South Korea iPhone customers file class action against Apple over data collection

[JURIST] More than 26,000 iPhone users in South Korea joined in a class action lawsuit filed Wednesday against Apple's local headquarters for collecting location data without their consent. The class is composed of individuals who purchased an iPhone prior to May 1, and each plaintiff is seeking 1 million won (USD $933) in damages [AFP report]. One of the lawyers handling the case, Kim Hyung-Suk, filed suit on his own [Reuters report] regarding the privacy breach and was awarded one million won in June. The class action suit alleges that Apple's privacy breach violated article 10 and article 17 of the Constitution of the Republic of Korea [text] and that the individual plaintiffs suffered emotional damages as a result. Kim anticipates that another suit will be filed in the near future with a smaller class of around 900 affected individuals.

Earlier this month, South Korean regulators fined Apple [JURIST report] USD $2,855 for collecting location information from its iPhone and iPad users. It marked the first time Apple was punished for collecting location information from users of its widely popular mobile computing products. The country has also been investigating Google over illegal data collection. In January, the South Korea National Police Agency [official website, in Korean] announced it had found evidence that Google illegally collected private data [JURIST report] in the process of producing its popular Street View [website] mapping service. The illegally captured data included hundreds of thousands of emails, instant messages, passwords and search histories through unencrypted Wi-Fi networks. The information was discovered on 79 hard disks seized from Google's Seoul office, which police raided [JURIST report] last year.

 

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