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Posted at 11:42 AM ET, 03/11/2011

Apple’s security changes to in-app purchases praised by lawmakers

By Cecilia Kang

Apple’s move to tighten security for in-app purchases on the iPhone and iPad drew praise from lawmakers who had expressed concerns that consumers, particularly children, were being hit with accidental charges.

But legislators said tech and wireless firms need to do more to ensure that consumers are protected from vague and confusing billing.

Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) said in a statement: “I am pleased that Apple has added new, clearer control settings and restrictions ... it is important that consumers are protected and mobile devices don’t become a 21st century wallet in the hands of children who may not know any better.”

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) said the change was a “common sense safeguard” that will help prevent shocking bills.” She has supported a Federal Communications Commission recommendation that would require carriers warn users through voice and text messages that they are about to exceed monthly data and texting limits.

“This is a positive change, but we can still do more to eliminate outrageous charges, and I look forward to working to ensure transparent billing practices for all consumers,” Klobuchar said.

She also noted the problem of “cramming,” when a third party adds unauthorized, misleading or deceptive charges to a consumer phone bill.

By Cecilia Kang  | March 11, 2011; 11:42 AM ET
Categories:  Apple, Kids Online, Mobile  
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While a bit of a long-shot, I think these safeguards are extremely important when you take into account social inequality! I was just reading this other Washington Post article ( and it mentions that the Hispanics who are have less access to internet on computers rely on their mobile devices for internet access. When you take that into account, you can see how that same group of people might be unequally, negatively impacted by ineffective mobile internet purchase security. This also makes me think in an even broader sense of this discussion thread ( It deals with increasing accessibility of internet to poorer neighborhoods. That would protect those people even more from inadequate mobile phone internet security!

Posted by: bernadette1 | March 11, 2011 3:54 PM | Report abuse

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