updated 01:20 pm EST, Thu March 6, 2014
Changes could be wedged into iOS 7.1
Apple is "scrambling" to make changes to the way in-app purchases work ahead of an FTC deadline, a source tells ZDNet. As a part of its $32.5 million settlement with the US Federal Trade Commission, Apple must fix flaws in the App Store that have allowed people -- mostly children -- to inadvertently rack up hundreds or thousands of dollars in iTunes charges. The deadline for those changes is just a few weeks from now, March 31st.
Modifying the App Store to ensure explicit consent before billing is said to be taking longer than expected, likely because it involves altering order flow, and upsetting many interdependent elements. To allow people to withdraw consent at any time, it's thought that all purchases will now require password entry by default. To make things easier for people who aren't worried about unwanted purchases, Apple could conceivably provide a no-password toggle in Settings.
Apple is allegedly interested in rolling out necessary changes via iOS 7.1. Since v7.1 is rumored to be launching as soon as this week, though, tweaks to the in-app purchase system may have to wait for a subsequent patch later this month.