Google Offers Additional Protection Against In-App Purchases

Responding to parents’ concerns and a rash of lawsuits, Google has added a new level of security for in-app purchases on its Google Play store.

As we wrote in January, both Google Play and Apple’s App Store have seen a gradual switch from paid games to so-called “freemium” games, which don’t cost anything to download but which encourage players to make costly in-game purchases to unlock additional content or achieve new levels. This has resulted in some large and unexpected credit card bills for unwitting parents.

Purchasing anything on the Play Store requires a password. There is then a 30-minute window during which other purchases can be made without the need to re-enter that password. This 30-minute window allowed game-savvy kids to load up on extras without their parents realizing it.

Although the one-time password entry remains an option, Google has also added an alternative setting that prompts for a password whenever an in-app purchase is made. The company has also tweaked the Play Store to make it more obvious which games and other apps have in-app purchases available.

Comment by Jessica | That Tech Chick, posted 3/18/2014, 7:35 PM:

I think more safeguards need to be implemented on mobile devices to prevent over charging or kids purchases.
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