Apple settles iPhone tracking lawsuit in South Korea

Jul 14, 2011
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Apple settles iPhone tracking lawsuit in South Korea

Apple has paid a South Korean man the equivalent of $950 in compensation over "psychological stress" and infringement of constitutional rights to privacy, as the aftermath of the iPhone location-tracking controversy drags on. Lawyer Kim Hyung-Suk filed the case on April 26, PhysOrg reports, with the court ordering Apple to pay up; the company's South Korean arm claims it did not raise an objection to the suit. However, if Apple thought that would make Kim go away, it's sadly mistaken.

In fact, the lawyer is now preparing a joint suit against Apple, telling the Yonhap news agency that "amassing location data without iPhone users' consent constitutes an apparent legal violation." There are three million iPhone users in South Korea, though so far only 300 have registered their interest in the suit.

Security researchers originally discovered the iPhone and iPad tracking situation back when iOS 4.0 was released, but it made headlines back in April when a simple app was launched that could pull the various trackpoint data out of a user's account and display them on a map (such as in the image above). Apple blamed a software bug, claiming that the information was not, in fact, the user's position but that of cell towers near to where they had been; it was meant to have been deleted periodically, but logs had inadvertently been stored over time.

Apple subsequently released an iOS update, v4.3.3, which addressed the issues, though still faced questions from the US Congress together with class action suits in the US.


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