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Why Kids Shouldn't Have Carte Blanche on iPads: 6-Year-Old Twins Rack Up $1,600 Bill in App Store

Kid using iPad

Er, you might want to check what she’s doing

Before my 2-year-old was even two, she knew how to turn on my iPhone. Big deal, right? Remember this kid?

My little prodigy calls foreign countries, FaceTimes my entire address book, texts anyone she can manag , takes photos of her toes and deletes apps from my home screen. I don’t really care what she does on my phone because I can undo (or redo) anything she does.

However, here’s what she can’t do on it, by design: order apps. That’s because she doesn’t really know what she’s doing — and she certainly neither knows my password, nor how to type nor spell.

A dad in England isn’t so lucky. His 6-year-old twins were playing around on an iPad. Actually playing is a word reserved for kids. Kids don’t rack up a $1,600 bill, which is what the twins did in Apple’s app store. According to The Huffington Post (via the BBC), Ashley Griffiths’ 6-year-old cat burglars spent four-figures over two days on virtual pets and clothes while playing two games.

Because they knew the password — to do homework, Griffiths said — they were able to make the purchases (which have since been refunded by Apple as a gesture of goodwill). Griffiths says Apple should add an extra layer of security by asking users to also enter credit card information before making an app store purchase.

Me? I know that we already have an extra layer of security in place. It’s called ME. I’m the parent watching my child on a device that can buy things and call things and email things and text things. I’d be happy to tell Griffiths all about how ME works. It’s kind of genius. And there’s no password required.

Photo credit: iStockphoto

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