Amazon is reaping the fruits of refusing to put up more secure ways of making purchases to keep unauthorized in-app purchases made by children from happening, as FTC has now requested that a Federal court investigate into the matter and get Amazon to repay customers.
The Federal Trade Commission asked the company to refund customers the charges it levied for the in-app purchases their children made without their permission and Amazon not only refused to do so but also said that it has sufficient security systems in place to prevent unauthorized purchases from its app store.
The FTC has demanded that Amazon pay up the 30 percent cut it makes from every transaction made on its app store. The FTC also said that the company has made millions of dollars and points out to a kid who made purchases worth $360 in a very short time.
FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez said in a statement that Amazon employees themselves have realized that their process has inadequate security measures. Even though Amazon has made it necessary to key in passwords to make in-app purchases, this step has been taken only after more than two years when it first launched in-app purchase feature on its app store in 2011.
Initially, it didn’t require a password for the purchases and it caused a prominent problem which was mentioned in the internal communications of the company’s employees who say that it was “clearly causing problems for a large percentage” of its customers.
Later in March 2012, the company required the customers to key in passwords for purchases exceeding $20 and in 2013, they were asked to type passwords every 15 minute. In June this year, the company required passwords on latest devices.
Amazon responded that it was “deeply disappointing” to see FTC filing a suit even after the “constructive meetings” they had this month.