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The Almighty Buck Apple

Apple Moves To Stop Kids Racking Up iTunes Bills 232

Xacid writes "Apple Inc. has changed how purchases inside iPhone and iPad games are authorized after customers complained that their kids were racking up hundreds of dollars worth of charges. The issue was that after a user entered his or her iTunes password on a device, the device didn't prompt for the password again for 15 minutes. Any purchases, whether in the iTunes store or inside kid-friendly games such as 'The Smurf's Village,' went through without a new password prompt. This meant that parents who handed over their iPhones or iPads to their kids were sometimes shocked by large purchases of 'Smurfberries' and other virtual bling."
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Apple Moves To Stop Kids Racking Up iTunes Bills

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  • Re:In other news... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 16, 2011 @05:01PM (#35508562)

    ...parents left cookies on the table and were shocked to find that their children ate them when they weren't looking.

    Don't worry, citizens! Your elected officials are on the case! Legislation is being introduced requiring safety locks on all cookie jars sold in the United States. Rumor has it that an Anti-Cookie-Trafficking Agreement is also in the works that would extend these protections around the world!

  • by romanval ( 556418 ) on Wednesday March 16, 2011 @05:03PM (#35508580)
    This is how you avoid this problem:

    Step 1: Get Kid's iPod Touch/iPhone.
    Step 2: Setting->General->Restrictions->Enable Restrictions. Remember the passcode.
    Step 3: Setting->General->Restrictions->In App Purchases, TURN OFF.
    That wasn't so hard now was it?
  • by DdJ ( 10790 ) on Wednesday March 16, 2011 @05:04PM (#35508594) Homepage Journal

    They already have that kind of thing, and even the concept of giving an allowance to a kid's iTunes account. []

    The "problem" arises here when the parent hands their own iOS device with their own account to the kid within epsilon of using the account themselves (eg. right after they installed a game). If the kids really had their own iOS devices and iTunes accounts to begin with, the problems aren't the same.

  • Re:Sounds like... (Score:1, Informative)

    by petteyg359 ( 1847514 ) on Wednesday March 16, 2011 @06:03PM (#35509306) Homepage

    I will hand my young son my phone with the Talking Tomcat "ca-caty!" application when I have to wait in a long checkout/service/wahtever line, lest I be holding a screaming toddler who -- like any 2.5-year-old -- prefers to run around the store rather than stand still for 10 minutes.

    There's the problem. You're rewarding bad behavior: If child misbehaves, child gets a toy. Instead, teach that such behavior is not acceptable, and then offer the reward after you get home if they behave in the store.

  • Re:In other news... (Score:4, Informative)

    by lactose99 ( 71132 ) on Wednesday March 16, 2011 @06:28PM (#35509564)

    To be fair, it isn't mentioned anywhere in the pamphlet you receive with the iPhone or iPod, its buried within the iTunes website terms-and-conditions (at least last time I checked). If there were a warning label you had to pull-off each new iDevice I'd be right there with you, but you really have to look for it to find the iTunes lockout timeout (at least you did before this story broke).

    That being said I'm generally not a believer of ignorance-as-a-defense, but I can certainly see why Apple would change this behavior and why the FTC would look into it.

Who goeth a-borrowing goeth a-sorrowing. -- Thomas Tusser