The Federal Trade Commission has ordered Google to refund more than $19 million to users of the Google Play Store.
The $19 million sum is attributed to charges incurred by children on the store, and includes micro-transactions from 2011.
The FTC states that in the past Google did not ask for proper authorisation or a user password during micro-transactions. While this was changed in 2012, the FTC states that Google’s system was still unclear as to how much each purchase cost.
A system that automatically approved purchases if another had been made in the last 30 minutes was also an issue, the FTC said.
For millions of American families, smartphones and tablets have become a part of their daily lives. As more Americans embrace mobile technology, it’s vital to remind companies that time-tested consumer protections still apply, including that consumers should not be charged for purchases they did not authorise.
Following the $19 million payout, Google will change the way its systems handle transactions, the company said.