Apple has agreed to settle with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over allegations it let children make in-app purchases without their parents' permission. Apple must refund at least $32.5 million to consumers for any purchases made by a minor that were not authorized. The technology giant must also change billing practices to ensure it has obtained "express, informed consent" from consumers before charging them for items sold in mobile apps.
Some children using mobile devices were able to access the app-store during this time and ring up bills in the hundreds, even thousands of dollars. Apple will be required to make theFTC's changes by March 31.
JC PENNEY WOES
More bad news for JC Penney. The troubled retailer announced Wednesday that it's cutting 2,000 jobs and closing 33 "underperforming" stores. JC Penney expects the moves to generate $65-million a year in savings. The store closings are expected to be completed by early May.
JC Penney stock has fallen more than 60% over the past 12 months.
STARBUCKS' APP PROBLEM
People who use the Starbucks mobile app should be on alert. That's according to a research report that says the app leaves customers' passwords open to attack. The popular app allows Starbucks customers to purchase drinks and food directly from their smartphones. It saves usernames, passwords and other personal information in plain text. That means a hacker could pick up a left-behind phone, plug it into a laptop and easily recover a Starbucks customer's password without even knowing the smartphone's pin code.
Starbucks officials acknowledge the vulnerability, but he did say no customers have claimed to have been hacked as a result.
UP, UP, UP ON WALL STREET
Another good day for the Dow as it closed up 108 points Wednesday.
The Nasdaq gained 32 points and the S&P increased 10 points on the day.