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Apple faces lawsuit over in-app purchases by children

zombie-cityApple is facing a lawsuit over its newly revised in-app purchasing policy. The suit was filed by Garen Meguerian of Pennsylvania who accuses Apple of the unlawful exploitation of children with this iOS feature.

The crux of the suit hinges on Apple’s policy that uses a single password to gain access to an Apple account and make an in-app purchase. Apple’s in-app purchasing policy was recently updated to require users to enter their iTunes password a second time to make a purchase following reports of children racking up thousands of dollars in iTunes purchases.

Meguerian recognizes Apple’s new policy, but asserts this change is not enough. Minors under 13 who have their parent’s iTunes account can still make purchases without their parent’s consent. According to the suit, Apple should require a secondary password, separate from the main iTunes password, for all in-app purchases.

Meguerian’s suit stems from his own experience with his 9-year old daughter who racked up over $200 in charges while playing Zombie Cafe (shown above), Treasure Story and City Story. Meguerian was not aware of these charges until he received his monthly credit card bill. Though it may or may not have bearing on the case, receipts submitted as evidence show these purchases were made before Apple changed its in-app policy in February.[via TUAW]

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