Parents who had to deal with mounting Google Play charges due to their children making purchases have gotten some relief. Google will refund at the minimum $19 million in a settlement.
One term of the settlement will see a change to Google’s billing policies. Parental permission will be required before any in-app purchases are made. Prior to that there was no password required to confirm purchases. Later on Google added a gatekeeper system which prompted for some sort of authentication before a purchase went through. Not only that, the charges gatekeeper also has 30 minute limit or a permanent request authorization. When it’s turned off or deactivated after 30 minutes, charges can be made during that time.
A few of the terms of the settlement include Google having to tell people who had an unauthorized in-app charge that the refund process is in motion. The company has 15 days to carry that particular term out and refunds must be issued upon request.
Google is expected to wrap things up with the refunds within 12 months of the settlement finalizing. If Google doesn’t get the $19 million out, the FTC said that the remainder of the payout would go to the Commission. From there, the FTC would issue the rest of the refunds or turn it over to the U.S Treasury.
With the Google situation in the process of being squared away, there’s still the matter of Amazon and its unauthorized in-app charges issues that the FTC will take on.