Apple Inc. (AAPL): How Government Becomes a Parent

Editor's Note: This is opinion and commentary by the writer. The opinion expressed in this piece is not necessarily that of Insider Monkey or its staff. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is just a corporation. It does not parent your kids. It is in the market to sell products, make soe profit and please its shareholders and board of directors. And of course, create more jobs for hard-working people, create strong livable incomes which feed more money into the local economies of the workers. The company can't be blamed for getting its money, especially if it was gathered by mistake. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) did not hold these device holders hostage or demand ransom, yet the Federal Trade Commission was proud to announce Wednesday that it had reached an agreement with Apple Inc. for millions of dollars of what were deemed "erroneous" charges against certain Apple account holders due to their children making some in-app purchases while they played games on various iDevices. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is being treated as a criminal by reaching a deal to pay back more than $32 million in these erroneous charges. Personally, as a parent of an iDevice-loving 5-year-old, this writer sees a couple issues iwth this and how it might set a bad precedent. First, the simple fact that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), or the app developer more specifically, did not walk into the house and take the iDevice owner's wallet. Returning the money assumes a theft. This was a mistake by the parents, not parenting their kids to teach them not to click on the "buy" button without a parent's permission. And when mistakes are made, there should be consequences for the mistakes. It is not the government's job to cover for mistakes made by the governmed - at least not in the America in which I grew up. Things are different now, I guess. In our house, our son loves playing on the Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone and iPod Touch in oru house. He is always asking to play games on the devices, and he does much of it while on the long commute to school every morning. When he was a little younger, he played with the device and wound up deleting some key apps and photos because he was curious what the red "x" meant. After there was anger, a tirade and taking away of the device for several days, he learned that when he got the device, he was taught only to play with the games and not do anything else. If he came across a delete or purchase screen within the game - something that was different from the game itself - he either stopped or asked for permission. That is clearly what did not happen in these cases. The parents made the mistake of not teaching their kids about how to use the Apple Inc. devices and about permission. In that case, whatever money they lost should have remained lost. This was not the fault of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) - this is all about bad parenting, plain and simple. Have a concurring or conflicting view? Feel free to share it with us.
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