South Korea fines Apple $2,855 over location data

“Apple Inc’s South Korean unit has been fined 3 million won (US$2,855) by the country’s communications regulator after the iPhone and iPad maker collected location data from users without proper authorization,” Hyunjoo Jin and Ju-min Park report for Reuters. “The fine, though small, marks the first time Apple has been punished by a regulator over the controversial location data collection which has sparked criticism in the United States and elsewhere.”

“Apple has since issued a patch to fix the problem,” Hyunjoo and Ju-min report. “Some 27,800 South Korean iPhone and iPad users are planning to launch a class action suit against Apple over the matter, while two separate U.S. groups have sued Apple, alleging that certain software applications were passing personal user information to third-party advertisers without consent. ‘Apple is not tracking the location of your iPhone. Apple has never done so and has no plans to ever do so,’ said Steve Park, a spokesman for Apple Korea.”

“In June, Apple paid a Korean lawyer 1 million won in a court ruling regarding its location data collection, the first payout by the U.S. tech giant over these complaints,” Hyunjoo and Ju-min report. “The lawyer, Kim Hyung-suk, is leading the class action against Apple, seeking 1 million won in compensation for each of the 27,800 iPhone and iPad users who applied to join the suit. ‘I am planning to file the lawsuit by next week,’ Kim told Reuters on Wednesday.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Hey, let’s rip off Apple for as much as we can get over a software issue that the company never exploited, never intended to exploit, and fixed as soon as it was revealed! Sleaze-bucket ambulance chasers and your clients, we hope your ill-gotten gains bring you nothing but much misery. The same goes for the idiot judges/regulators who award damages over something that caused no damage at all. Karma is a bitch; enjoy getting to know her, thieving leeches. May you all be forced to use fake Samsung iPhones and iPads for all eternity.

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Apple pays South Korean iPhone user 1 million won over iPhone location data collection – July 14, 2011
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Apple, Google, and Facebook to face 2nd U.S. Senate hearing on May 19 – May 17, 2011
Apple open to lawsuit over location data collection – May 11, 2011
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  1. And here I was asking folks to boycott Samsung. Maybe forcing them to use Samsung products is an apt punishment then.

    I’m sure there are plenty reasonable people in Korea; iPhone and iPad sells there has been successful, so I’m not going to boycott all Korean products.

    1. Well I don’t know about that. Yes iPhones, and other iOS devices are selling well here in Korea. But many koreans just get these devices for looks. kinda like a fashion statement and to be trendy. They tend to install only a bare minimum or apps and music. For example a 16 gb iPhone may only have 1-2gb of used space.

      If you/we boycott Samsung you might as well do the same for all other Korean products. What Samsung is doing is STANDARD BUSINESS practice in Corporate Korea. Almost every if not every large Korean Corporation does the same thing. Things like innovation and IP etc.. are just not taught here.

      1. Hmmm…

        I do a lot of work with Korean scientists. They are Appled up to the core. And they do lots of original work using all kinds of fancy software. Can’t say I’ve seen a one of them with a Samsung doo-hickey.

        Samsung-bashing may be warranted in some technical areas, but they are strong innovators in others, such as LED-LCD display tech.

        Didn’t your mothers tell you to beware of those pushing propaganda and stereotypes?

  2. These Koreans do not fool me. The point of this fine is to establish an amount for the civil suit plus basically declaring that apple is guilty. The Koreans will then have hundreds of thousands join the lawsuit. In turn, giving the shysters in WS, ammo to pull down the stock price,

    The java phones have been actually collecting location and phone I’d data, yet nothing is done against them. Apple has been stabbed in the back by their lawyers and management in Korea.

  3. Apple is strategically paying these w/o disputing too loudly to invite users and regulators to go after the bigger fish here, Google.

    Eventually people will figure out they can sue G for even more, and the axe will fall on their marketing data collection scheme not recognizing any privacy…

    iCal it…!

  4. Isn’t 1M won just $950? So, if Apple were to lose a class-action, then they’d owe about $27M? I say fight it on principle, but if they’ve already paid this lawyer, that sets a precedent.

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