Proposed Consent Agreement In the Matter of Apple Inc. #00005

Submission Number:
North Carolina
Initiative Name:
Proposed Consent Agreement In the Matter of Apple Inc.
Matter Number:

112 3108

For years, Apple has aligned its device 'sign-up' form on its desktop and/or mobile application in such a manner that unless the end-user is technically savvy and has been made aware of alternate and difficult methods, in this case, the parent or legal guardian of a minor child (user) must proceed to enter a valid form of payment in order to use the device. It has been this way only until recently where the sign-up on a child new device would halt progress until a form of payment was entered. Even for tech savvy individuals as in this case I am a professional technologist, specifically a systems engineer and even n my case specifically, my young children purchased many, many items without my consent because it was easier to purchase items form the 'Apple store" than it was to plug in, register and begin using Apple devices. Apple's competitor Microsoft, has several safeguards in=place to prevent such acts, and has had these safeguards in-place for a good amount of time where i as a parent have complete control over what my child purchases, what my child plays, why my child watches, and what my child listens to. It is only recently that Apple has made the signup more hassle-free where it still asks, but does not act as if it has a mandatory requirement of having to have payment information entered. Tome as a technologist, Apple's sign-up has resembled the web-site that requests and requires valid credit card information for a 30-day trial yet makes it impossible to cancel the free trial prior to automated charges being made to a credit card used. I cannot guess as to 'why' Apple designed their application in this manner however I will confidently state that it has never been non=payment-user-friendly. Apple's rebuttal could be 'You should not have given your child the password. My call to this would be that Apple made it impossible to use a device to browse the "Apple Store" for music, videos, and/or apps, without constantly dimming the background of the 'store', and requesting (not requiring) but requesting and making tit look required that user.. a child continue to enter the account's password. Ancillary to that, when a smart nine year old sees the parent typing in the password and shares it with her siblings, the parent is not alerted until the purchase has already been made, and Apple HAS made it almost impossible, for a parent like myself to call in or email in,a request a refund or assistance for an unauthorized purchase refund, Apple has done nothing to my knowledge to prevent apps containing some type of access to photos of nude men and women to my children's devices and from and in my opinion, the only thing Apple has made easy for me as a parent, is they have made it easy for my children who have done so without my consent, to purchase songs, applications, videos that I would not normally purchase for my children nor would I allow them to purchase while making it very difficult if possible at all as I have never succeeded, to request a refund and removal of the app, song, or video, or previously, to give me parental controls and access to safeguards to prevent such parental unapproved purchase that have been made in the past on several different occasions, by all four of my children. While an Apple primary competitor has given me easy-to-use tools, instructions,and safeguards to prevent my children from purchasing products on their software and hardware without consent, the only thing i can see from a parental opinion, is Apple while not making their app look like it requires valid payment information in the last couple of revisions after all these years, Apple HAS made it easier for my children to purchase items without my consent, has not made parental supervision easier, has not made a hard effort to educate me as a parent about such safeguards if even available! Apple's competitors do just the opposite.An example, Microsoft DOES give me tools to supervise my children who must also see me and request approval.