Apple pays $1K to Korean iPhone user over location data as class-action suit looms

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
After Apple made its first payment related to a controversy over location data stored on the iPhone to a Korean lawyer last month, the company now faces the threat of a class-action lawsuit over the issue.



The Telegraph reported Thursday that Apple Korea was ordered in May to pay 1 million won ($946) to lawyer and iPhone user Kim Hyung-Souk. According to Kim's law firm, Mirae Law, Apple made the payment last month.



The firm now says it is in the midst of preparing a class-action lawsuit against the iPhone maker, alleging that Apple collected location data without users' consent.



According to the report, the firm set up a website for customers interested in joining the litigation was overwhelmed by traffic, though the traffic overwhelmed the site's servers, forcing it to move to a new location.



"Finally. The real action against Apple. Now available here," the site reads. According to Yonhap News Agency, about 300 people have signed up on the site, which launched Thursday.







In April, security researchers raised concerns over a database file found in iOS 4 that appeared to store users' location information. A week later, Apple responded to the allegations, saying the database file is actually "a database of Wi-Fi hotspots and cell towers around your current location." The company then issued a fix to a bug that allowed the file to preserve location information for up to a year.



Within days of the first reports on the controversial database file, Apple was hit with a class-action lawsuit in the U.S. In May, two suits were filed against Apple over the alleged practice of sending an iPhone's UDID and location information to advertisers.



Apple also faced federal scrutiny over the issue. The company testified before the U.S. Senate, reiterating its commitment to consumer privacy. Regulatory officials from Korea and Europe also investigated Apple in response to the report.



However, the iPhone maker is not alone in its legal woes in Korea. In May, Korean police raided Google's offices on suspicions that the search giant had collected unauthorized personal data.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 26
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,196member
    If one recalls correctly, Korea has different privacy laws for collecting location data than what exists in all other nations currently having access with an iOS Device.



    Let them class action all they want. They had better work at changing laws in the US Congress before attempting to get blood out of a turnip. They won't get it out of Apple.
  • Reply 2 of 26
    coolfactorcoolfactor Posts: 1,366member
    Why would the author round up to $1K ($1000), and not just put the actual amount, especially when the amount in the native currency is one million, not one thousand? Laziness? Bizarro.
  • Reply 3 of 26
    _hawkeye__hawkeye_ Posts: 139member
    racist post removed
  • Reply 4 of 26
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    This has nothing to do with the Samsung stoush of course. Nothing at all.
  • Reply 5 of 26
    matrix07matrix07 Posts: 1,993member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    The Telegraph reported Thursday that Apple Korea was ordered in May to pay 1 million won ($946) to lawyer and iPhone user Kim Hyung-Souk. According to Kim's law firm, Mirae Law, Apple made the payment last month.




    Wonder if that'll cover all his legal expenses.
  • Reply 6 of 26
    myapplelovemyapplelove Posts: 1,515member
    Cheaper than the entry level air, not bad!
  • Reply 7 of 26
    stelligentstelligent Posts: 2,680member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by _Hawkeye_ View Post


    racist post removed



    The cultural thing here is your overt racism. Shame on you.
  • Reply 8 of 26
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,868member
    There is something very strange going on here.
  • Reply 9 of 26
    nceencee Posts: 836member
    Location data, as in where I am, where I've been, and where I'm going? Kind of like a GPS system - if this is the case, how in hell can he sue, and why in hell did Apple pay him off?



    Now, if this is the same thing, I'll bet that lawyer, would be REAL happy, had he had a bad accident, gone over a cliff, and was only found, because his iPhone tracked his location.



    Of course if the "Location issue" is in reference to where he is searching, and for what, then I still don't get it. Hell this site, (AppleInsider) puts ad's up that Puritan to web site, I've visited, things I'm looking for, and places I've been.



    Amazon knows more about me and my buying habits then I do ? can I sue them over this?



    I haven't stayed up on the issue, break it down better for me please.



    Skip



    OK, so should go out and purchase an iPhone, if I want in on the action, and a piece of this pie (which will be what, a new software download that will stop this action. And what about all the other phone companies doing the same thing. What, it's not as big an issue, because they haven't got more money then God (or Bill gates).
  • Reply 10 of 26
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,868member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ncee View Post


    Location data, as in where I am, where I've been, and where I'm going? Kind of like a GPS system - if this is the case, how in hell can he sue, and why in hell did Apple pay him off?



    Now, if this is the same thing, I'll bet that lawyer, would be REAL happy, had he had a bad accident, gone over a cliff, and was only found, because his iPhone tracked his location.



    Of course if the "Location issue" is in reference to where he is searching, and for what, then I still don't get it. Hell this site, (AppleInsider) puts ad's up that Puritan to web site, I've visited, things I'm looking for, and places I've been.



    Amazon knows more about me and my buying habits then I do ? can I sue them over this?



    I haven't stayed up on the issue, break it down better for me please.



    Skip



    OK, so should go out and purchase an iPhone, if I want in on the action, and a piece of this pie (which will be what, a new software download that will stop this action. And what about all the other phone companies doing the same thing. What, it's not as big an issue, because they haven't got more money then God (or Bill gates).



    I agree, it all very strange why Apple paid. On the tracking even my Garmin shows exactly where I have been on past trips, why is no one suing Garmin?
  • Reply 11 of 26
    mr. hmr. h Posts: 4,698member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ncee View Post


    why in hell did Apple pay him off?



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


    I agree, it all very strange why Apple paid.



    I think you guys missed something important:



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider


    Apple Korea was ordered in May to pay 1 million won



    It would seem that this was a legal judgement against Apple and it's therefore a forgone conclusion that Apple will lose the class-action suit in Korea.
  • Reply 12 of 26
    applezillaapplezilla Posts: 941member
    There is no 'privacy' with any network connected device. You can be found and always assume you are being monitored. Not that Anyone is looking at you. But they can.



    Get over it.
  • Reply 13 of 26
    cloudgazercloudgazer Posts: 2,161member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post


    It would seem that this was a legal judgement against Apple and it's therefore a forgone conclusion that Apple will lose the class-action suit in Korea.



    If it's a forgone conclusion that Apple will lose that suit, then it's also a forgone conclusion that Google will ,since Android's tracking was at least as bad. There are twice as many Android handsets as iPhones in Korea



    Edit: Interesting question is, who will get sued for Android in Korea, Google or the OEMs? I predict it's the OEMs.
  • Reply 14 of 26
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,198member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ncee View Post


    Location data, as in where I am, where I've been, and where I'm going? Kind of like a GPS system - if this is the case, how in hell can he sue, and why in hell did Apple pay him off?



    Despite the fact that wasn't a true 'tracking' and no one but your phone and your computer could access the data, this was in Korea where the laws are different than the US. Under their laws, this caching of hotspots could be illegal



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


    I agree, it all very strange why Apple paid. On the tracking even my Garmin shows exactly where I have been on past trips, why is no one suing Garmin?



    Most GPS devices advertise that storing of old trips as a feature so you know about it. Unlike this cache which wasn't blatantly told until some 'security' expert found it and spread it around. The gist of the reaction is basically so what if Apple's not recording your devices ID and the gps etc, so what if the only way to get the info is from your iphone or your computer, they should have told people the cache exists.
  • Reply 15 of 26
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post


    It would seem that this was a legal judgement against Apple and it's therefore a forgone conclusion that Apple will lose the class-action suit in Korea.



    Maybe, maybe not. There could be a number of legal strategies in play.



    Apple always had the option to appeal rather than pay, so saying 'it was a court order' doesn't really answer the question.



    One thing for sure - Apple has a top notch legal team. I'm sure that they considered their options before sending out a check for $1 K.



    For example - what if the order was to pay the plaintiff $10 plus legal expenses. Agreeing to that would be a slam dunk win for Apple. Even if there were a hundred thousand class action plaintiffs, they'd get $10 each - and Apple could minimize the legal expense portion by simply agreeing to pay each plaintiff their $10.



    Obviously, I don't know what the order said, but if Apple agreed to it without appealing, there must have been some reason.
  • Reply 16 of 26
    cloudgazercloudgazer Posts: 2,161member
    On a semi-related note, sometimes loss of privacy makes for great art



    http://www.tuaw.com/2011/07/15/watch...around-europe/
  • Reply 17 of 26
    galbigalbi Posts: 968member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by _Hawkeye_ View Post


    racist post removed



    Racist. Marked.
  • Reply 18 of 26
    ecphorizerecphorizer Posts: 533member
    If this turns into a massive class-action suit in Korea for Korean owners of iDevices, maybe Apple will simply shut down all commercial and consumer trade in Korea. No more iDevices sold, no more manufacturing contracts, no more Apple there. The threat of such suits plus the climate engendered by the likes of Samsung make doing business there untenable for Apple.



    And that's too bad as apparently the Apple brand is well-known and well-respected by consumers there. It just takes one stupid greedy lawyer to upset the apple cart for everyone else.
  • Reply 19 of 26
    cloudgazercloudgazer Posts: 2,161member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ecphorizer View Post


    If this turns into a massive class-action suit in Korea for Korean owners of iDevices, maybe Apple will simply shut down all commercial and consumer trade in Korea. No more iDevices sold, no more manufacturing contracts, no more Apple there. The threat of such suits plus the climate engendered by the likes of Samsung make doing business there untenable for Apple.



    And that's too bad as apparently the Apple brand is well-known and well-respected by consumers there. It just takes one stupid greedy lawyer to upset the apple cart for everyone else.



    I think Apple will just take their licks on this one. It's entirely plausible that as Korean law stands they did accidentally infringe, so they'll settle the class action suit at a couple hundred dollars per phone and then laugh when Samsung, LG and HTC get sued for the same amount.



    Apple likes to be a good corporate citizen, look at the business in Taiwan, where they've done as required and obeyed the silly local consumer laws. They'll seek to minimize the expense but they'll almost certainly settle a class action suite and just keep on keeping on.
  • Reply 20 of 26
    stelligentstelligent Posts: 2,680member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cloudgazer View Post


    Apple likes to be a good corporate citizen.



    True dat.
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