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Apple sued in South Korea over location data

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By Charles Starrett

Contributing Editor
Published: Wednesday, August 17, 2011
News Categories: Apple, iPhone

Apple has been sued in South Korea by a group of roughly 27,000 people claiming the company invaded their privacy by allowing their iPhones to collect location data without their consent. Bloomberg reports that the class action suit, which was filed in Changwon, south of Seoul, is seeking 1 million won—roughly $930—per person in damages. Apple was fined earlier this month by the Korea Communications Commission over the same issue, and was ordered to pay a 3 million won for its actions. According to Apple, iPhones running iOS 4 were for some time “maintaining a database of Wi-Fi hotspots and cell towers around [the user’s] current location, some of which may be located more than one hundred miles away from [the user’s] iPhone, to help [the user’s] iPhone rapidly and accurately calculate its location when requested.” When the file containing the database was initially discovered, it set off a wave of speculation that Apple was secretly tracking the locations of its users, something the company expressly denied in its subsequent Q & A document.

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