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Old Feb 27, 2014, 09:09 AM   #1
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EU Meeting With Apple and Google to Discuss Concerns Over In-App Purchases




Apple and Google are meeting with the European Commission to discuss concerns over in-app purchases. The two technology leaders will be asked to provide solutions that protect customers, particularly children, from errant and costly in-app purchases.
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Commissioner Neven Mimica, responsible for Consumer Policy said: "Consumers and in particular children need better protection against unexpected costs from in-app purchases. National enforcement authorities and the European Commission are discussing with industry how to address this issue which not only causes financial harm to consumers but can also put at stake the credibility of this very promising market. Coming up with concrete solutions as soon as possible will be a win-win for all."
The EU commission and other European enforcement authorities will focus on four main issues involving the false advertising of freemium games as "free", the targeting of children by in-app purchases, the need for explicit consent when processing orders for in-app items and the provision of an email for consumers to contact companies about inadvertent charges.

Apple recently settled with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and agreed to provide full refunds to parents whose children purchased unauthorized in-app items. Apple also settled a 2011 class-action lawsuit filed by parents whose children racked up hundreds of dollars in in-app charges while playing games like Tap Fish.

Apple introduced in-app purchases in iOS 3.0 and started requiring passwords for these transactions in iOS 4.3 after concerns about over-spending on unauthorized purchases surfaced. iOS owners can disable in-app purchasing completely using the Restrictions feature of iOS.



Article Link: EU Meeting With Apple and Google to Discuss Concerns Over In-App Purchases
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Old Feb 27, 2014, 09:12 AM   #2
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Old Feb 27, 2014, 09:16 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by MacRumors View Post
iOS owners can disable in-app purchasing completely using the restriction feature of iOS.
There is the solution, what's to discus?
Enable the feature when you want to do in-app purchase, disable it when you give it to your kids.
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Old Feb 27, 2014, 09:21 AM   #4
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Talk about showing up for a party after it's already over...
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Old Feb 27, 2014, 09:27 AM   #5
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Apple needs to block those damn mobile ads that redirect to the appstore without even asking, it is so ANNOYING i cant believe Apple of all allows this. I swear to god if i see CandyCrush or Clash of the Titans one more time
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Old Feb 27, 2014, 09:30 AM   #6
Pagemakers
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Have 3 types of apps

FREE
IN-APP PURCHASES
PAID

The latter 2 can be turned off in settings so kids can only play truly free apps.
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Old Feb 27, 2014, 09:41 AM   #7
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Good news. As is to be expected, regulation lags innovation. Now that many publishers/developers have proven they will abuse the new revenue models and platform owners aren't stepping up to address this in any meaningful way (in other words, self-regulation doesn't work), it's time for regulators to step in.
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Old Feb 27, 2014, 09:44 AM   #8
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I have no problem with free programs having in app purchases.

I have a problem with pay programs having in app purchases and not being clear what I'm paying for with the initial purchase price.

I have similar problems with programs with multiple in app purchases and I'm not sure exactly what that includes and what I'm missing (I've now spent money, how many more purchases will I have to make for a complete product? or how crippled will it still be?).

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Old Feb 27, 2014, 09:54 AM   #9
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Time for the nanny state to solve all the problems for incompetent people.
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Old Feb 27, 2014, 10:10 AM   #10
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I can easily imagine customers get extremely confused, both thinking they're using real currency when they're not and thinking they're using pretend currency when they're not.

I myself was confused in Tetris when I "purchased" some extra content in the game. I thought it was using in-game currency, but after I tapped the unlock button it had a iOS alert window pop up asking if I really wanted to "purchase" the content. The repeated use of the word "purchase" and how many buttons it was making me press made me think it was going to really charge my credit card hooked up to the App Store. I pressed "Yes" and my in-game currency went down and my credit card wasn't charged (I checked with my bank just to be sure.)

The fact that they choose to treat their in game currency like it has real value like this no doubt makes it so others come to expect so many dialogs when making a fake transaction, so they won't notice a difference when making a real one until a charge shows up on their credit card.
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Old Feb 27, 2014, 10:10 AM   #11
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Nice iOS 6 screengrab.
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Old Feb 27, 2014, 10:26 AM   #12
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The EU commission and other European enforcement authorities will focus on four main issues involving the false advertising of freemium games as "free", the targeting of children by in-app purchases, the need for explicit consent when processing orders for in-app items and the provision of an email for consumers to contact companies about inadvertent charges.
YES.

If you include in-app purchases, you shouldn't be in the 'Free' section. It totally goes against the spirit of why there's a free section in the first place.

In fact, I really can't believe Apple still go along with this freemium crap. You can get previews of books on the iBookstore, so why not allow previews of Apps on the AppStore? Freemium is such an inelegant, customer-hostile way to provide demo software.

I just can't wrap my head around it: everything I know about Apple's philosophy tells me they should hate this, but then they consistently refuse to introduce trials while supporting IAPs.
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Old Feb 27, 2014, 10:34 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by lesferdinand View Post
Good news. As is to be expected, regulation lags innovation. Now that many publishers/developers have proven they will abuse the new revenue models and platform owners aren't stepping up to address this in any meaningful way (in other words, self-regulation doesn't work), it's time for regulators to step in.
Exactly. Apple could have stopped the games with $99 "Smurfberries" years ago if they wanted. They could easily have put "breaks" on multiple purchase (hitting the button 7 times) on making sure you use up all of one purchase before buying more, and simply limiting KIDS GAMES to reasonable $5-$10 max.

But Apple didn't do that. "Unlimited purchases" was why nobody trusted the PHONE COMPANY with early smartphone stores a decade ago.. Their behavior was openly criminal, and the phone company took a cut so ALLOWED scammers openly and youcould run up thousands if dollars with simple scams. i stopped using a landline because i got tired if having to keep all the long distance, texting, collect calls, etc blocked and reblocked every six months. It's about the TRUST in Apple's platform. If I gotta flip settings every time I give it to my kid for ten minutes, or flip settings every time I want to buy something, Then I'm just not gonna hassle myself to buy thins anymore!

The problem is that Apple gets a 30% cut to "regulation" on their own is a conflict of interests. Aple regulates the hell out of the App Store for a lot of other more trivial things they don't "think are good taste" this request is entirely possible and within what they've ALREADY DONE for other situations.
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Old Feb 27, 2014, 10:40 AM   #14
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And the European Commission continue to embarrass themselves...
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Old Feb 27, 2014, 10:43 AM   #15
Parasprite
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Code:
  Do you want to allow 
   Skyway to offer you 
    in-app purchases?

    Deny     Allow
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Old Feb 27, 2014, 10:43 AM   #16
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My phone asks for my password before each individual purchase. How is this still a problem?

And with freemium, just don't buy. I beat Plants vs Zombies 2 with $0 investment (and it was more fun!)
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Old Feb 27, 2014, 10:45 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by BvizioN View Post
There is the solution, what's to discus?
Enable the feature when you want to do in-app purchase, disable it when you give it to your kids.
Yep. Or if you would rather, set 'require password' to immediately and don't tell your kids what it is
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Old Feb 27, 2014, 10:48 AM   #18
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YES.

If you include in-app purchases, you shouldn't be in the 'Free' section. It totally goes against the spirit of why there's a free section in the first place.

In fact, I really can't believe Apple still go along with this freemium crap. You can get previews of books on the iBookstore, so why not allow previews of Apps on the AppStore? Freemium is such an inelegant, customer-hostile way to provide demo software.

I just can't wrap my head around it: everything I know about Apple's philosophy tells me they should hate this, but then they consistently refuse to introduce trials while supporting IAPs.
Because their App Store would be full of useless trial versions and nobody would ever give Apple a cut of the game. The current model works great for trial versions where the program is free or low cost with more expensive add-ons. I buy lots if stuff from Hipsagram, Paper by 53, and other apps with small stuff to buy if you really like the app.

It's really just the lifestyle/ games guys that are trying to break the model here with their $99 berries. I buy stuff all the time... But if a TOY GAME has purchases over $30 I simply refuse to even download it. It's not that hard to look ahead of time, Apple is pretty up fromt.
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Old Feb 27, 2014, 10:54 AM   #19
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Apple needs to block those damn mobile ads that redirect to the appstore without even asking, it is so ANNOYING i cant believe Apple of all allows this. I swear to god if i see CandyCrush or Clash of the Titans one more time
Yes, I hate it when I'm on a web site and all of a sudden am pushed to the App Store without me wanting to go there. Apple needs to shut that down now. I'm also sick of websites that have an app giving me a splash screen asking if I want to download the apps before taking me to the site. So annoying.
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Old Feb 27, 2014, 11:12 AM   #20
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Fools.
Don't give or let your kids play with expensive toys without doing your homework.
This. Parental controls exist. Why not use them? Parents these days aren't bothering enough to check what child safety features XYZ device has or brings.
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Old Feb 27, 2014, 11:28 AM   #21
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Time for the nanny state to solve all the problems for incompetent people.
That's one way of looking at it. Another way is: "time for the state to step in as business yet again proves if it can **** people, it will."

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by jav6454 View Post
This. Parental controls exist. Why not use them? Parents these days aren't bothering enough to check what child safety features XYZ device has or brings.
The problem is, those features in pretty much all cases make regular operation of the device more cumbersome. The touch sensor in the 5s tries to combat that but isn't an unequivocal success.

You might argue that a device/platform that can only be safely operated through bothering the user, isn't designed very well. It's the Windows Vista solution.
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Old Feb 27, 2014, 11:37 AM   #22
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That is GREAT news! My nephew was playing with my iphone and almost purchased in-app coins which runs $20-$100! Now that is highway robbery and I am glad someone is doing something about it! YES there is a way to dissable that option through settings but some people find that out after the fact or are just not computer sabby. Either way there is absolutely no reason why a child's game should ever cost that much. That is just the game developer taking full advatange of the situation.. plain and simple.
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Old Feb 27, 2014, 11:59 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by H2SO4 View Post
Fools.
Don't give or let your kids play with expensive toys without doing your homework.
There are lots of people that aren't used to the Apple eco-system and barely understand apps let alone in app purchases.

Apples approach of giving some people a break the first time this happens and the explaining that you can turn off in-app purchases seems to be working well.
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Old Feb 27, 2014, 12:15 PM   #24
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Here we go again; let's make it everybody else's responsibility to protect children from incompetent parents.

It's annoying enough having to enter my password to get apps - especially free ones.

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Originally Posted by KdParker View Post
There are lots of people that aren't used to the Apple eco-system and barely understand apps let alone in app purchases.
No excuse. If it's too complicated, then stick to a Nokia 3210, or at least do some research. There's plenty of help on the 'net.
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Old Feb 27, 2014, 12:37 PM   #25
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The EU commission should speak with EA, not Apple or Google.
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