back to article Apple rats on Google to FTC: You thought WE were in-app-ropriate?

Apple turned in Google to the Federal Trade Commission for the same in-app purchase issues for which the iPhone-maker itself had been criticised, according to a report in Politico. Earlier this year, the FTC started cracking down on iPhone and iPad apps that allowed kids to spend their parents’ hard-earned dosh without their …

  1. Alan Denman

    Amazon is a bit of a jungle

    the danger with Amazon app store is even worse than the Apple one.

    Whilst Apple tricks you into getting your credit card details Amazon already has them !

    1. lurker

      Re: Amazon is a bit of a jungle

      You mean that "it's massive?". Very true.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    On being evil

    I have to admit I prefer Amazon to Google, in the being-evil stakes. Amazon are pretty honest about being evil, while Google lie and try to convince us they're not evil.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    It's a trap

    You only need one spoiled brat in a school who has parents willing to pay for the extra lives, decorations, credits etc and boom, all the other kids need to keep up. More skint parents, more rich companies who make more money from giving away 'free' apps than they do selling them.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Don't register a credit or debit card, buy a voucher. Easy.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      You don't have that option with Amazon, they've already got your card details. You can put a password/PIN on in-app purchases but not on app store purchases and you can't sign out from the app store either.

      A point in their favour is they do send an e-mail immediately on purchasing or downloading a free app so you know exactly what apps are being bought or used by your little darlings.

      1. Michael Habel

        Here's a thought.... Change the bloody password(s) to the account, and DON'T FECKKING GIVEN 'EM OUT! Lil' Johny, and Mary Sue Who... Want to shop on Amazons poor arsed excuse of an App Store.... (Well the German One anyway!). And should they ever wish to then they can purchase their own pre-pay "Credit" with their allowance as such they may earn.... This might even give them an early real-world experience of the value of money... Such as what of it remains... But, thats another argument.

        Same for Google Play, and Apples iTunes.... Really WTF is the problem here. I suppose these are the same Parents that "trust" their sweet little angels aren't surfing RedTube behind their backs either.... And think somehow its someone else's fault.... WHEN THEY DO!

        My guess is that, Cr-apple are just being a dick right now 'cause China recently pissed in their bowl of Siri-flakes, and have to find something else to kick. 'cause its hard to find yourself in the receiving side of an IP suit... GO CHINA!!!

      2. Ceiling Cat

        Amazon's unreasonable demand for registering a credit card when you sign up is the exact reason that I will not use their app store, or even buy a tablet which isn't Google Play certified. The only exception was my Polaroid PTAB-8000, and that was immediately rooted and the play store installed anyways.

        Now that I'm in the market for a new tablet (the Polaroid tab turned out to be a p.o.s.), I'm being very careful to make sure that I go with one which allows you to use vouchers instead of requiring a free pass to my wallet. I really can't see why anyone would permanently store their payment details on a device that can easily be lost/stolen anyways.

    2. Fluffy Bunny

      Use a pre-paid credit card. Your exposure is limited to the prepaid amount.

  5. Arctic fox

    @Dan 55 Sorry old chap, but the very idea............

    "A point in their favour is they do send an e-mail immediately on purchasing or downloading a free app so you know exactly what apps are being bought or used by your little darlings."

    ........that our "little darlings" would ever have been in a position to buy anything at all with my (or my good lady's) hard earned without having to ask us first brings us both out in hives. We would have under no circumstances ever have given them that kind of access. Some parents, in our not so humble opinion make a gigantic rod for their own backs.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: @Dan 55 Sorry old chap, but the very idea............

      They really should give the option to make it ask for a password/PIN before all purchases. On Android you can hide the Amazon App store in the launcher (if it has that option) or set up another profile but I have no idea if the Kindles allow this though.

      1. Arctic fox
        Thumb Up

        Re: @Dan 55 "They really should give the option.........."

        Entirely agree.

  6. Stevie


    Oh Bruce Sewell, you are so right, but didn't anyone ever tell you that no-one likes a tattle-tale?

    As a lawyer that means you are doubly hated by everyone now.

    Why not make a smart-alec comment to the press and go for the hat-trick?

    1. Tom 35

      Re: Bah!

      Sounds like a little kid.

      But Mom, Billy did it too.

      Hay Apple, if Google jumped off a bridge would you jump too?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Bah!

        Hay Apple, if Google jumped off a bridge would you jump too?

        probably, but they'd make it look good...

        1. Arctic fox

          Re:.... "But they'd make it look good..." Good God!

          It takes a very dedicated iPhanboi to boast that the Fruities would make suicide look cool and stylish!

  7. David Ireland

    Just use profiles

    Android is better than IOS in this regard, because you can just create a profile for your little angel, and not include access to the store in the profile. Add the app in your account, grant access to it in the profile and log out. Now they can use the app, but in app purchases won't work.

    1. Tom 35

      Re: Just use profiles

      Only on a tablet, not on a phone.

      My Nexus 4 - no profiles

      Nexus 7 - has profiles.

    2. Arctic fox
      Thumb Up

      Re: Just use profiles

      Good tip for those who have not tripped over that one before.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It is pretty sad

    That anyone had to tell the FTC about this. Google isn't exactly a small company, and they'd been investigating Apple for the same issue. Didn't they consider maybe checking the competition, especially the one competitor that sells more units than Apple does?

    No wonder companies get away with so much!

    1. Al Jones

      Re: It is pretty sad

      It's pretty sad that you think that the FTC didn't know about Google.

      Didn't you consider that maybe the information about the Apple lawyers e-mail makes for a nice juicy headline, even if the FTC were already investigating Google.

      No wonder journalists get away with so much, when readers lap this stuff up!

      1. NotWorkAdmin

        Re: It is pretty sad

        I was wondering about that. The story appears to be a means of showing Apple in a very bad light - nobody like a grass after all. I'm going to give Apple the benefit of the doubt in this instance and just carry on hating them for my other 217 reasons.

  9. Michael Habel

    I must be a moron 'cause I'm fairly sure v2.3.6 Gingerbread had the option to lock down an account that required you to tip in your pass key for every purchase!! Same as on the current 4.4.4 Kitkat version. Granted its NOT the default behavior. But, it should be!!

  10. armster

    This is all in the past...

    It seems most people don't grasp that the lawsuits are about the way in app purchases used to be handled a couple of years ago. And it is not about the stupid parents who told their kids passwords or such. It is about parents who downloaded a game for their kids, had to enter a password (even though the game is free), and assumed that the device would ask for a password again for the next purchase. I think this is a fully legit assumption. All the manufacturers have changed the way it works, and so claiming that Android is better than iOS because it does not allow you to do this in the current version is just total crap. Apple pointing out Google to the FTC is a bit like being pulled over by a cop and saying yes I was going too fast, but look at this guy he is going twice as fast...

  11. Douchus McBagg

    not just software purchases

    a colleague's "little darling" bought himself for Christmas, two ipad mini's, one mac book pro, one iphone6 on his amazon account that was only setup for his kindle. he was only discovered because unbeknown to him, his email address as an auto forward to his dad's account.

    his dad started getting repeated "thank you for your purchase", "your order has been dispatched" etc. emails. panic ensued, phone calls made, swearing, stern words to offspring. admonishing phone call from wife.

    much hilarity around the office.

    not bad for buying your kid a cheapo ebook reader.

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