Proposed Consent Agreement In the Matter of Apple Inc. #00044

Submission Number:
00044
Commenter:
Joshua Holman
State:
North Carolina
Initiative Name:
Proposed Consent Agreement In the Matter of Apple Inc.
Matter Number:

112 3108

To the Federal Trade Commission:

My name is Joshua Holman.

I am commenting on the "Proposed Consent Agreement In the Matter of Apple Inc., File No. 112 3108". I write the Commission as an average user of Apple's mobile devices. I started with an iPod mini almost 10 years ago. I later upgraded to an iPod touch and today I use an iPhone 4 and iPad 2. I made my first In-App Purchase ("IAP") within the App Store in 2012. In general my IAP experience has been positive; I use the feature to buy books for Bible software and other things. The only real problem I've had with the feature was completely my fault. I deleted a book I purchased for a Bible app (I'm Protestant). Correspondence between myself and the developer helped me get the book back. This episode was not an unintentional or unauthorized purchase as the Commission has laid out against Apple in the case.

As for the Consent Agreement, I believe it is good and will go far to settle the matter before you. I am really appreciative that Apple will have to get the consent of a user to make an IAP. Before this issue emerged recently I had no idea a 15 minute window existed after making a purchase. I found out about this on the iLounge website [1]. While I'm an adult who knows what I'm doing with the App Store & IAPs, I can see how a child can't understand the process. This leads me to my first question. Why has the Commission not asked Apple why IAPs are used in children's apps at all considering the known risks? While I respect the fact the Commission can't interfere with Apple and its developers, I think this is a question that should be asked. This leads to my last question. Why has the Commission limited the scope of the agreement to kids apps? Should all the apps in the App Store be covered by this agreement?

Thank you for the opportunity to comment. I hope this is helpful in your deliberations. Thank you for your service to all Americans.

[1] "In-app purchases lead to big bills for parents." Starrett, Charles. iLounge. 15 Dec. 2010. Web. 25 Jan. 2014. <http://www.ilounge.com/index.php/news/comments/in-app-purchases-lead-to-.... The comments section includes some discussion on the 15 minute window.