(Ping! Zine Web Tech Magazine) – Google has been hit with multiple class action lawsuits from parents whose children purchased unauthorized apps on Google Play.
According to Gigaom, the lawsuits stemmed from a New York woman whose five-year old child spent $65 on digital “crystals” from Marvel Run Jump Smash! on her Samsung Galaxy tablet.
“These games are engineered to be highly addictive and require the purchase of in-game currency at times to continue playing. The games frequently permit the purchase of in-game currency in large amounts – as much as $100 per purchase or more,” states one complaint.
Although Google requires a password for purchases and downloads, once the password is entered, there is a 30 minute time frame where in-app purchases can be made without having to re-enter the password.
“This practice is designed to enable children to purchase in-game currency without parental permission and without having to enter a password. The purchases are then billed directly to the parent or guardian,” continues the complaint.
These lawsuits are similar to the ones the U.S. Federal Trade Commission filed against Apple last year, in which the company agreed to pay $32.5 million over unauthorized in-app purchases.