How many times have you downloaded a “free” app that manages to sneak in advertisements and premium content that you need to pay extra for? Probably a lot.
Well the European Union is meeting with various companies today to lay down some rules and come up with clearer lingo that stipulates which applications are truly free, and which are “free.”
The European Commission is also looking to control the ways in which in-app payments are made, and include direct email addresses to the developer, in case you have a problem with a purchase.
EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reading had this to say:
“For the sector to deliver on its potential consumers must have confidence in new products…Misleading consumers is clearly the wrong business model and also goes against the spirit of EU rules on consumer protection.”
The proposed reforms could have a big impact on the European application business, which is predicted to be worth about 63 Billion Euros in the next five years. In Germany alone, in-app purchases double from 2012 to 2013, with over a million of the customers making the purchases being between the ages of 10 and 19.
The US has already seen some Apple app store changes go into effect. If users would like to make an app-store purchase they are required to re-input their password as part of a double-verification process. A separate lawsuit last year also resulted in a settlement that gave customers $32.5 million in refunds for mistaken in-app purchases and made it necessary for apps to indicate that their application does contain in-app purchases.
It is interesting to note that Google doesn’t require users to enter their passwords twice, but the software giant has said that it’s working on extra protection for Google Play Store purchases.
Source | Via