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Koreans back threat, sue Apple for $25m on iPhone location

updated 09:45 am EDT, Wed August 17, 2011

Apple sued by group over iPhone location in Korea

Miraelaw made good on warnings it would launch a mass lawsuit against Apple over iPhone location data. The claim is seeing 26,691 people each claim one million South Korean won ($932) in damages for allegedly collecting personal location info without permission. Combined, the group is asking for about $25.2 million in collective damages, although the final tally after all costs are factored in could climb to about $25.7 million.

The mass action followed after Kim Hyeong-seok, one of the lawyers in the case, himself earned the same amount. Korea had fined Apple $2,828 in a symbolic gesture over the same issue.

An initial hearing is due in October or November. Miraelaw is hoping to bring in more claimed victims to the lawsuit by the time it's ready to start trial. About 921 beyond the current figure are underage and would need to get permission to go ahead.

The lawsuits began after users found that iOS was keeping location data as much as a year after it was recorded, in part because Apple had over estimated the amount of cache it needed. Data kept going even if location services were formally turned off. Apple fixed these with iOS 4.3.3 but won't have avoided disputes over its earlier practices.

Action in the US has been much softer, since the actions haven't necessarily been illegal. Apple might face trouble elsewhere, as France is investigating the problem and might take action if it thinks Apple did enough to jeopardize privacy by collecting more position info than necessary.

by MacNN Staff



  1. simon42

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Funny thing

    Funny thing is that there are very few Apple users in Korea.... they prefer hardware from local companies.

  1. Bobfozz

    Joined: Dec 1969



    "I wasn't important before... but now I am worried that I am being followed!"
    Yes that's right, Apple is really concerned about your 15 minutes. Sue, sue, sue. Almost all of this is driven by lawyers who work clients into a frenzy. Surely someone should sue these lawyers.

  1. Hercules Rockefeller

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Apple racists

    Apple fans showing there true colors over this story.

  1. mytdave

    Joined: Dec 1969


    lawyers and stupidity

    So, all these people want the iPhone cause of the cool things it does and the way it works, but then they're mad about the mechanism that makes it work the way it does, and they don't like that, but they still want it to work the way it works?

    Apple should say, look, turn your phones back in, and we'll give you a refund. You're obviously too stupid to understand that for maps and other apps' location features to work you have to keep a database of locations.

  1. BigMac2

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Lawyers lottery

    Mass lawsuit are like lottery, for anyone who can apply it's a chance for free money without any merit. What is sad is the fact of the lawsuit is base on false claim, the iPhone as never record in any way is own position. What have been found is nearby Wifi and cell tower coordinate which is part of the skyhook location system.

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