Parents Suing Apple Over 'Addictive' Kid Apps

Judge give class action suit go-ahead

By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 19, 2012 1:02 AM CDT | Updated Apr 19, 2012 3:35 AM CDT

(Newser) – A group of parents are angry with Apple for toying with their kids. Their class-action lawsuit attacking the company for luring clueless children with "addictive," expensive game apps was recently given the go-ahead by a San Jose judge. Games are "highly addictive, designed deliberately to be so, and tend to compel children playing them to purchase large quantities of game currency, amounting to as much as $100 per purchase or more," according to court documents. The apps can often be downloaded for free, but kids can rack up big bills purchasing extra levels and items. "Smurfberries," for example, which serve as currency in the Smurfs game, sell in batches costing up to $59, notes MSNBC.

Children are usually not required to provide credit card information, and the costs are automatically billed to parents' iTunes accounts. Apple was recently forced to change security settings on iPhones to block such charges. In one case, a 7-year-old British boy racked up a $2,000 bill on an iPad buying animals for the Tap Zoo game, reports the Daily Mail. Parents say that it's all part of a devious plan, while Apple has argued that it's easy for parents to block their children from making such charges.

Not as innocent as he looks.
Not as innocent as he looks.   (YouTube)
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