She alleged that Google does not do enough to prevent unnecessary in-app purchases.
Google has been hit with a class action lawsuit over unauthorised in-app purchases made by kids on its Play store without parents’ consent.
A New York mother has filed a case in the US District Court for the Northern District of California alleging that the search major does not do enough to stop unnecessary in-app purchases by children.
According to plaintiff, her kid was able to spend about $68.95 on the ‘Crystal’ virtual currency in five minutes of downloading a free game Marvel Run Jump Smash without her consent.
Law firm Berger & Montague’s Shanon Carson said that Google has unfairly profited by marketing free or low-cost games to children and by permitting them to easily rack up charges for worthless in-game currency, by failing to incorporate reasonable controls such a simply requiring the entry of a password.
"Google is certainly aware that its primary competitor, Apple, has taken steps to end this unfair practise, and Google should do the same," Carson added.
Users need to validate their account by entering password prior to making purchases or downloading games, while there is then half an hour gap where gamers are allowed to make extra purchases without re-entering the PIN.
Del Sole Cavanaugh Stroyd’s Edwin Kilpela said that this practice is widespread, has been condemned by the Federal Trade Commission and is being investigated by the European Union’s consumer protection officials.
"A company of Google’s size and sophistication either is or should be aware that it is permitting unauthorised charges by minor children," Kilpela said.
"We look forward to vindicating the rights of consumers victimised by Google’s policies in this regard."
The latest suit comes in the wake of Apple’s $32.5m settlement in January 2014 with the Federal Trade Commission over similar claims, in addition to a private class action lawsuit that the iPhone maker resolved last year with its customers.
After that, Apple mandated its users to enter their password to make all in-App purchases.