Apple incheie o intelegere cu Comisia Federala de Comert din Statele Unite pentru „problema” in-app purchase-urilor

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Apple ipad child copii in-app purchase

De-a lungul timpului au aparut in presa numerosi parinti care acuzau Apple de faptul ca ofera un sistem de in-app purchase-uri simplu de accesat de catre copii care, astfel, reusesc sa cheltuie sume importante de bani de pe cardurile lor de credit. Compania Apple a fost chemata in repetate randuri in instantele de judecata din Statele Unite si nu numai, parintii furiosi cerand sa primeasca despagubiri. Comisia Federala de Comert din Statele Unite a fost si ea sesizata si, desi compania Apple a facut numeroase schimbari in App Store, plasand intr-un loc mai vizibil mesajul „Offers in-app purchases” si oferind chiar posibilitatea de a dezactiva aceste pachete pe care le putem cumpara din interiorul aplicatiilor, a purtat discutii luni intregi cu Tim Cook si alti oficiali Apple in legatura cu problema reprezentata de acest sistem. Tim Cook si-a anuntat angajatii in cursul noptii trecute printr-un e-mail ca Apple a reusit sa incheie un acord cu aceasta comisie, acceptand returnarea pagubei create de sistemul de cumparaturi catre toate cele 37.000 de persoane care au solicitat acest lucru.

Tim Cook nu se arata deloc fericit de faptul ca a intervenit Comisia Federala de Comert in aceasta problema, mai ales dupa ce Apple a acceptat, in urma unor procese, sa despagubeasca pe toti parintii a caror copii au cheltuit, fara incuviintarea lor, sume considerabile de bani. Mai mult decat atat, Apple a trimis pana acum 28 de milioane de e-mail-uri catre utilizatorii App Store, mai exact catre cei care au facut un in-app purchase dintr-un joc gandit pentru copii, iar atunci cand nu au putut trimite e-mail-uri unor clienti, au trimis scrisori postale parintilor pe adresele mentionate in ID-ul Apple. In total, Apple a acceptat sa returneze 32 de milioane de dolari catre cei pagubiti intr-un oarecare fel de acest sistem.

O mare parte din ingrijorarea Comisiei Federale de Comert este legata de acea fereastra de cincisprezece minute de dupa ce o parola este introdusa in App Store, perioada in care alte cumparaturi pot fi efectuate fara a trebui macar sa mai fie introdusa parola. Astfel, Apple va trebui acum sa notifice utilizatorii ca acea fereastra de 15 minute exista pentru a obtine „consimtamantul exprimat si informat” de la clienti. Cu alte cuvinte, in urmatoarele saptamani vom vedea o noua alerta in App Store legata de acea fereastra, noi trebuind sa acceptam situatia pentru a putea face cumparaturi din acest magazin.

Consider ca aceasta valva creata in jurul in-app purchase-urilor nu isi are rostul. Nu pot sustine parintii ai caror copii au cheltuit orice fel de suma in App Store fara ca ei sa stie si care se arata foarte nemultumiti acum, deoarece acestia fie ar trebui sa ia toate masurile parentale pe care Apple ni le pune la dispozitie si care, slava Domnului, sunt multe (de exemplu, posibilitatea de a dezactiva in-app purchase-urile), fie nu ar trebui sa le permita copiilor sa acceseze dispozitivul dupa ce au efectuat o cumparatura ori sa le permita accesul la aplicatii care au sistemul de in-app purchase-uri. Cu alte cuvinte, consider ca parintii ar trebui sa fie mai atenti inainte de a oferi dispozitivele copiilor si/sau sa ii informeze putin inainte, la fel cum ii educa (sau ar trebui sa ii educe) si inainte de a ii invata cum sa treaca strada corect. De asemenea, implicarea unei noi institutii guvernamentale intr-un caz solutionat in judecatorii, in care compania parata a returnat, returneaza si va returna banii parintilor, mi se pare usor exagerata.

Mai jos aveti intregul e-mail trimis de catre Tim Cook angajatilor sai cu privire la intelegerea incheiata de Apple cu Comisia Federala de Comert:

Team,

I want to let you know that Apple has entered into a consent decree with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. We have been negotiating with the FTC for several months over disclosures about the in-app purchase feature of the App Store, because younger customers have sometimes been able to make purchases without their parents’ consent. I know this announcement will come as a surprise to many of you since Apple has led the industry by making the App Store a safe place for customers of all ages.

From the very beginning, protecting children has been a top priority for the App Store team and everyone at Apple. The store is thoughtfully curated, and we hold app developers to Apple’s own high standards of security, privacy, usefulness and decency, among others. The parental controls in iOS are strong, intuitive and customizable, and we’ve continued to add ways for parents to protect their children. These controls go far beyond the features of other mobile device and OS makers, most of whom don’t even review the apps they sell to children.

When we introduced in-app purchases in 2009, we proactively offered parents a way to disable the function with a single switch. When in-app purchases were enabled and a password was entered to download an app, the App Store allowed purchases for 15 minutes without requiring a password. 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.

We heard from some customers with children that it was too easy to make in-app purchases, so we moved quickly to make improvements. We even created additional steps in the purchasing process, because these steps are so helpful to parents.

Last year, we set out to refund any in-app purchase which may have been made without a parent’s permission. We wanted to reach every customer who might have been affected, so we sent emails to 28 million App Store customers – anyone who had made an in-app purchase in a game designed for kids. When some emails bounced, we mailed the parents postcards. In all, we received 37,000 claims and we will be reimbursing each one as promised.

A federal judge agreed with our actions as a full settlement and we felt we had made things right for everyone. Then, the FTC got involved and we faced the prospect of a second lawsuit over the very same issue.

It doesn’t feel right for the FTC to sue over a case that had already been settled. To us, it smacked of double jeopardy. However, the consent decree the FTC proposed does not require us to do anything we weren’t already going to do, so we decided to accept it rather than take on a long and distracting legal fight.

The App Store is one of Apple’s most important innovations, and it’s wildly popular with our customers around the world because they know they can trust Apple. You and your coworkers have helped Apple earn that trust, which we value and respect above all else.

Apple is a company full of disruptive ideas and innovative people, who are also committed to upholding the highest moral, legal and ethical standards in everything we do. As I’ve said before, we believe technology can serve humankind’s deepest values and highest aspirations. As Apple continues to grow, there will inevitably be scrutiny and criticism along our journey. We don’t shy away from these kinds of questions, because we are confident in the integrity of our company and our coworkers.

Thank you for the hard work you do to delight our customers, and for showing them at every turn that Apple is worthy of their trust.

Tim

 

Sursa: Comisia Federala de Comert din Statele Unite; 9to5Mac

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