South Korea fines Apple nearly $3k for 'illegal' location tracking

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
The Korean Communications Commission announced on Wednesday that it will fine Apple 3 million won, or $2,830, for what it has deemed "illegal" gathering of location data from iPhone users.



The commission has ordered Apple to pay the fine in exchange for violating Korea's location information laws, according to The Associated Press. Apple previously paid 1 million won, or $946, in a separate lawsuit from a Korean iPhone user.



The iPhone location controversy gained attention in April, when a pair of 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 file is actually "a database of Wi-Fi hotspots and cell towers around your current location," with the intent of providing location services faster to users than traditional GPS can offer.



In a public statement, Apple reassured users that it was not tracking the location of iPhones. Instead, the file was described as a "crowd-sourced database" designed to help the iPhone more rapidly and accurately calculate its location.



Apple quickly issued a fix to a bug that allowed the file to preserve location information for up to a year. iOS 4.3.3 was released in early may, and it reduced the size of the database file, made sure it is no longer backed up to iTunes, and allows users to delete the cache entirely when Location Services is turned off.



The iPhone's "crowd-sourced database" | Source: O'Reilly Radar



In response to the Korean Communications Commission's fine, an Apple spokesman in Seoul, Steve Park, reportedly reiterated his company's stance that it has never tracked users' locations and will never do so.



South Korea has been very aggressive in snuffing out what the country believes are inappropriate methods of location tracking with portable devices. In May, police raided Google's offices on suspicions that the search giant had collected unauthorized personal data.
«1

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 36
    chabigchabig Posts: 640member
    I wonder if Google and Microsoft received similar fines.
  • Reply 2 of 36
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    The Korean Communications Commission announced on Wednesday that it will fine Apple 3 million won, or $2,830, for what it has deemed "illegal" gathering of location data from iPhone users.








    Wow. Almost $3,000.00. That's a big hit for a company the size of Apple.



    Not.
  • Reply 3 of 36
    tummytummy Posts: 21member
    If they're anything like my company, it will cost them that much to figure out how to cut a check that small.
  • Reply 4 of 36
    moxommoxom Posts: 326member
    Pocket change?
  • Reply 5 of 36
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleLover2 View Post


    Wow. Almost $3,000.00. That's a big hit for a company the size of Apple.



    Not.



    Well, no. But it's not a B2B thing. It's one private user. How many users are there? In Korea then. Maybe 100 000? 100 000 x 3 000 = 300 000 000.



    I have no clue as to how the legal system i Korea works, but it can get a bit more expensive than this.
  • Reply 6 of 36
    Looks like a case of protecting/supporting their own Samsung....??
  • Reply 7 of 36
    cajuncajun Posts: 95member
    $3,000?



    Don't worry, Apple, I got this one... <pulls out checkbook>
  • Reply 8 of 36
    firefly7475firefly7475 Posts: 1,502member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by chabig View Post


    I wonder if Google and Microsoft received similar fines.



    Probably not. I don't think they were storing a years worth of tracking data, backing it up unencrypted, not allowing it to be turned off etc
  • Reply 9 of 36
    galbigalbi Posts: 968member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleLover2 View Post


    Wow. Almost $3,000.00. That's a big hit for a company the size of Apple.



    Not.



    Its the thought that counts. It has set a precedent.
  • Reply 10 of 36
    galbigalbi Posts: 968member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Funky Chicken View Post


    Looks like a case of protecting/supporting their own Samsung....??



    Because Samsung is based in Korea? Correlation is not causation.
  • Reply 11 of 36
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tumme-totte View Post


    Well, no. But it's not a B2B thing. It's one private user. How many users are there? In Korea then. Maybe 100 000? 100 000 x 3 000 = 300 000 000.



    I have no clue as to how the legal system i Korea works, but it can get a bit more expensive than this.



    100,000 x 2,830= 283,000,000 a bit cheaper (not that it matters that much with how much cash Apple has)
  • Reply 12 of 36
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Firefly7475 View Post


    Probably not. I don't think they were storing a years worth of tracking data, backing it up unencrypted, not allowing it to be turned off etc



    From what I remember of "location-gate", Google was tracking location for years unencrypted and beaming it back to the mothership 2-3 times an hour to be stored for years and years.
  • Reply 13 of 36
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    The Korean Communications Commission announced on Wednesday that it will fine Apple 3 million won, or $2,830, for what it has deemed "illegal" gathering of location data from iPhone users....



    The repeated use of "illegal" in quotes is sort of offensive.



    If it's illegal in Korea, it's illegal in Korea. What anyone else thinks about it is irrelevant. You think Korea should run on what the US Congress finds to be illegal instead?
  • Reply 14 of 36
    mhiklmhikl Posts: 471member
    S Korea needs a good lesson.



    1. No new contracts with Samsung or any other Korean company.

    2. Continue to sue the hell out of Samsung for patent infringements. Be blood thirsty, Apple.

    3. Don't sell anything Apple to S Koreans. Let them stew with Android.



    Enough is enough.
  • Reply 15 of 36
    Hmm, that amount seems like some overzealous government bureaucratic was looking for a way to buy a top of the line Mac. No company would take the time to turn this over to the legal department, it is a pesky fine not worth fighting. Betcha the money comes right back and the regulator will be carting a shiny new Air next week!
  • Reply 16 of 36
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mhikl View Post


    3. Don't sell anything Apple to S Koreans. Let them stew with Android.



    That's about the easiest way to keep Samsung alive. And the stupidest thing Apple could ever do.
  • Reply 17 of 36
    thomprthompr Posts: 1,516member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mhikl View Post


    S Korea needs a good lesson.



    1. No new contracts with Samsung or any other Korean company.

    2. Continue to sue the hell out of Samsung for patent infringements. Be blood thirsty, Apple.

    3. Don't sell anything Apple to S Koreans. Let them stew with Android.



    Enough is enough.



    Spite I not a good business model, so I'd just go with suggestion number 2, unless better reasons than this fine exist for the other two.



    Thompson
  • Reply 18 of 36
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleLover2 View Post


    Wow. Almost $3,000.00. That's a big hit for a company the size of Apple.



    Not.



    But Apple was found to be guilty. That's more important than the $3k for a single user.
  • Reply 19 of 36
    macrulezmacrulez Posts: 2,455member
    deleted
  • Reply 20 of 36
    emacs72emacs72 Posts: 356member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Galbi View Post


    Its the thought that counts. It has set a precedent.



    exactly. it's quite sad and telling how several others are so dismissive of the court ruling.
Sign In or Register to comment.