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Letter to Jon Leibowitz, Federal Trade Commission Chairman


Location: Unknown

The Honorable Jon Leibowitz
Federal Trade Commission
600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20580

Dear Chairman Leibowitz.

I write to express concern regarding an article I read in today's Washington Post underscoring how children and parents are unaware of potential costs incurred by use of certain applications or "apps" on their mobile or other electronic devices. The article, "In-app purchases in iPad, iPhone, iPod kids' games touch off parental firestorm," suggests that consumers are being misled by free "app" downloads that are followed by financial charges accrued by use of products and services offered by those apps.

Children, in particular, appear to be confused by in-app purchases, leaving parents with an unexpected bill for virtual smurfberries, snowflakes or other products. In the end, it would appear that these app companies may be the ones having all the fun and games at our children's expense.

As an advocate for children's online privacy and safety, I believe this report merits our collective attention. Please submit to me and my staff a description of actions the Federal Trade Commission currently is taking to investigate this matter as well as a description of recommendations to mitigate consumer confusion in this domain.

I thank you for you and your staff's continued efforts to protect consumers across the country. I appreciate your time and attention, and I welcome your timely response.

Mark Pryor
United States Senator

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