Apple moves to stop kids racking up iTunes bills

March 16, 2011 By PETER SVENSSON , AP Technology Writer

(AP) -- After customers complained that their kids were racking up hundreds of dollars worth of purchases inside iPhone and iPad games, Apple has changed how these purchases are authorized.

The issue was that after a user has entered his or her iTunes password on a device, the device didn't prompt for the password again for 15 minutes. Any purchases, whether in the iTunes store or inside kid-friendly games like "The Smurf's Village," went through.

This meant that parents who handed over their iPhones or iPads to their kids were sometimes shocked by large purchases of "Smurfberries" and other virtual bling.

With the iOS 4.3 software update, spokeswoman Trudy Muller says, devices have one 15-minute password-free timer for the App Store and iTunes, and a separate one for in-app purchase.

Explore further: Apple bars developer from App Store


Related Stories

Kids go on expensive buying sprees in iPhone games

December 9, 2010

(AP) -- "The Smurfs' Village," a game for the iPhone and other Apple gadgets, was released a month ago and quickly became the highest-grossing application in the iTunes store. Yet it's free to download.

Apple app store hits 10 billion downloads

January 22, 2011

(AP) -- Apple says that its app store has hit the 10 billion downloads mark. The milestone, announced on Apple Inc.'s website Saturday, arrives as the company's hugely popular smart phone is likely to become even more popular ...

Apple rejects Sony app over book-buying options

February 2, 2011

(AP) -- Apple Inc. has rejected Sony Corp.'s e-book reader app for the iPhone because it doesn't give people the choice to buy books without leaving the app for a website.

US regulators asked to probe game bills

February 9, 2011

Two members of Congress asked US regulators on Tuesday to look into a newspaper report that children had rung up huge bills buying virtual products in games on mobile devices.

Recommended for you

Glider pilots aim for the stratosphere

November 20, 2015

Talk about serendipity. Einar Enevoldson was strolling past a scientist's office in 1991 when he noticed a freshly printed image tacked to the wall. He was thunderstruck; it showed faint particles in the sky that proved something ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

not rated yet Mar 16, 2011
wow, several hundred dollars for a "kid-friendly" game

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.