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S. Korean iPhone users sue Apple over location data

(Xinhua)

09:03, August 18, 2011

SEOUL, Aug. 17 (Xinhua) -- Nearly 27,000 South Korean iPhone users filed a class action lawsuit Wednesday against Apple for privacy violations from the collection of location data.

A total of 27,612 people joined the lawsuit against Apple and its South Korean unit, demanding 1 million won (934 U.S. dollars) each in damages. Lee Jae-cheol, a lawyer at Miraelaw, which represents the plaintiffs, said under the current law it is illegal to collect users' location data without consent and in order to save customers' rights, the law firm carried out the suit. The suit was filed in the southeastern city of Changwon, where the law firm is located.

The suit came after the firm's lawyer Kim Hyung-Suk was awarded one million won in June in the first court-ordered compensation from Apple's South Korean unit for "emotional distress" he suffered due to the company's location tracking.

South Korea's telecommunications regulator earlier this month ordered Apple to pay a 3 million won fine for what it said were violations of the country's location information laws.

"The Korea Communications Commission already made it clear that Apple's location tracking is illegal and that the controversy over the illegality of the matter is over. We think Apple will take its own action because there could be a dispute over the number of plaintiffs and the amount of compensation," Lee Jae-cheol said.

The law firm said a separate suit involving another 921 people will be filed soon after they submit necessary paperwork.

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