Amazon at fault for in-app purchases by children, judge rules

We've all heard the horror stories. A parent lets their child play with a phone or tablet, only to find that their little darling managed to spend a large chunk of money on in-app purchases. Depending on just how much money was spent, this can be a pretty big problem. But the real question is who is to blame for this happening? A judge today ruled that when it comes to Amazon's apps, they're the ones at fault.

Yes, it's easy to put blame on children or parents, but in the early days of smartphones and apps, it was surprisingly easy for anyone to simply click on a button to buy more lives/coins/etc. These days, most phones have parental controls, and require passwords to be entered whenever an in-app purchase is made. However, this lawsuit hearkens back to the early days, when such controls didn't exist.

So why is Amazon being held liable for these purchases? The main reason for the ruling is because the judge believes that Amazon did not do enough to make users aware that apps had in-app purchases. You might see that it was free, and only after scrolling down further would you see print that warned you that the app would offer microtransactions.

Similar lawsuits have been brought up against both Apple and Google, with the same results. Thanks to these lawsuits, roughly $50 million has been refunded to customers. There's no word yet on how many customers will be entitled to refunds, but it's likely that most, if not all who have lodged a complaint with Amazon will see their money returned to them.

VIA: Fortune