Sweden mulls law on kids’ phone spending

The Swedish government said Wednesday it was considering introducing a law to prevent children from emptying their parents' bank accounts in just a few clicks when playing with their smartphones.

Sweden mulls law on kids' phone spending

“It isn’t okay that children can subject their parents to financial ruin with just a few clicks on their phone,” consumer affairs minister Birgitta Ohlsson said in a statement.

Her comments came after her ministry received an independent committee’s report, entitles “App to date”, with proposals on ways to improve consumer protection on the mobile phone market.

The main author of the report, former Supreme Court judge Torgny Håstad, recommended that in disputes where parents contest exorbitant fees which they claim were charged by their children, the law should assume that the parents are dealing in good faith.

The report also proposes that controls be strengthened to verify that the person who purchases something with a cell phone or tablet computer is indeed the owner of the bank account being debited.

The report cited a case that made headlines in Sweden in April 2011, when two six- and seven-year-old brothers spent 50,000 kronor ($7,600) on berries for Smurfs in a game downloaded for free on an Apple iPad.

Their parents were not required to pay after negotiations.

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