Smartphone apps charging you without your knowledge?

26 September 2011

appsPhone regulator Phonepayplus (yes, really) is opening a public consultation after it was revealed that some smartphone apps are charging people without their knowledge.

A number of rogue apps have been revealed, including one that automatically sent and received text messages costing £4.50 each without the user's knowledge.

Phonepayplus wants to tighten rules for apps and identified the key areas that need to be sorted out. They see the main problems as being a lack of transparency, security problems, poor complaint handling, and a lack of a straightforward opt-out options for premium rate service billing.

What the regulator is calling for sounds like good, obvious sense. They want app makers to provide a price up front before the user buys the app, as well as a total lack of malware and contact details being provided for complaints which should be resolved quickly.

That's sensible, right? Maybe a little patronisingly obvious? Either way, if they're sorting out this mess, good for them.

Phonepayplus wants feedback from the public on its proposals. The link at the start of the sentence should see you right and you have until 5th December to complain.

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TOPICS:   Mobile

3 comments

  • JP
    What are the apps and which platform(s) are effected?
  • The B.
    Simple answer on Android, look at what you're installing, if something wants permissions to access your text or voice services don't install it.
  • Mark H.
    'contact details being provided for complaints' This would be a problem for the bedroom coder who's just knocked out an interesting app in their spare time. If you force apps to have customer support then you're forcing all apps to only be released by companies with that ability which would be a shame.

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