A federal judge has denied Amazon’s request to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the Federal Trade Commission, which accuses the retailer of failing to get parents’ permission for purchases made by children inside applications.
Amazon argued it did adequately warn customers of purchases being made on its Kindle Fire tablets, and that the FTC couldn’t prove that the bills were “unauthorized” by parents, according to The Washington Post.
The Judge John C. Coughenour, however, disagreed with that logic, adding that it was Amazon’s responsibility to prove that the charges were authorized, and said Amazon still might be violating federal laws against unfair billing.
According to the lawsuit filed in July, Amazon’s payment process has improved over time, but there are still holes in the system. For instance, in 2012, it began requiring a password for any in-app purchases over $20. Again, in 2013, it changed its policies to require a password for all in-app purchases, but children could make more purchases for up to an hour without having to re-enter a password. In June, Amazon tweaked its policies to make it clear how long that window would stay open, right as the FTC was considering the lawsuit.
“The FTC has sufficiently alleged that the injury to Amazon customers was not reasonably avoidable,” wrote Judge Coughenour, according to the filing.