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​Amazon accused of allowing children to buy goods online without parental consent

Published time: July 11, 2014 15:14
Reuters / Michael Kooren

Reuters / Michael Kooren

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has accused Amazon of not password protecting in-app purchases and thus allowing children to spend millions of dollars from their parents’ accounts. Thousands of users want compensation for unauthorized transactions.

Amazon’s in-app system allowed children to incur unlimited charges on their parents’ accounts without permission,” Bloomberg quotes Edith Ramirez, the FTC Chairwoman. “Even Amazon’s own employees recognized the serious problem its process created.

The majority of the applications involved were designed for young people, and the spending was connected to virtual goods like shields and guns used in games.

Amazon charges a 30 percent commission on all payments processed through its online shop.

The online giant claims it doesn't agree with the prosecution and intends to challenge it in a court.

The company considers its practice is similar to Apple. The iPhone manufacturer had been accused of not asking for payment confirmation within 15 minutes of the first purchase being processed.

Apple settled the claim in January compensating customers $32.5 million and changed the system of require parental consent for purchases.

Comments (3)


No 12.07.2014 03:09

How is Amazon to know if it is a kid, a con with a stolen credit card, or a legitimate user?
You can't treat all purchasers like Nigerian scam artists.


Fred Sleepwalker 11.07.2014 18:55

Google´s Android is even worse. You can not turn off in app purchases, so if you once bought something your kinds can buy everything on your cc with in app purchases.

Google implemented an option to turn it off and removed it a month later.

Thos e tactics are the reason why I´m not buying any application even though there would be many I´d pay for to have them. Theyr win with stupid ppl, theyr loss with everyone else.


Daniel Jones 11.07.2014 16:20

I know all these capitalist organizations are like prostitutes and will accept ANY money from ANYONE. Having said that though,kids dont or arent supposed to have credit or debit cards so,because Amazon only accepts card payments,I dont think they can be blamed for any purchase made by kids - they have no way of knowing that and have EVERY reason to believe the purchaser is an adult and owner of the card. Any blame in this case goes to
1)the banks - if any - that issues plastics to kids
2)the parents or adults who hand over their plastics to kids.

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