of the wonderful web site Foss Patents, passed along a note letting us know that the Federal Trade Commission recently sent a letter to the International Trade Commission asking the organization not to ban the sale of the iPhone, iPad or Xbox 360 related to complaints filed by Google.

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FTC Hires Colorado University Law Professor as Privacy Advisor

May 22, 2012 -

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has hired Colorado University Law Professor Paul Ohm to advise the agency of Internet privacy rights and issues. Ohm will take a leave of absence this summer from Colorado University and will begin working at the FTC's Office of Policy Planning as a senior adviser on consumer protection and privacy issues beginning August 27.

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FTC Launches Tech Blog on Wordpress

March 23, 2012 -

"Hello world," begins the first post at the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) new tech blog on Wordpress. The first post is written by Ed Felten, Chief Technologist at the FTC, who goes on to say that the point of the blog is to talk candidly about technology in a way that is "sophisticated enough to be interesting to hard-core techies, but straightforward enough to be accessible to the broad public that knows something about technology but doesn’t qualify as expert." 

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FTC, California AG's Office Address Children's Safety at Digital Kids Conference

March 20, 2012 -

Representatives from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and California's Attorney General's office will address mobile app safety for children at the Digital Kids Conference on Wednesday, April 25 from 3:45 p.m. - 4:45 p.m. (Room 1, Pasadena Convention Center, 300 E. Green Street, Pasadena, CA). Federal Trade Commission Staff Attorney Kenneth H. Abbe and Travis LeBlanc, Special Assistant Attorney General for Technology for the State of California will deliver their remarks on the topic as part of conference's Digital Kids Safety Track.

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Report: Mass Effect 3 Buyer Files FTC Complaint

March 19, 2012 -

While fans angry about the ending to Mass Effect 3 have formed groups and taken to forums, YouTube and other venues to lodge venomous complaints, one user has decided to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission and the Better Business Bureau. Of course, that's assuming you believe the post by "El_Spiko" over at the official BioWare forums.

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How an FTC Complaint Helped FrostWire Become Better

October 12, 2011 -

File-sharing software company FrostWire has settled its dispute with the Federal Trade Commission and called the agency's complaint against them as the best bug report the company has ever gotten. The FTC filed a complaint against FrostWire in federal court saying that it was disregarding the privacy of its users by making freshly downloaded files in the program publicly shared when completed by default. But the FrostWire team approached the court case in a way most companies wouldn't.

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iOS Developer Pays $50k FTC Fine

August 15, 2011 -

The iOS app maker responsible for games such as Zombie Duck Hunt, Truth or Dare, and Emily's Dress Up today settled with the Federal Trade Commission for collecting children's personal data in its iPhone and iPod touch apps. Broken Thumbs Apps and its parent company W3 Innovations were targeted by an FTC lawsuit on Friday. Today the company announced a settlement.

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Avalongod@Papa, agreed. I think people are reluctant to get involved if they're not the target. But I think we need to take responsibility as a community to confront harassing behavior, whether on gender or race.08/29/2014 - 7:23am
E. Zachary KnightSo Nintendo has given gamers what they want and have fractured the 3DS user base at the same time. http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/224476/Nintendo_reveals_the_New_Nintendo_3DS.php08/29/2014 - 7:12am
Papa MidnightI could say the same about race. I certainly enjoyed being on the receiving end of this while playing StarCraft II this past week: http://i.imgur.com/mIZA1QB.png (and this is actually mild compared to what I usually see). Report players? What a joke...08/29/2014 - 12:29am
AvalongodWhether you approve of Sarkeesian's view or not, no woman deserves to be the target of that kind of harassment and it won't stop until men tell each other it's not appropriate under any circumstance.08/28/2014 - 8:44pm
AvalongodI'm guessing the twitter account was a troll, but come on, I'm sorry, it's just disgusting someone is saying those things to Sarkeesian whether serious or a joke.08/28/2014 - 8:43pm
ZippyDSMleesocial movement that is bringing most of these issue to the spot light to be nothing but trend mongering white knighting bullies who are not much better than the hateful moronic bullies on the other side.08/28/2014 - 5:20pm
ZippyDSMleereflects the world we live in while the rest is the worst stuff that should be focused on. Leaving whats reflected in the same boat as everything else that's exaggerated and skewed by media/fiction and happliy consumed by current society. I find the socia08/28/2014 - 5:20pm
ZippyDSMleemales live off the power fantasy but once you realize as a male you will never reach what fiction or media calls perfect it demoralizes you just the same. And I would not call female negative stereotypes rampant and out of control not when 70-80% of it re08/28/2014 - 5:19pm
ZippyDSMleeNot saying that there is not a difference in the treatment of males and females in media, but males are begin painted as near perfect superhumans with cliched flaws it dose as much damage to the psyche as how females are treated. Sure you could claim that08/28/2014 - 5:19pm
ZippyDSMleeNeeneko:As I said if you do not 100% belive it then you are a Neanderthal. Theres more gray to everything than black and white.08/28/2014 - 1:27pm
NeenekoMeh, the "PCism" is just trotted out when people do not know their place and dare to complain about things the speakers think are fine. How dare people complain about how they are treated/portrayed, it is not like it bother us, our feelings matter!08/28/2014 - 1:13pm
ZippyDSMleeNeeneko I do not think its against feminism but rather against PCisim’s and that most things are offensive since if you do not believe that you are a Neanderthal that beats women,ect..08/28/2014 - 12:48pm
Neenekocomplete with the standard 'she is a lying and attacking the game industry! threats are wrong but she did it to herself' comments.08/28/2014 - 11:28am
Neenekosad, but not surprising. the backlash against feminism has been growing the last few years.08/28/2014 - 11:25am
PHX Corphttp://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/08/27/feminist-video-game-critic-forced-to-leave-her-home-after-online-rape-and-death-threats/ Feminist video game critic forced to leave her home after online rape and death threats08/28/2014 - 9:43am
Uncharted NEShttp://kotaku.com/once-again-atlus-doesnt-want-you-to-spoil-the-new-pers-162782610808/28/2014 - 5:17am
Uncharted NESOnce Again, Atlus Doesn't Want You to Spoil the New Persona08/28/2014 - 5:16am
lomdrPretty much, Andrew. And hell, it helps that it is a bit reasonably priced too. $8 for 1, $12 for both at once08/28/2014 - 3:43am
Andrew EisenMP - Probably not and for good reason. That term holds a lot of deserved negative baggage.08/27/2014 - 10:02pm
Uncharted NESApprently there is still a classic mode, but...08/27/2014 - 9:34pm
 

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