Beware of minor purchases from mobiles and tablets

In summer children spend much leisure time at the computer, mobile phone or tablet. In principle, these distractions do not have to be bad, but not exceeding healthy limits of time, and should not rely on them as digital babysitters. However, the fact that the child has been out just in front of the different screens does not guarantee there are no dangers for him, and also for the budget of their parents. The “in-app purchases” or integrated shopping and the various digital stores of leisure, music, and movies can be accessed with a single click, and as the small is not aware, you can spent a lot of money on them. But it is possible to avoid it, as explained below.

In the 90s, there was a story or legend, the teenager was alone watching late night TV program and Teleshopping took a fancy to an exercise bike. Within a few days, its parents received at home with a hefty bill for transportation and the price of the device. The child, not be controlled and not be aware of the cost of what it was selling, had called the program manager and the bike.

Whether real or not this event, as discussed in the early years of television sales at midnight shows, reflects what can happen when a child, an appetizing offer consumer and communication channel combines ease of use. If to this is added the ease of access to data from a credit card, or the mechanization of the process-so typical of the Internet, it is understood that the risk in the digital age regard to television multiplies.

Leaving children in front of a device with access to an application store, or to a digital store where you buy books, movies or even clothes, you can have big risks, especially to make the purchase only need to press the mouse button. This is what happens if you are subscribed to the “Premium” service from Amazon, where you can make almost any object in a single click.

Sales uncontrolled on iOS and Android

This also happens in stop shopping within the iOS and Android apps. And is that once the first acquisition, in which you have to put the identifying password, -can put the father to your child starts play-, is not required to re-write it to make other purchases within the application, for the next 15 minutes in the case of iOS. In Android even after this time you have to put the password again in “in-app purchase.” The reason for this lack of restriction is not to hinder the user experience with the continuous need for passwords. And it may seem that 15 minutes is a short period of time, but some games for children are specifically designed for that at this time can take different elements of the game. There are cases where the cost can reach $ 500.

mobiles and tablets

Therefore, the American regulator FCC warned Apple about its iTunes Store and demanded to attend to the claims of thousands of parents affected by this kind of shopping, calling for a return of $ 32 million. Apple agreed Pay with affected last year, and promised to remedy the situation after each adquisisión warning that within 15 minutes you could make purchases without putting the password. Thus, when the parent acquires mobile game for your child, you are notified within 15 seconds that warns you that the next period will stop shopping, and gives you the option to restrict them.

To restrict and control these purchases in iTunes, just go to “Settings”> “General”> “Restrictions”, and indicate that you want to be putting the smartphone PIN code every time a purchase is integrated, so the child needs adult intervention each time you acquire a new value for the game. Google also offers a page where it says how to enter a password control for purchases in your app store.

Amazon accusations

Meanwhile, Amazon has recently been accused by the same American agency not prevent from their tablets Kindle Fire purchases of minors, not only in the applications, but in different stores that the company offers on their tablets designed for the purchase digital. The FCC has sued Amazon’s refusal to reinstate Store uncontrolled payments made by minors. The institution argues that such purchases should not be able to be done as a single mouse click, as happens now.

Amazon advocates, for their part, their sole purpose is to sell products and if the user should remember a password every time you want to purchase a product, fluency hinder the process. Even browsers remember the Amazon site and its keys, so that a child can go straight and enter the adult’s personal account and make purchases.

Amazon defends, like Google regarding your application store for Android, Google Play, alleging that offers users both parental controls fairly comprehensive for Kindle Fire, including any restrictions, as for other stop shopping.

3 Comments
  1. August 27, 2014
    • August 27, 2014
  2. September 29, 2014

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