Google Play update adds enhanced security options for app purchases

googleplay-update-march-2014

A new version of the Google Play Store is arriving for Android users, giving folks more control over security measures surrounding app purchases. Users can now decide how often the Play Store will ask for password confirmation, adding a layer of protection against the happy fingers of a child (or, perhaps, Shaq).

In actuality, the updated Play Store doesn’t add any security measures that weren’t already in place, it only gives users more options. By default, Google Play would only ask for a password once every 30 minutes when downloading paid apps. The newest iteration of Google’s app store gives the option to ask for passwords always, only after a half-hour elapses between purchases, or never.

Google has also made their warning about in-app purchases harder to miss, making it clear when an app will include the ability to buy additional content. In-app purchases have come under a lot of fire recently from parents and the government alike. Apple saw a recent FTC ruling that will force them to pay back millions in in-app charges, while a women recently hit Google with a lawsuit over $66 worth of purchases made by her child without her consent. European officials have also been working with Apple and Google to develop regulations that could govern so-called freemium applications.

As with all Play Store updates, you shouldn’t have to do anything to get it. As a rollout will likely be somewhat staggered, if these features aren’t available immediately, rest assured they will be soon.

[via Engadget]

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  • Averix

    Anyone that complains their children are buying without their knowledge after this point are just simply bad parents. Oh, and pay the whiner that handed her phone to her kid the $66 and not a penny more.

    • TONY ALDO

      What about kids who use tablets? Or what if you lose your phone and someone goes on a spending spree?

      • Jason Yuen

        Tablets have multiple accounts that can be restricted. Phones have become more important than our wallets. If you don’t password your phone, then that’s your own fault and you take on that risk yourself. Not anyone else.

        • TONY ALDO

          The amount of people who have passwords on their phone vs passwords to buy apps probably varies greatly. Actually you NEED a password to buy an app. People sometimes choose convenience over security. The app store gives thieves direct access to your credit card. But absolutely a password to your phone should be a no brainer by now. Once I get the update i’ll have it set to ask me every single time. And yes I give my phone to my son at times to play minecraft while i’m next to him. He knows better, but just in case.

      • uniquename72

        “Or what if you lose your phone and someone goes on a spending spree?”

        Unless it’s your kid who steals it, I don’t see how this is related to the comment you’re replying to.

    • bryan314

      Lets apply the cookie jar test to that statement:

      (Your mom/dad) that complains (you) are (stealing cookies) without their knowledge after this point are just simply bad parents. Oh, and pay the whiner that (put a cookie jar on the counter) the $66 and not a penny more.

      In that context that statement is ignorant and stupid.

      • Averix

        I have no idea what your point is. Your analogy doesn’t really apply very well when deceptive marketing practices, by the app maker, come into play. There may (benefit of the doubt) be some viable ignorance on the part of the parent that they thought in app purchases required a password. So, give her that money back, but if she wants a million dollars, send her on her way.

        • bryan314

          My point was your statement was completely one sided and disparaging to the parents when there are multiple factors going on here.

          Yes there are bad parents but most care for their children and want to do just that, ‘parent’ their kids. This lady didn’t just wake up one day and regret allowing her kid to purchase $66 in inapp purchases. She was genuinely shocked and outrage here child could do that without here permission.

          Yes there are scummy apps with inapp purchase practices and this should be addressed and not ignored by Google.

          Just because someone will point it out. Yes Android has restricted profiles. This is great. But it’s only on newer tablets. not older tablets and not phones.

          Here’s my contention with the situation. I, as a parent, want to be responsible for my childrens use on a tablet/phone. Google doesn’t explicitly ban apps for minors in the play store. They are implicitly and EXPLICITLY condoning and promoting its use by minors. And all that Google provides for, in terms of parental controls, is a single password.

          Neither by account or per device, they offer no control for app purchases, inapp purchases, add apps, deleting apps, access to services, etc. For adults this is fine. For services promoted for minors this in stupidly bad..

          • JointhePredacons

            Sorry, but any parent that hands over a cell phone to a toddler IS a bad parent. A better analogy than the horrible one you gave the other guy is handing a child a loaded gun and being mad when the kid puts a hole in the ceiling or the dog. They handed it to them, its their fault what they did with what was handed them.

          • sdrawkcab25

            that is a HORRIBLE analogy…Google provided a false sense of security with their password restriction…try using an analogy that fits that description…like setting your house alarm, and someone breaks in right after you leave, because the alarm company failed to tell you that it doesnt actually become armed for 30 minutes after you set it.

          • JointhePredacons

            Children under the age of 10 have no reason to be playing with smartphones and tablets. How bout these parents get their kids outside and active instead of breeding the next generation of lazy, entitled couch potatoes.

          • sdrawkcab25

            plenty of studies show that giving kids smatphones/tablets at a young age HELP brain development(recent studies even advocate to children under 2)… not to mention the fact there are plenty of kids who CAN NOT physically play outside.

            Hiding technology from kids will only leave them behind their peers.

  • Jason Yuen

    Anyone who loses money because of their own negligence frankly, deserves it. Wrist slapped. Lesson learned. Move on and treat your online identity with the same respect you treat your bank account information. This attitude towards blaming others for your misused password is looking a lot like a teenage child breaking up with their girlfriend/boyfriend because they wouldn’t share their email/facebook etc. password.

    Security is only as strong as you’re willing to let it be people.

  • rumanuu76

    Up until the past couple of weeks I honestly never knew the default was to ask for your password every 30 minutes. I thought it asked every purchase. The option is “use password to restrict purchases”.

    • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

      You’re a bad parent.

      • rumanuu76

        I know, I sent myself to bed early last night without any supper!

  • BronzeLincolns

    problem solved?

    • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

      Looks like it.

  • bryan314

    /getting on soapbox
    Ok repeat after me. When a parent asks for reasonable parental controls for electronic devices used by children or points out the flaws in existing systems, they are GOOD PARENTS. Not bad parents. good parents. They are trying to take responsibility for their children’s actions, so said children can not do ‘bad things’ either intentionally or unintentionally. You know, be a parent.

    repeat after me … GOOD PARENTS
    /off soapbox

    • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

      Yeah, I thought it was so weird how everyone was blaming “bad parenting” as the reason why Google was getting sued, and not Google for forgetting to add extra security options on Google Play.

  • JointhePredacons

    Yep, good idea. Dont need any more idiotic people trying to sue Google because theyre bad parents