Facebook let children rack up huge bills in games in 'friendly fraud'

Facebook let children rack up huge bills in games in 'friendly fraud'

Her team experimented with solutions to curb kids' spending with parents' credit cards (including requiring children to re-enter partial card numbers).

Facebook is under fire for allegedly facilitating over-spending by minors in free-to-play games on Facebook, and internal documents now show that the company chose not to implement security measures that would have prevented kids from unknowingly pouring their parents' money into games.

The report further notes that Angry Birds developer Rovio expressed concern to Facebook over its "high" chargeback rates, and that a resulting internal analysis yielded a startling pair of facts: "I$3 n almost all cases, about 93 percent of the time, the refunds were a result of credit card holders not realizing the game was charging their account", the report states. The story detailed the case of one 12-year-old boy who had spent almost $1,000 in the game Ninja Saga. The system appeared to work, with parents requests for refunds and chargebacks dropping. Bohannan filed a lawsuit after finding it impossible to reach Facebook for a refund.

Internal probes further found that in many cases, minors had no idea that they were paying real money, and their parents did not realize that their credit card was tied to Facebook.

According to records that are part of a class-action lawsuit, and include internal Facebook memos, secret strategies and employee emails, the social media giant is engaged in what was internally dubbed "friendly fraud" in order to maximize its revenues. It said that "in almost all cases, the parent. didn't think the child would be allowed to buy anything without their password or authorization first".

US Crude Production to Beat EIA's Outlook by 23 Years
The U.S. also threatened to impose sanctions on Venezuela's oil industry that could further hobble the country's exports. A year ago, the U.S. government saw American crude production averaging 11.95 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2042.

"If we were to build risk models to reduce it, we would most likely block good [total purchase value]", said one Facebook employee in the unsealed documents.

In one document, an employee at Facebook discussed how the company could use the "data to choose apps that would be good recipients for an automatic underage inflow ... apps that come to mind: PetVille, Happy Aquarium, Wild Ones, Barn Buddy and any Ninja game". Facebook changed its refund policy around games in 2016 and now has a detailed site about how to handle payment disputes with developers.

"We have now released additional documents as instructed by the court".

"Facebook works with parents and experts to offer tools for families navigating Facebook and the web", the company said in a statement. In 2016, this lead to an update to the social network's terms and conditions that would provide "dedicated resources for refund requests relation to purchases made by minors on Facebook".

That same year, Google settled a similar case for USD19 million with the same agency.

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