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Iphone Privacy The Courts Apple

27,000 South Koreans Sue Apple 112

Posted by samzenpus
from the one-bad-apple dept.
jfruhlinger writes "You may have already forgotten the iPhone location-tracking furor, but 27,000 South Koreans haven't! They (or the lawyers recruiting them) have launched a class action suit against Apple due to the 'emotional distress' suffered. The litigants are seeking around $1,000 apiece in damages. From the article: 'Apple has faced complaints and criticisms since it said in April that its iPhones were storing locations of nearby cellphone towers and Wi-Fi hot spots for up to a year. Such data can be used to create a rough map of the device owner's movements.'"
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27,000 South Koreans Sue Apple

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  • While I doubt it really cost all 27k of them any emotional distress, it could possibly cause dissidents in other countries some distress. Think activists in China. Although china already has complete control behind the great firewall of china.

    • North Koreans would have a valid complaint here. If they had cell phone towers.

      But it is good to see that we may not export as much as we used to, but at lease the USA can export our culture of litigiousness.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I don't think apple will be able to afford this.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 17, 2011 @03:35PM (#37122302)

    Isn't it weird that Korea being home to Samsung and LG is where this lawsuit is happening?
    Take that, apple.

    • by jeffmeden (135043)

      Actually, no... I would bet Samsung (by virtue of owning basically everything significant on the peninsula) was easily able to round up and encourage these "plaintiffs" for the lawsuit, as a sort of counter-strike for what Apple is doing in Germany. I would be shocked if they weren't somehow directly involved in this.

      • by mjwx (966435)

        Actually, no... I would bet Samsung (by virtue of owning basically everything significant on the peninsula) was easily able to round up and encourage these "plaintiffs" for the lawsuit, as a sort of counter-strike for what Apple is doing in Germany. I would be shocked if they weren't somehow directly involved in this.

        Or perhaps Korean's aren't as blinded as other nations by blatant fanboyism and actually expect companies to respect their freedom.

        For years Microsoft has been sued over it's anti competitive actions in Korea, I'm willing to bet they aren't the only ones, even Samsung has been indited on collusion charges before.

        But hey, it's easier to create a conspiracy then to admit that Apple broke the law and people are justifiably angry over it.

  • Give me a break (Score:2, Insightful)

    by bonch (38532) *

    Emotional distress? Give me a break. This is just a bunch of ambulance chasers trying to cash in on what has already been dismissed as a non-issue. Yes, the iPhone tracks the locations and strengths of cellular towers.

    • Emotional distress? Give me a break. This is just a bunch of ambulance chasers trying to cash in on what has already been dismissed as a non-issue. Yes, the iPhone tracks the locations and strengths of cellular towers.

      But, but, but if they triangulate my prior positions and then go back in time they may be able to find my exact location. Won't somebody think of the children!

    • by _xeno_ (155264) on Wednesday August 17, 2011 @03:50PM (#37122464) Homepage Journal

      It is pretty impressive how Apple was able to wriggle out of that one. Nope, your phone "isn't tracking you," it's just a cache of cell towers used to speed GPS.

      OK, fine. Then why does their privacy policy still allow Apple to collect your location data?

      Oh, because that's for sending you local ads if you use an app that uses iAd, and for building Apple's database of Wi-Fi access points and GPS coordinates to allow iDevices without GPS to generate a location. (To provide local ads for apps that use iAd. Also for the user's benefit on occasion.)

      But apparently that's OK, because we poor peons no longer have access to the location data Apple's recording, which includes a unique identifier so that they can track iDevices.

      No problem at all with that, apparently.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Actually, I have no problem with that at all. Why? Because I don't give a flying fuck if Apple is tracking me or not and if I did, I could throw out my iphone (well, recycle it). Don't like some policy of Apple's? Don't use Apple products!!! But quit calling be a peon just because I don't wear a tinfoil hat like you. Some of us have a firm grasp on reality and have realized that with so many millions of iphone users, there simply isn't anyone who cares where you, a lone user out of millions, are at an

        • by _xeno_ (155264)

          Do I have to explain this in small words?

          I don't care if you don't care about being tracked or not. My comment is simply that people were outraged at being "tracked by Apple" and Apple's solution was literally to hide the tracking data from end users, but continue to track them.

          You're still being tracked by Apple. But you can't easily see it any more.

          Which apparently was enough for people to stop caring, even though they were completely outraged that Apple might be tracking them just days before.

          • by Ol Olsoc (1175323)
            The outrage appears to be sort of proportional to whether or not a person likes Apple or not. Don't like Apple? "ZOMG, I can be tracked using a smartphone? That's criminal, that's what is wrong with Apple! They're Evil!"

            Like Apple? "Meh"

            Don't like other people knowing where you are? Don't use a phone of any sort.

    • by Njovich (553857)

      Yes, and Apple would never abuse the courts in such a vile way! Give me a break. Also, how the hell is this a non issue? Yes it is just cellular tower locations. Of the cellular towers you were traveling near. This way, it allows anyone to see the route you travelled, timestamped, just by having access to your phone. You do not see any privacy issue with that?

      • by jo_ham (604554)

        No, it really doesn't.

        As has been shown repeatedly, you *might* be able to get some idea of the rough area of the country you were in, but someone trying to actively pin down their location over time using this data had a serious problem doing so - it's very erratic and not at all like the "flashing dot on map with traced line" that people are expecting as often seen on CSI.

        Also, people cannot access this data if all they have is your phone *unless* you don;t have it pin-locked. You need to access the file

      • by tlhIngan (30335)

        Yes, and Apple would never abuse the courts in such a vile way

        Actually, Apple is using the courts the wrong way. You see, by suing Samsung BEFORE the sale of products, they've lost out on possible damages from patents. After all, by blocking based on that, Samsung just has to make some changes (like dumping TouchWiz - android users everywhere would love that), and boom, no more infringement.

        It's far less profitable to sue for an unreleased product than to wait for the product to get successful and wait a fe

    • Yes, the iPhone tracks the locations and strengths of cellular towers.

      ...and the date and time the user was near that tower
      ...and stores that data permanently on the phone
      ...in an unencrypted format
      ...and transfers that data to any devices used to sync the phone

      I'll agree that these people are simply trying to make a simple buck at Apple's expense. However, Apple needs to learn to be more careful with people's personal data. Most countries have rules that prevent their government from tracking citi

  • User error (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 17, 2011 @03:38PM (#37122328)

    If their iPhones were tracking them then they were probably just holding them wrong.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    My location is patented and copyright material.

    • Your liver maybe patented and copyrighted material, but wander in a dark alley near Cupertino and see how fast some people will p2p the shit out of it.

      Too early?

  • by Compaqt (1758360) on Wednesday August 17, 2011 @03:48PM (#37122438) Homepage

    I've come to the belated realization that iPhones and (for the most part) Android phones are hardly more than devices for tracking your every move, thought, and desire for the purpose of selling stuff to you.

    It's too bad you got taken in by the rows of shiny icons.

    Also, in South Korea, only old people use iPhones [slashdot.org].

  • Rotten apples (Score:1, Insightful)

    by pdfsmail (2423750)
    Ahh eat your own crap apple... You seriously think after suing suing suing no ones going to sue you.... ? Of course its not like you cant afford it... Now all we need is someone to sue you for a large sum of your bank account.
    • by mkiwi (585287)

      You should hope Apple wins this case, however much you hate them, as Android (which I assume you like) would be negatively impacted by the precedent set by the case (if Apple is found liable).

      • by grapeape (137008)

        Shh were all supposed to be apple haters here...google does the same but with them its because they love us and want to protect us.

        • Do google stores the geolocations I visit w/ my laptop in plain text inside the laptop itself, and sync them w/ any other hotspot or device I connect? Please provide source, In my country thats against the law and I'd could use some extra money.

          I'm being serious here.

  • this is a (Score:4, Funny)

    by wervr (712696) on Wednesday August 17, 2011 @04:11PM (#37122718)

    legal zerg rush

  • by Beelzebud (1361137) on Wednesday August 17, 2011 @04:55PM (#37123144)
    The rest of us are too busy entering all of our personal information into the advertising giant Facebook and Google+, to care about our privacy rights.
  • instead of suing them, you should stop buying their products if they cause you emotional stress and/or if you are concerned about your privacy.

    nobody is forcing you to buy these products. so simply stop it already.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    mere emotional distress may not be enough if they ever find out how much their carrier knows, or who they share it with

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