A class-action lawsuit filed against Google accuses the company of deceiving consumers about its in-app purchase system, which critics say makes it too easy for kids to spend money on their Android devices.
The case mirrors a class-action suit and Federal Trade Commission action against Apple for similar practices that had consumers decrying hundreds of dollars in surprise and unwanted in-app charges on games targeted toward children. The new suit also begs the question of why Google, seeing Apple's three-year-long public relations and legal headache over the issue, didn’t follow Apple in strengthening billing protections for families.
In 2012, Apple changed its in-app purchase system so that a password has to be entered every time a user wants to buy virtual currency or goods in an app. Now, parents want Google to close its 30-minute window for unlimited purchases within an app and are seeking at least $5 million in damages. Google, which operates the Android Google Play app store, declined to comment on the suit.