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Apple 'scrambling' to fix in-app purchasing system, source says

updated 01:20 pm EST, Thu March 6, 2014

Changes could be wedged into iOS 7.1

Apple is "scrambling" to make changes to the way in-app purchases work ahead of an FTC deadline, a source tells ZDNet. As a part of its $32.5 million settlement with the US Federal Trade Commission, Apple must fix flaws in the App Store that have allowed people -- mostly children -- to inadvertently rack up hundreds or thousands of dollars in iTunes charges. The deadline for those changes is just a few weeks from now, March 31st.

Modifying the App Store to ensure explicit consent before billing is said to be taking longer than expected, likely because it involves altering order flow, and upsetting many interdependent elements. To allow people to withdraw consent at any time, it's thought that all purchases will now require password entry by default. To make things easier for people who aren't worried about unwanted purchases, Apple could conceivably provide a no-password toggle in Settings.

Apple is allegedly interested in rolling out necessary changes via iOS 7.1. Since v7.1 is rumored to be launching as soon as this week, though, tweaks to the in-app purchase system may have to wait for a subsequent patch later this month.

by MacNN Staff



  1. FireWire

    Mac Elite

    Joined: 10-03-99

    what about parents stopping giving their children their password and enabling parental control?

  1. eldarkus

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 02-10-04

    You beat me to it Firewire :) God forbid people have to actually parent their children.

  1. Grendelmon

    Senior User

    Joined: 12-26-07

    Originally Posted by FireWireView Post

    what about parents stopping giving their children their password and enabling parental control?

    Bullshit. This argument is trite and irrelevant.

    All Apple needs to do is change the 15 minute timeout in iOS to IMMEDIATE. Problem solved. This would fix the majority of consumer complaints with IAP.

  1. Sebastien

    Registered User

    Joined: 04-29-00

    +1 on Grendelmon's reply

  1. afaby

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 07-18-05

    Hate to burst your bubble Grendelmon but you can change the timeout to always require the password. Go to Settings -> Restrictions.

  1. DiabloConQueso

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 06-11-08

    Yep, this feature's been there for quite a while.

    What I think people are getting all in a tiffy over is Apple making "Always require a password" the *default*, no?

  1. Grendelmon

    Senior User

    Joined: 12-26-07

    I meant to say change the *default* 15 minute timeout to immediate.

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