Marvel in-app purchases

Mother suing over $69 of in-app purchases through Marvel game

Google is facing a class-action lawsuit over claims it "unfairly" profited from unauthorized in-app purchases by children. The suit was filed by New York mother Llana Imber-Gluck, who says her child spent $68.95 on virtual currency for the Marvel Run Jump Smash! game on Google Play. Law firm Berger & Montague, representing Imber-Gluck, alleges that Google "has unfairly profited by marketing free or low-cost games to children and by permitting them to easily rack up charges for worthless in-game currency, by failing to incorporate reasonable controls such as simply requiring the entry of a password."

Today's press release goes on, "Google is certainly aware that its primary competitor, Apple, has taken steps to end this unfair practice, and Google should do the same." Central to the case is the issue of password use to restrict purchases in Google Play. With password protection enabled, users remain able to make purchases for 30 minutes without re-entering the password, a feature which Berger & Montague says "is designed to enable children to purchase in-game currency without parental permission and without having to enter a password."

The firm represented parents in a similar case against Apple, which earlier this year resulted in $100 million in iTunes credits being handed out as settlement.

Source: The Guardian

 

Reader comments

Google faces class-action lawsuit over in-app purchases

249 Comments

I don't understand. Every time I make an in-app purchase, I'm required to enter my password. There's a "don't ask me this again" option, but isn't the parent accepting responsibility for any other user's purchases if s/he clicks that?

Posted from one of an unnecessarily large collection of Nexus devices because I'm That Guy

Agreed. Clearly this is negligence on the parent's part. Pay the damn $70, learn your lesson, and change the password settings.

Posted via Samsung GS3 Wishing It Was A N5

I agree that parents are responsible for the actions of their children however, Google should default its setting so that you must enter your password for any purchases – but for those (like you) who do not want to enter their password, there there should be setting for this option… NOT the other way around! I am really annoyed for paying attention not to click /tap on something that will automatically start charging me for in-app “crap” or whatever stupid digital items google (and others) wants to automatically chars me for.

The same states for the Amazon’s 1-click future. Regardless of how many times I am telling them I don’t want this, they keep asking whether I want it turned on – how many times I need to say no? By the way, while holding my nexus 7 one time I accidently tapped on “something” in the Amazon’s page, and the next thing I see on the screen is: “thank you for your purchase”.. what the hell I thought…?

To me that is equivalent to physically entering a store leaving “copy” of your credit card at the front desk with access to everyone that passes by, while you are browsing the store. Then when you pick your item you would simply leave the store with your items - hoping whatever charged it got charged and nothing else – also hoping prices are correct.

When I am buying, I want to know exactly what I am being charged for and how much – no I don’t want to go to my gmail to check what I bought yesterday.

This isn’t about silly $70 but about the idiotic setting where anybody can buy things on your phone without your consent. For some reason all large companies do this: Google, Microsoft, Apple, etc. – though Apple learned their lesson and addressed this issue I think.

They do have a requirement that asks you to enter your password everytime. Since I am the only user on my Android devices I disabled it, I don't need a nanny to tell me what I can and cannot do on my phone. As for this "parent" perhaps parenting classes are in order so they learn a tablet isn't a babysitter, they are.

Good point OK, you don't need your nanny. All I am saying is that my nanny was turned off by default and I did not like that- not sure whether that has changed though. I agree with you about parents.

Also for me it’s not only about needing a "nanny", but also making sure that I know and understand what I am being charged for. For example you may think your set of items will be costing ‘x’, but then at the check-out you’ll find out other fees, taxes, discount (or removed discounts) etc. I just need that final check before clicking Buy Now/check out.

-Thanks,

that's the thing, though. it's not turned off by default. the password is turned on by default and you have to manually click "don't ask me again"

I understand that - but this was not the case with me about a year ago.

If now password is turned on by default and you have to manually click "don't ask me again", then this is really more on the parent's side not paying attention.

Wrong, I enabled the password on my Google Play account long time ago because I was getting frustrated when it never prompted me for credentials in Play store.

By the way – I had to do the same thing for Sony’s PSN and Amazon accounts.

For Google, this might have changed but that definitively was not the case back then.

Central to the case is the issue of password use to restrict purchases in Google Play. With password protection enabled, users remain able to make purchases for 30 minutes without re-entering the password, a feature which Berger & Montague says "is designed to enable children to purchase in-game currency without parental permission and without having to enter a password."

I've never experienced this. Every time I make back to back in-app-purchases I'm still required to input my password.

There are a couple of morals to this article; 1. Dumb people need dumb phones. 2. Why is your child who doesn't understand the value of a dollar, playing games on your personal assistant that holds your critically important information? 3. Make a Gmail account for your child and download games using that account, but don't attach a credit card to it or give the child that accounts password.

(Most importantly) 4. Don't give children unsupervised access to your personal information.

Too bad the dumb people that need to see this probably never will, seeing as how they aren't smart enough to use sites like ours.

Posted via my SPARK enabled Sprint LG G2, that's constantly laughing at my wife's T-Mobile Galaxy Note 3 with borked sdcard support on 4.4.2...

I've purchased items with in 2-5 minutes on iap's and other stuff and have had to re-enter my password, that has never happened to me either.

It is not turned off by default, you had to choose to turn it off. Another example of not paying attention and then wanting to blame someone else.

Something tells me this person doesn't know how to use an Android device properly.

Posted via Android Central App

Every time I have changed devices and set them up, My enter password was set up by default until I turn it off. Even though it was turned off on my previous device.

So the mother should of known better by now anyway, and she would of had to turn it off to begin with.

No, my 1-click was ON after I installed the app, and I accidentally bought something as my nexus 7 slipped in my hand. Since then, I’ve disabled it but now getting annoyed because Amazon keeps asking me to turn it on.

That must have happened to you in your “2nd life”. Here in the real world we don’t trip and fall on women with your pants down.

It is on by default. The parent must have forgotten and is now blaming Google for their own error.

Posted via Android Central App

There is no however. The parent is responsible and should have been aware of what her child was doing. I have 3 young sons all with access to the Play Store/Amazon Market through various tablets and Kindle. I have never incurred any "accidental" charges from any game because I am a responsible parent and taught my boys to look for things that cost money and to read pop-up messages before blindly accepting them. It's a shame that responsible parenting and being accountable for one's actions is becoming rare.

I agree with you that parents are ultimately responsible for what their children are doing with the phone, tablets etc. Yes –they should pay attention to what the kids are doing as opposed sue Google.

Having said that, in my opinion Google should by default require password for every purchase (with an option to disable for those who want to). I know this is true for a fact because I had to look for this setting in Google play, Sony PSN, Amazon, and others, and make an effort to set “password required”. It irritates me greatly that I have to do that for every “merchant”. I just feel more secure this way.

For Google Play this setting may have recently changed as others point out which I did not experience. I also did not know about “no password needed 30 minutes” after initial purchase.

Also - I am certain you’ve experienced how “they” (not Google) want to trick you into installing some silly app or buy in-app items. Sometime those are difficult to catch particularly for not too tech savvy users.

Yeah, it requires a password by default. I don't remember a time when it didn't. Google makes you jump through at least 1 hoop when it comes to making payments. I think with Google Wallet it's 2 hoops? Anyway, the mom was dumb, is dumb, and won't win.

The default has been to require a password each time since the day Google rolled out in-app purchases a a few years ago. Can't speak to the Amazon App Store, but that's not really relevant to the conversation. I mention it only because you said above that "Amazon keeps prompting you to turn it back on".

It is ON by default, even if you don't have a credit card.... Stop lying and pay your $70...

Posted via Android Central App

It's been at least 3 years ago by now, but this happened to me with Google Market. It wasn't an issue for purchasing items through the Market, but was within individual apps. Eventually I deleted the credit card on file so that it didn't matter. Kids don't realize that some things are real money and not play money. There was a time when this could easily happen to even tech savvy parents.

That IS the default. Every time I want to make an in-app purchase, I have to enter my password. There's an option to never request the password again, but if I select that, someone might buy stuff without my authorization...

It's all about not being stupid. The mom basically left her credit card out for anyone to take, and now she's complaining because someone took it. Maybe next time keep it secure. I hope Google destroys her.

I have mine set to always ask for a password when buying in game or through the app store. I use my account on the tablet that my son uses and this way he can't rack up big bills on the games he plays.

This exactly. We just bought my son a tablet. Installed an app (the name escapes me) that requires a password to access certain apps for his/our protection. I sat there for an hour making sure it was "locked down" before handing it over.

Posted via Android Central App

Well that's because you're smart. I think the option should be, "don't ask for password for the next 24 hours."

That could prevent a stranger from racking up if your phone was lost.. but not someone on the phone right after you unlocked.

I read that article, and many of the comments, and I find it interesting how many people jumped onto the "FINE GOOGLE!" bandwagon, even though the articles doesn't even *say* what Google supposedly did wrong.

Some of the allegations against Google in recent years (particularly related to "anti-trust") have seemed pretty frivolous. The UK sued them because they showed the paid ads before the actual search results. How is that any different from an online blog that has ads at the top of the page?

So, if I turn on 1-click purchases in Amazon and let my kids buy me TV's and mp3's by the dozen, can I sue them to keep from having to pay?

There's plenty of controls in place, learn to use them before handing over a sophisticated device full of your personal information to your kids.

Are you serious... I was about to reply with this right before i saw it.. You beat me to it..

But yeah... if im still logged on to amazon its my fault is someone comes up behind me and orders a bunch of stuff in my name.. These parents just wanna point the finger elsewhere..

1. Its only $70 ... hardly the $800+ like in the previous instance... Just pay it you negligent mother

2. If Google pays they should send her $70 in pennies and then disconnect her from all services...

You may think my standpoint is kinda harsh but without it people will never learn. I remember from when i was young accessing my parents money was never difficult (digital or physical)... i never did cause they told me early about digital currency and that they would kill me if i spent their money online..

All very true. The US has become a nation of people who do not want to take responsibility for their own actions. It's always "somebody else's fault!"

More of a nation of lawyers who want to get paid. I bet this law firm shopped for the perfect person for this. Class action lawsuits are all about the lawyers getting paid, not the consumers.

Posted via Android Central App

Not true! I installed Amazon app on my phone and they turned 1-click automatically. I had to make an effort to go to app’s setting, find it, and disable it. Since, every time I buy an item using amazon’s app, I am being asked to turn on 1-click purchases telling me how awesome(not) it is - how many time I need to say “no” to Amazon in your opinion ?

That's a lie, and, a blatant one, at that. I've had the Amazon app installed on numerous devices, and NONE of them had 1-click turned on by default. NONE.

You're clearly trying to spread an agenda. And, you're failing miserably.

How far will you go to prove a point? How much are you willing to lie?

Posted from my "Gift from God" Note 3, my "God-Given" iPad Mini 2, or my "Risen" Samsung Chromebook.

If there's any settlement, one of the terms for making a claim should be proof they uninstalled the app and any in-app upgrades they're claiming are unauthorized purchases. LOL

Um, pretty sure there are passwords on Google Play. At least, if you take responsibility and check your settings. It's really disappointing that everyone is so sue-happy and can't take responsibility for not checking through these options before they just hand over the next new shiny thing to their kids.

There is passwords but as the article says after you purchase something with a password it won't ask you for a password for the next 30 minutes. I came across this as well thinking there's some sort of bug, I brought a app and about 10 minutes later I brought something else but it didn't ask for a password. Checked Google quickly and found it no password is required for 30 minutes after a purchase. This goes for multiple devices with same account as I tested if I purchase something on my phone a password would not be required on my tablet for the next half hour too. I really think Google should put an option to ask for passwords always.

Posted via Android Central App using galaxy s4

Wasn't aware of that. I guess I've never made back to back purchases in that time frame.

Posted via Android Central App

Still think these lawsuits are dumb but these lawsuits should force Google to put in better options.

Posted via Android Central App using galaxy s4

You are correct. Despite what people have been saying, this 30 minute remembering of the password was confirmed to me by Google on the phone. If there is a setting where I can go into my Google Play and tell it to always require a password, PLEASE PM me and tell me where to find it. My daughter has her own Google Play account on her phone, with no credit card associated with it, but my Google Play account is still associated with her tablet because it was my tablet before I gave it to her, and I haven't broken the connection because I truly believe she didn't know she was making these purchases. I don't want to remove the credit card from my own Google Play account.
Does anyone know if there is a similar issue with apps purchased from Amazon? It appears that Amazon does not operate the way Google does with regard to in-app charges. She and I have both purchased games from Amazon's app store and never incurred a single charge from those.

Especially for $70! I know that's not necessarily something to sneeze at for everyone, but we all know she isn't suing just to cover the charges.

Posted via Android Central App

Of course now. After Apple had to pay out all that money, her and the lawyer are hoping for their own payday.

I love how everyone says "purchases by children"... even though these games are aimed at kids (some little kids), the parents are the ones that have to be responsible. Technically, could Google not come out and say "you're violating the terms of service" because you're letting someone access your account when they are below the "legal" age in the Google TOS? This is from Google:

******
Age requirements on Google Accounts

Below are the minimum age requirements to own a Google Account:

United States: 13 or older
Spain: 14 or older
South Korea: 14 or older
Netherlands: 16 or older
All other countries: 13 or older

******

ALSO - the TOS for Google Play is VERY clear:

Age Restrictions. In order to use Google Play you must be 13 years of age or older. If you are between 13 and 18 years of age, you must have your parent or legal guardian’s permission to use Google Play. You must not access Google Play or accept these Terms if you are a person who is either barred or otherwise legally prohibited from receiving or using the Service or any Products under the laws of the country in which you are resident or from which you access or use Google Play.

SO - in order to use Google, you must be 13. They violated the TOS. Sucks to be them....

Sorry but you're deflecting from a serious security flaw in Google Play.
This affects everyone not just children.
Make a purchase and Google turns off the password protection for 30 minutes.

This applies to future and past purchases.
Buy something and password protection is turned off for IAP purchases for all past game purchases.

This is what the lawsuit is about.

Really?
Perhaps security flaw was the wrong term. I am after all not an Attorney.
How about:
Intentionally screwing their customers
Theft
Criminal negligence

What would you call it when someone automatically turns off the one feature that prevents unauthorized purchases?
And then doesn’t bother telling you they've done it?

I'd call it a convenience. They do tell you in the TOS. It's people like you that have led to our overly litigious society. They think that companies should have to protect everyone from everything at all times. It's ridiculous.

I once saw a SeeDoo watercraft that had a sticker with the following warning: "Do not aim jet nozzle at body orifices such as anus or vagina". I kid you not. I saw it with my own eyes. This means some brainiac decided to try the described activity and sued when bad things happened.

My favorite consumer warning ever was on a chainsaw:

"Danger! Do not attempt to stop chain with hands or genitals."

So, is being able to swipe my credit card at the pump at a gas station "criminal negligence"?

It's intended for convenience. Calling it a way to "intentionally screw customers" is more than a little melodramatic and childish. I might agree that they need a way to make that 30 minute window end immediately, or at least present a message that makes that window more easily known.

Personally, I didn't even know that was the case, but I've probably never made a bunch of purchases back-to-back like that.

No, but the gas pump doesn't stay open after I hang up the hose, it resets for the next customer.
So I guess for that to be a proper comparison the pump would need to stay on for 30 minutes as a convenience so the next car could use my card. :-)

Still not a proper example overall. A gas pump isn't in your home under your control.

The equal to what this lady did with a gas pump analogy was to put her card info in it and then not watch as her children played with the pump for up to 30 minutes (or indefinitely if she didn't have the option on at all) and then wonder why there was gas on the ground.

Theft
Criminal Negligence
Intentionally screwing their customers

I want the ability to charge you with criminal stupidity and shit-headedness. Jesus Christ on a Popsicle stick, what kind of moron do you have to be to not only hold Google responsible for other people's bad parenting skills and stupidity but to suggest they're criminal for it to boot?

Posted via Android Central App

Sorry I don't speak moron, but I'll try to keep it simple for you.
The issue isn't that she's a bad parent,
I'm sorry that you're incapable of realizing this.
The issue is Google Play automatically resets her password preferences and turns off the the password for 30 minutes.

That's the problem and it's going to cost Google millions.
And it's not like they weren't aware of this problem, they just chose to ignore it.
Sorry you are incapable of seeing this.

Don't know if you're responding to me. But.
Don't ever take anything I say seriously :-)
Not saying I don't believe Google has a snow balls chance of winning.
Just sometimes my post are to encourage, how can I say it, the easily excitable.
Sorry to anyone I've offended. :-) :-)

Why is it bad parenting when Google Play bypasses the parents selection of requiring a password?

If you had read the article, Google Play automatically turns off the password for 30 minutes. And this applies to all previous purchases, bought a game a year ago, password requirement turned off for that also.

That is what the lawsuit is about. Google does this without telling anyone they have turned it off.

So what? You can also tell PayPal to keep you logged in when you visit their Website. 30 minutes is reasonable. Your argument, however, is not.

Ok..How about just about every bank Web site which a time period that you stay logged in after entering a password? Take your pick. There is a balance to be struck between convenience and security, even when it comes to banking. Google Play should be no different.

Well for one thing I wouldn't use that bank :-)
But a better analogy would be a bank where you log out, but keeps you logged in.

With the exception of music, how many purchases does the average person make on Google Play in a half an hour time that it would be an inconvenience?

Uh huh..right. Your bank doesn't cache credentials online for a specific amount of time. Gotcha. It must be the Bank of Bullshit.

My local credit union does that. Odds are yours does too, you just don't know it.

Posted via Android Central App

Unless you are explicitly hitting the "log out" button, your banking session remains open for a fixed amount of time. I promise.

As for Google, you yourself even point out why this would be a beneficial thing for Google Music purchases.

I do for the bank, personal responsibility I guess. :-)
The problem is that my bank doesn’t go against my wishes to log out, and keep me logged in just in case I want to do something else.

And that's the issue here, I chose to have a password request for each purchase.
Google Play decided to override my request.
That's why they are being sued, and that's why they'll lose.
Doesn't matter what the TOS States, doesn't matter what you think should happen, doesn't matter what all the irate posters think.
Google was wrong and they'll pay,
Sorry end of story.

No, but unlike others posting I'm a realist.
If you think this will end anyway other than Google paying and changing the way passwords work.
You must be extremely young or inexperienced in how the world works when something like this hits the news.

I read this site daily, If I'm proven wrong I'll be more than happy to post an apology to all those I've annoyed. :-)

I want Google to fix this "problem" and any other issues they find are alerted about, concerning the Play Store. But, I don't think these snobs should be profiting from it. They should receive their money back, a small portion for their time, and have their attorney's fees paid. That's it. These people shouldn't be allowed to profit from negligence. Period.

Posted from my "Gift from God" Note 3, my "God-Given" iPad Mini 2, or my "Risen" Samsung Chromebook.

Young, I wish. But I do know to avoid people pushing buttons like yourself. You will never post about yourself being wrong and you know it. That being said, you do come arcoss as pretty arrogant. But that is ok, cause you know it all. Enlighten us some more 'o wise one.

From a legal standpoint, Google has done nothing wrong, even if only because the 30 minute thing is listed in the TOS. Also, the 30 minute thing is equivalent to you *not* logging out of your bank's website. If I log into the banking app on my phone, I can leave that app and won't be logged out until after about 10 minutes.

I think your assertion that Google is "override my request" is a fallacy based on a particular interpretation of the the words "require password for purchases" that makes assumptions about what those words actually, literally mean. And, I think it's an interpretation that is wrong, based on the fact that Google outlines what it actually means in the TOS.

Whether or not they will win or lose this case is a different matter entirely. The fact that the court of "public opinion" could potentially hold so much sway is a problem, IMO.

Either way, I still think this is just a money grab for the woman and lawyer involved in this case.

As for apologizing to those you have "annoyed", there's certainly nothing wrong with having a differing opinion and discussing that opinion. That's the whole purpose of the "reply" button. Just so long as that discussion doesn't devolve to "name calling" (not that you've done that).

You're wasting your fingers strength. People will defend Google to no end. I do agree this was a really weak implementation on their part. I don't care if they win or lose the case as long as they fix this boo-boo.

It's not a "boo boo". You can only idiot-proof things so much before it becomes a complete pain in the ass to use something.
Personal responsibility. Look into it some time.

Posted via Android Central App

Yeah, at the end, our opinions don't matter. Sometimes, I DO forget that. Thanks, for reminding me.

Posted from my "Gift from God" Note 3, my "God-Given" iPad Mini 2, or my "Risen" Samsung Chromebook.

Why would you make a purchase in the first place? Its a game, not your life. There is more to life than playing little mobile games. Especially if you spend $70? This is just an excuse for bad parenting.

Posted via Android Central App

Google should counter sue for TOS violation. In millions I might add so lazy ass parents like this can get off their ass and take responsibilities of their kids action.

Or just stop letting apps aimed at kids to have in app purchases. Your off your ass high if you think even the best parents watch every second of a kids time on an ipad\smartphone.
I hate the lawsuit, but even after Apple's fix, my kid is constantly handing me the ipad to get it back to her game and out of iTunes. She can't buy anything, and just this is irritating to no end.
Posted via Android Central App

your off your ass if you think that good parenting is handing a completely open peace of tech to a child and just hoping for the best. They make game devices and such specifically for kids. They dont do anything but run the games on them.. Thats what they need.. Not an ipad..

I'm not buying every person in the house a different device. One ipad for the house, and a computer for harder things. If I could do it over, I would have got a Kindle fire, as they seem to actually have some parent controls.

Posted via Android Central App

In-app purchases serve their purpose, but some developers go way, way, way overboard. That isn't the fault of Google (or Apple, or Microsoft) for making those systems available, it is the fault of the developer for implementing them so heavily. If you want devs to stop in-app purchases, only download the ones that don't have them, or the ones they do have are minimal.

How will she ever afford to pay off that debt!?!?
It's amazing how dumb certain people are in our society, especially those that breed. Google and recently Apple have placed restrictions on purchases to help prevent this very thing.

Ambulence chasing at it's finest!! That said they should ask for a password each time if they don't already. I like the challenge (or I'm app cheap) so I never make in app purchases, but from what I could tell just now in Candy Crush it was not going to ask me for my gWallet password.

I think it is the child who has unknowingly profited from a parent that didn't adequately monitor their actions.

Posted via Android Central App

Bingo. If a kid takes a parents credit card to a soda machine or other automated device, is the parent then going to demand a refund? Or was the parent careless for leaving the CC out and not teaching the kid not to do that sort of thing?

Posted via Android Central App

is it possible to get the password input required again after someone checks that box to not require the password? I never really checked but you generally don't want any sort of software to have state where it is impossible to get out of that state
seems like better parental controls is also necessary here, like always requiring a password (removing the said checkbox), or putting allowance restrictions across all purchases, I'm a bit surprised there isn't MORE controls in place already

You can go into the Google Play app and under User Controls, you can re check the password option. This should work even after telling the dialog box to never show them again.

Posted from my Nexus 5

Yes, but as the article States, Google Play automatically turns off the password protection for 30 minutes, no matter what you have chosen to be the default.

Hence the lawsuit.

It doesn't matter. It's stated in the TOS and the kid is too young to be using Google Play in the first place.

I'm a cynic. Google will probably lose or settle. That doesn't mean they should lose or settle.

I know we differ in our opinion, but in this case you are right Google would lose.
But more than likely they'll change the way purchases work and offer a payoff to the law firm.
If Google Play had been upfront about this "Convenience Feature" of turning off your password, then this wouldn't have happened.
Because they didn't, it looks like they were trying a sleazy way to make money.

Most American States support English Common Law.
Which asks, what would a reasonable person do in a given situation?
So Would a reasonable person expect their password to be turned off without their permission?
I'm sure a jury would say no.

A reasonable person knows the terms of service. Ignorance of the law (or conditions) is no excuse.

Posted via Android Central App

"If Google Play had been upfront about this..."

It's in the Terms of Service that you specifically stated that you had read and agreed to in order to use the Play Store. How is it Google's fault if you lied and didn't actually read the TOS? Look, I know we *all* do it. We just check that little box that says "I have read and agree to the TOS" without actually reading them. But doesn't that put the onus on us if something goes wrong?

Since when did we become immune to the consequences of our own actions? This "somebody else's fault!" mentality has got to go. If you picked up a gun and shot somebody, do you think the jury would buy the "I didn't know what would happen" defense?

I get that those things aren't exactly the same, but too many people are constantly trying to find a scapegoat for every little thing that goes wrong in their life. Nothing can *ever* be *their* fault.

"I took my 5 year old to an R-rated movie, and now he won't stop saying the f-word! We have to ban R-rated movies!"

Kinda ridiculous, don't you think?

Not ridiculous at all. But your movie example is.

The theater posts right up front that the movie is R rated.
Google buries the information in a lengthy TOS, and the courts have ruled that it's no defence.

Also, to all the people who say they read all the TOS for all the sites they visit and all the software or apps they use, I'm afraid I'm going to have to call BS.

I don't disagree that most of us have not read 1% of the TOS we say we have, but does that really make it the company's fault when we get blind sided?

That's the point. You download the game for free or 99-cents and after they get you hooked you pay a little more and a little more each time you want to advance and it all adds up to a lot more.

Posted via Android Central App on my daily driver, the Droid MAX

The average user spends over $100/month on Candy Crush (or did a few months ago). At one point, King.com was raking in about $1million per *day*. No joke. That's why it's gotten to bad: because so many people fall for it. It has really started to kill the app market, IMO, since *so* many games are going after this *insane* level of IAP for everything.

So long as there's money to be made, the game developers will keep doing it, unfortunately. I try and make a point of supporting as many apps as I can that *don't* go that route.

"what a f*cking idiot"

Yes like
people, like you who comment without reading the entire article.

To save your brain for exploding trying to read the entire article, I'll give you the salient points.
1-You turn on password protection
2- You make a Purchase
3- Google Play turns off the password protection you choose, for 30 minutes.
That's what the lawsuit is about.
f*cking idiot

So what? She shouldn't have given it to the child until after the 30 minutes was up. It's in the TOS.

It's in the TOS that Google Play turns off your password?

Besides the courts have ruled against companies because their EULA or TOS had buried the info in pages of legalese.

Yes. It is.

Google may lose. Most likely it will be settled. They should neither lose nor settle. People need to grow up and be responsible for their choices.

Yes. Read the freaking TOS sometime. She's wrong (as are you) and would lose in court, but the court case would coat more than a settlement, which is what this dumb woman and her lawyers are counting on.

Posted via Android Central App

Like I've said from the beginning,
Google will lose, whether they settle or the courts decide it, Google will lose.
And they will change the way they do passwords for purchases.

Doesn't matter who read what,
Doesn’t matter Who posted whatever they thought was a brilliant defense.
Doesn't matter what you think of the Mother, the Law Firm, the Courts.
Google has already lost in the court of public opinion.
And they will buckle and pay, and change the way they do business.
Sorry for everyone that expends all the vitriol towards the Mother.
At the end of the day, She wins and Google loses.

"BUTTON PUSHER"
I love that.
Never heard it before so I'm not sure if it's a compliment or not.
However
I do, stand as a shining beacon on a hill top speaking the truth.
If only the blind could see, the deaf could hear.
For I light the path to salvation
I speak the words of redemption.

It's a lonely task, but I do it for the more deserving among you

A little originality please, you've become boring!
God I wish this was a political Web site, they know how to keep the vitriol flowing. :-)

lol. I'm hoping there was a bit of snark and sarcasm in there. If not, you should really see someone about that god complex ;)

One thing to keep in mind: you are speaking your opinion, not necessarily truth. Not that your opinion isn't valid but, while it may be the "truth" in your mind, neither does it make anyone else's opinion any less valid.

Always sarcasm, sorry it's my nature.

"All things (truths) are subject to interpretation.
Whichever interpretation prevails at a given time is a function of power and not truth."
Friedrich Nietzsche

The "Truth" is a very elusive thing and it changes depending on your point of view.
Two people can see the same event and form two versions of its Truthfulness.
And the Truthfulness of an event can be swayed by opinion. :-)

https://support.google.com/googleplay/answer/1626831?hl=en

After checking off the Password box, you will be asked to enter your password before making your next purchase on Google Play. After signing in to your account, you will be able to make purchases on Google Play for 30 minutes without having to re-enter your password. After 30 minutes or more, you will be required to sign in to your account again to make purchases on Google Play.

If you previously set up a PIN to protect purchases on your Google Play account, password protection updates that feature with added security by enabling the use of your Google password.

I agree with you about the parent, - but separately, if you'd read TOS for every product we wouldn't need lawyers. I cannot read 80 page documents and understand/remember them perfectly. We have brains not hard drives and even if' you'd read all of it you wont remember every detail.

While that's true, you are still legally responsible for the Terms of Service whether you read through and understand them or not.

I've never done an in-app purchase, but if what the article says is true, then I think Google does have a problem. It says that even on a phone passworded for purchases, AFTER making an in-app purchase it doesn't lock again for 30 minutes. I'd never heard of this. Is it true?

If so, that means Ma could unlock with a password to approve what she thinks is only ONE purchase, but after she walks away the kid has another 29 minutes to go on an in-app shopping spree without another password prompt. Ma may have expected another password prompt for new purchases, but that doesn't work that way within the 30 minutes?

It is true I tested it today, however its not clear if the child did the IAP at that time or whether the mother had the password feature disabled. It is also clearly laid out in the TOS about the 30 minute window.

Stupid, negligent parents and evil lawyers make the world so depressing.

Posted via Android Central App

I think another read of the article is in order....

"Central to the case is the issue of password use to restrict purchases in Google Play. With password protection enabled, users remain able to make purchases for 30 minutes without re-entering the password, a feature which Berger & Montague says "is designed to enable children to purchase in-game currency without parental permission and without having to enter a password."

Its saying that if a parent purchases a game for a child, then that child has free access to make further purchases for up to 30 min after the password was entered, regardless if password requirement was enabled or not. Also since the game user doesn’t actually specifically access Google play to make a purchase in game, then the TOS doesn’t apply. Using that argument would say that no child should ever be allowed to play games or use an android based phone. Arguing whether children should be allowed to use mobile devices is a separate discussion.

"Its saying that if a parent purchases a game for a child, then that child has free access to make further purchases for up to 30 min after the password was entered, regardless if password requirement was enabled or not."
That is correct.

"Also since the game user doesn’t actually specifically access Google play to make a purchase in game, then the TOS doesn’t apply."
This statement is incorrect. Even though the game is not the Play Store, any in-app purchases made are processed through Google Wallet and the Play Store, and are subject to the Google unified ToS. Hence, the child has no right to make the purchases to begin with.
As for the rest, you are also correct, but I don't think you have the right gist of that wording. Google's ToS prohibit the ownership of a Google account by anyone under the age of 13. They also explicitly prohibit sharing an account with a second party. So, no child should use an Android device to access Google services, including the Play Store through in-app purchases. That wording, plus the statement in the ToS which clearly spells out the 30 minute purchase window, should be enough to indemnify them. That said, if Apple had similar language in their ToS and they lost, then Google's pretty much screwed.

Thank you, someone who actually read the article and not just the Headline.

Not about a negligent parent, about a serious flaw in Google Play.
A purchase also turns off all protection for past purchases also.

My children don't use my phone (they have their own) and I have the password turned on so I don't inadvertently click a buy now button. They need to get their head out of their ass

Probably isn't costing her a cent. If you read the article, the lawyers are the same ones that one the settlement against Apple. I would imagine that they are doing ALL of this for a percentage of the settlement. Douchebag lawyers need to go away...

This parent is dumb. i get an email if i spend even a penny in the store or in-app. you telling me she aint get a single email? and either you told this kid your password or you entered it for him. STFU count your losses and learn from your mistakes

I get emails for FREE "purchases". The only things that don't send out a receipt are things that are permanently free on the Play Store.

The sad part is, she will probably win. Why anyone would give their device to their young child, without ensuring that it is locked down in some way, I will never understand.

I mean, come on... Turn on airplane mode, disconnect and "forget" your wifi network so they can't get online with it, download one of the MANY "kids" launchers that are available on the play store that they can't get out of without a pin number... There are plenty of options to prevent this crap from happening. Most of all, teach your kids what they should and SHOULD NOT do while playing on YOUR device.

I have a 6 year old that I let play with my tablet all the time and I have done all of the things I mentioned... Just to be on the safe side...

Spot on. My daughter has a tablet, and that thing is locked down like Knox. If she tries to make an in-app purchase, it won't even allow the play store to appear. And even if that somehow failed, A) A PIN would be required by the play store. B) I don't have any payment options on it, save for the occasional GP gift card. and C) It's a wifi only tablet, so carrier billing isn't an option (Though I would be sure to block it with my carrier if it were).
She's fairly bright, but at the end of the day, she's 8. Giving her full access to make in-app purchases is tantamount to sending a kid into a candy store with your wallet, and hoping for the best.

If this ends up forcing Google to "require" a password like Apple does (no option to save password) I'm going to be pissed! Stupid people need to take responsibility for their own and their childern's actions!

Yet another example of how parenting has taken a back seat in America. Placing blame on others, showing No attempt to accept responsibility and trying to make a quick buck.

Sadly, this is true.

Posted from my "Gift from God" Note 3, my "God-Given" iPad Mini 2, or my "Risen" Samsung Chromebook.

Sounds like a stay at home mom has nothing better to do. Let's just hope the case lands in a court with a common sense judge...

Posted via Android Central App

Yay, yet another stupid case of people taking no personal responsibility for their actions, or the action of their minors whom they are 100% responsible. It just amazes me how people think they have no personal responsibility for their lives, and their dumbass lawsuits leads to higher costs of things for the rest of society. People like this don't deserve the nice things in life if they can't handle them! Idiots!

If I were her judge I'd throw her sorry butt out the door, and not only make her pay the exorbitant $70 charge, but also the maximum amount of court costs and fees allowable. I hope this ends up costing her many multiples of that $70!!!!
Posted via Android Central App on OG N7

i love how everyone thinks their 2cents is actually important, so important, to where they think google is poor, has no clue about anything, and cannot afford a lawyer (when they can buy multiple law firms) to figure out the things people on this thread think google has no idea about. right. bc some stupid neglecting ignorant woman, is really going to win a lawsuit against google. for $70.

And yet here you are... Hmmm..

Anyways.. no one says they will lose... We just dont want google to give in and make any changes just for the hell of it... Which despite their many lawyers is likely to happen.. They will just cancel the charges and refund the money.. Because its the easiest thing to do any they would rather look good in the press...

I don't know if Google will lose the lawsuit, but I'm sure this will bring about some changes. If nothing else, the 30 min window will go away and I'd have to agree with that move. I love how Apple gave them $100 million in iTunes!! That had to be a huge f*ck you to those lawyers. Congrats, we've agreed to settle this lawsuit for $100 million. Lawyers go crazy!! That's $100 million in iTunes monopoly money. Sad lawyer face...

So many super critical responses. Have you seen how most actually use their phones? They have no clue what a TOS is and it's not required to be read to use the services. Lots of tech geeks on here that know, but I bet we all have THAT relative that shouldn't be using a smart phone or tablet. Class action suits aren't for people to make money on, aside from lawyers, but more for a group to stand together to get the attention of a corporation because they just don't care when you call as an individual to complain.

Posted via Android Central App

Weather or not someone reads the TOS or even knows what it is does not exempt them from being responsible for following it.

Posted via Android Central App on my daily driver, the Droid MAX

Ignorance of the law does not excuse one from its bindings. Similarly, electronic acceptance of the Terms of Service has been ruled as a legally binding agreement.

The mechanism for a "class-action lawsuit" was created in the interest of judicial expedience and efficiency. It is a way to rule on a very large number of potential identical smaller cases all at once. That is all it was ever meant to be. It's not a statement, it's not "standing up" for anything. Consumer law exists to protect the customer from unfair practices when a business has taken advantage of them in some manner, not to make a business give a damn about their customers. That's why you can't sue a restaurant for a bad server, but you can if that bad server overcharges your card and they won't refund you the difference.

My daughter did that once on my wife's 2013 nexus 7.
Not $69 worth but about $5 or $10.
Made sure google required password moving forward so fast I think Ussain Bolt would be proud of me.

In the words of South Park - 'lets blame them and cause a fuss before somebody thinks of blaming us'!!!

Posted via my shiny new Z1

I hope they lose and have to pay not only googles law costs - but also a fine for wasting the courts time.

IF YOUR KID IS NOT MATURE ENOUTH FOR A SMARTPHONE THEN DONT GIVE HIM ONE IDIOTS!

Posted via Android Central App

Say what?!? When you enter your password it disables password protected purchasing for a half hour. There's a reason I turn on password protection. So my kids nor I accidentally make purchases. This kinda defeats the purpose. Obviously Google needs to pay the parent money and change this.

Amazon app store tells you upon installation tells you that by proceeding you are agreeing to turn on one click. You can turn it off in parental controls.

It is not crazy to think that adults are the primary user of any device. Afterall they are the ones buying it generally. It is their credit card information being used for purchases. The fact that protection is opt in makes sense. Most adults are capable of making the choice on whether you want to password protect features of any device or app.

This adult did their due diligence and activated password peotection. Google gave a false sense of security by allowing the entering of that password work for 30 minutes. Password protection should be always on or always off kinda thing. Default of always off is fine as adults are the primary consumer afterall children can't get credit cards.

Posted via Android Central App

It defaults to require the password, but will allow you to make multiple purchases for a short time after entering the password as a convenience. Imaging if you went to Google Play Music and were skimming through buying songs. Having to enter your password for each individual song would get annoying pretty quickly.

I do agree that they should probably implement a little bit more transparent of a system, but I don't think any of this justifies a lawsuit. Especially over $70. I guarantee you that lawyer is working for free, with an agreement to get a percentage of the settlement money.

They should just download a app to lock the Play Store and any other app they don't want their children on that uses a password or pin that's what I do so my family and friends can't access my Play Store to buy any apps without me knowing.

Posted via Android Central App

smh, take precautionary steps before allowing your child to play with a device you manage money on or make purchases with. This makes me sick!

njo¡!

By reading most of these comments i can see most of you don't have kids and if you do you're actually not very involved with what they are doing. So it's better to keep your opinions to yourself.
I do have kids and unfortunately their tablets were bought for them by their grandparents who don't have no idea how to use this stuff..either does their mother...which leaves me to clean up the messes..not really the point, but you can't control what other people do and you can't make people get something they just don't...meaning they look at it as a game system not unlike the nintendo ds. And for the most part thats how the kids see it. I've locked it down as much as i can, and i've taught them to ask whenever they want something, but 30 mins is a long timewhen 5 mins into the game theyre hit with ads and IAPs.
I hope she wins and i'd take it a step further...no IAPs or ads in apps intended for anyone under 18. If youve ever watched a child play one of these apps its ridiculous. My boys have the same app referenced here, and for anyone who wamts to get into TOS arguements then why do they allow apps aimed at a demographic that shouldn't be there? And if its so the parent could get it for them why should/can it require further purchases within the game from someone not old enough to continue playing the game. Also the only reason the TOS says that is because of child internet protection laws that specify anyone under 13 can't have an email acct which is required by the play store. And thats the only reason because thats why they sell and profit from apps aimed at a under 13 demographic....and there is a boatload. Spend a wkend with a child under 10, using his mobile device what you see will surprise and disappoint you..this type of profiteering practice is a shame.
And i'm sorry if it inconviences any of you adults who are too busy to take 30 extra seconds and put in your info, look on the play store i know for a fact there are apps that will put it in for you when you visit a site.
Being a responsible ADULT is putting things in place that prevent people or businesses from taking advantage of children who don't know any better.

Posted via Android Central App

It's pretty simple to lock it with nothing but a password to be able to purchase. You actually have to make that decision when you set it up. It doesn't take a genius to know you should lock your credit card info. If you don't protect your credit card info and it's used legally (not stolen by someone who hacked the site) then it's your responsibility. Also, there are all kinds of security apps available that make the 30 minute problem moot. If you are buying apps for kids to play and just walking away and letting them use the device on their own and you haven't looked into security then shame on you.

Exactly. My son has his own Nexus 7. He's 5. He has my Google account on it and the Amazon App Store with my account as well. He's never made any purchase with the device because I've used the password settings to require my assent.

Simple. If someone else bought them the tablet then setup a google account for the kid and dont put in payment information. Done. No in app purchases possible without payments.

Then get a gift card and use that for purchasing games you want them to have, and games with in app purchases are clearly marked in the Play store when you go to buy them.

Do not buy games with in app purchases, and child cant make in app purchases.

Seems a simple, and adult thing to me.

"But I want....blah blah blah wah wah wah"

For that there is a word called "no". I recall when my parents didnt want me to have something, I didnt have it. They were the parent. Not my grandparents and not me.

lol. Dude. I have two kids, and I'm *super* involved in what they do. That's why they know better than to buy stuff from the app store without asking, even at 7 years old. My son downloaded Clash of Clans on the tablet the other day and I asked him "Was it free?" (I knew it was, because I have my account password protected, but I wanted to see if he had paid attention) He said, "Yes. It said you can buy stuff in the game, but I won't, Daddy." So even my 7-year-old son know what the little "in-app purchases" tag means in the Play Store, because I've sat down and explained it to him.

The people handing their 3 year old a tablet and walking away would be the ones who are "actually not very involved".

This is a freaking joke, it's a mother who doesn't take the time to look into what her kids are doing. She hands a smart phone/tablet to a kid and doesn't make sure they can't make purchases on her credit card info that she entered into the device. When I entered my credit card info into google the first time it made me enter a password and asked me if I wanted to have to enter it every time to make a purchase. Also, there are plenty of apps that make the 30 minute deal moot. I agree that it's a little slimy of Google but there are far worse things that companies do that people don't sue over and this is one that is easily fixed with a simple security app. If you are letting your kids have free reign on a connected mobile device and you haven't looked for ways to lock them out of certain things then you are either lazy or just plain dumb. I'm so sick of everyone wanting to sue because they themselves are either lazy or stupid. Don't get me wrong, there are times to sue, but crap like this just takes up court time that could be used for real cases that last for years because they can't get court time.

ALL in-app purchases should require the user enter a password by default. Also, I had no clue there was a 30 minute window allowed after I purchase something for my kid. Google screwed up there's no defending that. Though some will anyway...

It *is* in the TOS. I actually didn't know it, either, but I've looked it up now. It's there on purpose so that you don't have to enter your password repeatedly if you're buying several items at the same time. Can't blame Google for not reading the TOS, frankly. Especially when you have stated (as we all did) that you have read (even though most of us didn't) and agree to the TOS.

Luckily, I've taken the time to make sure my kids know not to buy stuff from in-app purchases (of course, I have a password as well) without asking first.

Definitely, I stress to my kid that she needs to have my approval for ANY downloads. I'd prefer they didn't allow that 30 minute window. You're right about the TOS, we definitely need to read all of the fine print.

I do agree that Google should probably implement a "log out" button, or something to that effect to immediately end the window. But I still don't think this woman or lawyer deserve a "payday" over this.

As for reading the TOS.... umm.... ;)

While I think Google should make customers put in their Google passwords when downloading something, Google gives fair warning in the app description whether the app has in-app purchases. That is up to you to control your children on your electronic devices. Anyways, Google probably sweats $70 in its sleep.

Posted from the Google Nexus 7 2012 via Android Central App

This is nobody's fault but the parent for not monitoring her child. She should not allow carrier billing or even have a credit card attatched to their account. There are ways to prevent this, America is just lazy and passed the blame when they mess up.

(I live in Ohio, before anyone tries to flame my American comment. There's always some ignorant troll on these sites.)

Posted via Android Central App

That's her fault. She had to configure the password or not give him the phone, at all.

Posted via Android Central App

You mean comments from ignorant pricks that post crap like this?

"Like I've said from the beginning,
Google will lose, whether they settle or the courts decide it, Google will lose.
And they will change the way they do passwords for purchases.

Doesn't matter who read what,
Doesn’t matter Who posted whatever they thought was a brilliant defense.
Doesn't matter what you think of the Mother, the Law Firm, the Courts.
Google has already lost in the court of public opinion.
And they will buckle and pay, and change the way they do business.
Sorry for everyone that expends all the vitriol towards the Mother.
At the end of the day, She wins and Google loses."--- AC Commentor

Nice Comment.

Nobel Prize for this guy!

Posted from my "Gift from God" Note 3, my "God-Given" iPad Mini 2, or my "Risen" Samsung Chromebook.

I don't get it I own a BlackBerry z30 and an iPhone 5 and a Galaxy Android device and I find a lot of the apps don't work worth a crap on my galaxy but the same apps from the same app store for android work better on my z30 with out all this stupid crashing and viruses!

Posted via Android Central App

Any time someone gets burned, even when it is their own fault, they feel like "somebody" ought to pay. We as a society feel that there is always someone else to blame for our problems. Some examples are, "I don't make enough money to support my family, so the minimum wage should be raised," or "we don't keep score in my child's little league because losing is too hard for them to handle," or "we can't call bossy little girls 'bossy' because it is too damaging to them emotionally." The list goes on and on. We are a society that blames others for our problems. We can no longer handle the fact that life is rough, and sometimes unpleasant things happen. Parents aren't teaching their children to take responsibility for their own actions, and parents aren't taking responsibility for how they raise their kids. It is only going to get worse as time goes on.

As a parent who's been dealing with this since my teenager got her first Android device, I think Google does need to step up a little. My daughter knows she isn't supposed to spend money in her games without permission, and when she wants to buy a game she always comes and tells me she's going to buy it and gives me the money. All our devices are set up so that a password must be entered to make a payment, but there is that 30 minute window during which you don't need to enter your password again, and it's not always clear that what you are about to do is going to cost money. I have always called Google when a raft of charges come up, and they have always been good about refunding them all - it's been several hundred dollars over the past six months and it mostly happens within the first week after she gets a new free game. I would like to have an option to require a password each and every time a charge will be incurred, both for myself and for her. She uninstalls games when this happens - if a game incurs a bunch of charges without her knowledge, we always uninstall it. I really don't believe that she is doing this on purpose, and I would like to see Google at least offer a password requirement before anything is going to charge money.

If its a phone you can also call your carrier and have them restrict downloads on a certain device or all on your line with a PIN. Instead of complaining about how much her kid spent on downloads....just saying. If it's a tablet, get a Nabs or something with parental controls...

Sorry, in a rough mood this morning and this irks the crap outta me.
Posted via Android Central App

I need to be a part of this. Here's my story:

1. Bought the 2012 Nexus 7 for my stepson in 2012. Setup his own username and password.
2. My first mistake was thinking I HAD to add a credit card in order to download anything from the Play Store.
3. For Xmas 2013 we bought him $50 worth of Play Store gift cards
4. Sometime in the beginning of 2014, his device updates to 4.4.2.
5. It's at this point that Google removed the PIN option and left it to Password only.
6. My stepson knowing hes got gift cards (but neglagent to what he has left) so make a purchase
7. Play store asks for his Password, and of course he knows that, so he enters it. Purchase goes through no problem.
8. He proceeds over the next 3 weeks to purchase $300.00 worth of Gold packs from Marvel Avengers Alliance.
9. Then he buys $300 worth of things in Clash of Clans ($4.99 a pop)
10. I get a call from my credit card company saying theres a strange charge.
11. Login to my account and see pages and pages of Google Play purchases
12. Login to his account and verified that it's not just a misprint.
13. Give both companies all the info I can and ask for a refund and they say they don't refund.

Now, the reason I didn't know my credit card was getting hit was because it has a $2500 limit and I knew I was at ~$1900. So I hadn't checked it. Not until I got the fraud protection call and it was maxed out. And my stepson, he didn't realize what he had spent. He was too embarassed when he was confronted.

I understand the you should have known argument. I'm an intelligent person and would have stopped this had I known Google made this change. My Sprint GS3 didn't upgrade, so I thought the PIN was in place.

It seems most of the commenters here are misinformed. Yes, the Google play store has a password to purchase setting. Unfortunately, no password is needed when using in-app purchases. You can password-protect the crap out of your account, but if you have your credit card linked to your account and your kid is playing a game that offers in-app purchasing... You're gonna have a bad time.

Goole play just notified me that they cannot stop my ex boyfriend from using MY credit card info on his google play account. He is racking up charges on my card and they can't delete my card info from his account. Why can't they. Delete my info from the system to stop him from using it? Any advice would be wonderful.