Apple Tightens in-App Purchase Controls in iOS 4.3

Apple has tightened up restrictions in making in-app purchases in iOS apps sold on the App Store in the newly released iOS 4.3. The Washington Post reported that customers now have to type their password to make any in-app purchase, even during the 15 minute window after purchasing the app, when a password wasn’t necessary before.

The move comes in response to parents whining about large bills racked up by their unsupervised children making in-app purchases in iOS games. In other words, because some parents couldn’t be bothered to use the already-present parental controls that could restrict in-app purchases, everyone else on the planet has to enter their password one more time.

The Washington Post has published multiple reports on parents upset about iTunes charges racked up by their kids, as well as regulatory agencies and at least one state Attorney General (Washington State) who were looking into the issue.

Having lead the charge on the issue, the newspaper was able to get Apple to comment on the changes in the newly released iOS 4.3. In a statement given to The Post, Apple said, “We are proud to have industry-leading parental controls with iOS. With iOS 4.3, in addition to a password being required to purchase an app on the App Store, a reentry of your password is now required when making an in-app purchase.”

Washington State’s attorney general, Paula Selis, was quick to claim “a victory for consumer,” saying, “Our attitude about enforcement is that we are most effective with positive change without litigating, and talk an issue through with a company to affect change.”

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