Compliance Management, Privacy

FTC orders Google to refund $19M for in-app purchases

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has ordered Google to pony up a minimum of $19 million to smart phone owners whose children purchased Google Play store apps without their parents' consent.

Google, like Apple and Amazon, drew the ire of parents who were shocked to receive large bills from the online company after their children made in-app purchases, dating back to 2011, without permission. 

The FTC noted that in the latter half of 2012, a Google pop-up box would ask for “an account holder's password before billing in-app charges” though it didn't “contain any information about the charge.

The FTC reached a settlement with Google that requires the company to refund customers and in the future obtain "express, informed consent" before completing the sale of Android apps. Apple paid out $32.5 million and the Amazon case is still pending.

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