South Koreans sue Apple over iPhone user info

The fall-out from Apples iPhone location-tracking feature is turning out to be most pronounced in South Korea.

The Korean government has already decided that the feature that allows iPhone to keep track of the owners movements was illegal. However, the fine levied on Apple was rather measly, it amounted to just $2,855. But now the lawyer who had taken Apple to court over the issue, a man called Kim Hyung-suk, is back with vengeance. This time he is filing a lawsuit on behalf of 27,000 other iPhone users in South Korea.

A class action suit has been filed against Apple seeking up to $25 million dollars in compensation. The sum may seem small for a company like Apple, but if the company gives in easily, it could lead to copycat lawsuits from all over the world. Kim Hyung-suk says that each person in the suit is seeking 1 million won ($932) in damages. According to him, they are targeting Apple Inc. and its South Korean unit to protect privacy rights of all Koreans.

Apple is already facing class-action lawsuits in the USA over its iPad and iPhone tracking. But now it seems like the South Korean legal system moves much faster than that in the USA.

It was in April this year that researchers discovered the tracking feature in iPhone and iPad. The bug could track people even when the location settings were turned off. Apple moved in quickly and fixed the bug responsible for the persistent tracking. However, Apple may now find that while it is relatively easy to turn off a bug, dealing with a legal issue is much more difficult.

There is no doubt that Apple is going to deploy maximum resources for winning this lawsuit. It needs to win in order too mitigate the risk of similar litigation in other countries.

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