FTC sues Amazon because children used mobile apps to make purchases without parents’ okay

The FTC wants consumers to get refunds for the unauthorized charges and in the future prevent Amazon from billing parents.

Amazon has been sued by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) because children used mobile apps to make purchases without parents’ approval.

The popular online company let children charge millions of dollars to their parents’ accounts through in-app purchases via the company’s app store.

Then, in March 2012 Amazon required the account owner to enter a password for individual in-app charges over $20. But children could still make an unlimited number of individual purchases of less than $20 without a parent’s approval.

Before changes were eventually made, thousands of parents complained to Amazon about in-app charges made by their children. They totaled millions of dollars. One girl was able to spend $358.42 in unauthorized charges.

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Ed Silverstein

Ed Silverstein is a veteran writer and editor for magazines, websites and newspapers. A graduate of Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, he has won several...

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