EU: investigating app purchases

The EU exploring ways to ensure transparency.

Officials from the European Union have met with representatives from Apple, Google and consumer protection agencies from several European countries.  They are exploring ways in which app developers can make their charges more transparent.

Concerns about unexpected credit card charges had been raised by consumer groups from Belgium, Denmark, Italy and the UK, in particular when it comes to credit card charges on games played by children.

Issues of concern raised by the EU:

  • Games advertised as ‘free’ should not mislead consumers about the true costs involved
  • Games should not contain direct exhortations to children to buy items in a game or to persuade an adult to buy items for them
  • Consumers should be adequately informed about the payment arrangements and purchases should not be debited through default settings without consumers’ explicit consent
  • Traders should provide an email address so that consumers can contact them in case of queries or complaints.

Source: ITProPortal and The Guardian.