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Apple to Refund $32.5 Million for Kids' In-App Purchases

Children and new technologies
Photograph by Getty Images/iStockphoto

It was bound to happen at some point. How many stories have we heard about kids making in-app purchases on iPhones without their parents' permission—sometimes to the tune of thousands of dollars?

Well, Apple has reached a settlement with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, which said that in-app purchases were often too easy for kids to buy without their parents' OK.

So what does Apple have to refund to those no-doubt irate moms and dads? A cool $32.5 million. That's a lot of extra coins!

Apple CEO Tim Cook sent a memo to employees that was "obtained by 9to5Mac," according to Business Insider. It touched on the 15-minute window that iPhone users have to make purchases without having to re-enter their passwords.

The memo said, in part:

"The 15-minute window had been there since the launch of the App Store in 2008 and was aimed at making the App Store easy to use, but some younger customers discovered that it also allowed them to make in-app purchases without a parent’s approval."

While parents will, no doubt, rejoice at the news, it might be a good time to revisit those parental controls.

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