South Korean consumers band together to sue Apple

South Korean consumers band together to sue Apple

Summary: The South Korean government has already slapped Apple with a fine, but now the country's consumers want payback as well.

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TOPICS: Apple
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Apple is facing yet another legal entanglement overseas, but this one is more of a sideshow compared to the mess going on with Samsung all over the place.

Earlier this month, the government of South Korea imposed a fine of three 3 million won ($2,855) on Apple's division in the country after the controversy that became known as Locationgate, in which any device running iOS 4.0 or higher was tracking the user’s every move and location.

Although $2,855 is pocket change for Apple -- literally as the Cupertino, Calif. based company has more cash and marketable securities than the U.S. government at $76.156 billion -- this kerfuffle is about to get a bit more expensive than Apple might like.

Approximately 27,000 South Koreans are banding together to file a class action lawsuit against Apple that would total up to $26 million, the Associated Press reports. That breaks down to roughly 1 million won ($932) per person, which could be considered a little more than a refund on an unsubsidized iPhone.

So far, Apple hasn't commented publicly on the issue after this latest turn of events.

Apple is already ensnared in a legal battle with Samsung over patent infringement disputes regarding the design of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 as Apple thinks it looks too close to the look of the iPad. Lawsuits in that case are ongoing in the European Union, Australia and the United States, among elsewhere. Apple is also fighting HTC over other patents in the United States and the United Kingdom.

And let's not forget about Kodak, which is also in a lawsuit dealing with Apple as well as RIM over, what else, patents.

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  • RE: South Korean consumers band together to sue Apple

    If they settle that then they will face these types of lawsuits everywhere!
    slickjim
    • RE: South Korean consumers band together to sue Apple

      @Peter Perry as they should. Tracking users without their consent is a big no no. They should have known better. They just didn't care. They probably checked with their lawyers and figured they would not get sued too much.
      Al_nyc
      • RE: South Korean consumers band together to sue Apple

        @Al_nyc Big no-no??? Where do you see that in ANY laws, ANYwhere?

        I don't agree with it either, but.. illegal ???
        781lc
      • Except that they weren't tracking users, they were

        caching cell tower coordinates to speed up certain phone features. But, hey, why ruin a good witch hunt.
        baggins_z
      • RE: South Korean consumers band together to sue Apple

        @Al_nyc - Listen, it has already been proven without a doubt that Apple takes pictures of what the camera picks up and fires that back to Apple servers, how soon we forget...this is real news...not conspiracy garbage. One cannot tell me that they are not also tracking customers...I mean, once burnt do we again touch the hot burner thinking "it wont burn me twice"? And as far as legality goes, who cares? If I find out ANYONE is spying on me without my consent then steps will be taken to block that hole. If police want to see the contents of my computer then come knock on my door, don't spy. Since we know what Apple is up to (and we do know) what do we do next? Take our iphone and upgrade to an IPAD? Not me...no thank you!!!
        JoltSystems
      • RE: South Korean consumers band together to sue Apple

        @ JoltSystems
        WTF are you talking about?!? No such thing has happened, let alone actually occurred. You are full of it.
        .DeusExMachina.
      • RE: South Korean consumers band together to sue Apple

        @781lc: It's illegal to collect personal data without peoples consent.
        MadDonkey
      • RE: South Korean consumers band together to sue Apple

        @deusexmachina? I think he was calling the "Find My iPhone" feature a way of tracking customers :p Not sure if the "Find My iPhone" feature includes taking pictures remotely but it is included in my $20 per year Cylay plan on my sj free iPhone :)
        MrElectrifyer
    • RE: South Korean consumers band together to sue Apple

      Could be the south Koreans are a bit more touchy about being secretly tracked than most given the region they live in plus throw in a bit of patriotism due to a couple of their big mobile companies being relentlessly pursued by apple.
      I haven't even done the update so I can hardly jump on this bandwagon.
      haddles2000
      • Not just the Koreans

        I've had my current cell phone for over 4 years now, but finally broke down & gave it to my parents this year. I still don't like giving it out, & we never give out our home phone when the store clerks ask for it. You can bet that, the first day I own a smartphone, I'm disabling any GPS tracking function it has on it before the day is done.
        spdragoo@...
      • RE: South Korean consumers band together to sue Apple

        @spdragoo "You can bet that, the first day I own a smartphone, I'm disabling any GPS tracking function it has on it before the day is done."

        Too bad for you. The government requires all cell phones to be capable of reporting their location for 911 emergency purposes. The government can turn on your tracking remotely, but promises it won't do that except in an "emergency."

        Strangely enough, "privacy" advocates believe that promise because, well, the government promises, and governments never lie. Instead, they panic that some corporation might learn your location. Apparently, door-to-door salesmen with the power to sell you something are scarier than government agents with the power to imprison or shoot you.

        Go figure.

        I'd rather deal with the Ferengi than the Klingons.
        MI5
    • RE: South Korean consumers band together to sue Apple

      Rachel King says, "Approximately 27,000 South Koreans are banding together to file a class action lawsuit..."

      I doubt that's really true. The way class-action lawsuits really work is that a small group of lawyers band together and file a lawsuit "on behalf of" 27,000 people.

      Most of the 27,000 have probably never even heard of the lawsuit.

      If the lawsuit is successful, the "injured parties" will get a few pennies on the dollar while the lawyers get rich.

      Unfortunately, that doesn't make a good journalistic narrative. Better to create the fiction of 27,000 people banding together to sue the Ferengi.
      MI5
      • RE: South Korean consumers band together to sue Apple

        @MI5 uh huh... I think this is very believable. Thanks for bringing that point up.
        jbourne408
      • they earn $ 270,000

        @MI5 Everyone who wanted to join the lawsuit had to cough up the equivalent of $10. So my guess is that's what those lawyers will get out of this. Not bad indeed.
        belli_bettens@...
  • RE: South Korean consumers band together to sue Apple

    The whole privacy thing didn't even exist a hundred years ago. You lived in a small town and everybody knew everybody's business. I wonder who invented privacy. It's a heck of a boondoggle. What have you got to hide? I'm not ashamed of where I've been all day. And if people want to track me with the intention of robbing me (suckers!), they can go pretty low-tech.
    Jude the obscure
    • RE: South Korean consumers band together to sue Apple

      @paul2@... Why don't you write your full name then?
      Peter Kratoska
      jpfiddle
      • RE: South Korean consumers band together to sue Apple

        @jpfiddle -- exactly. I am tired of people hiding behind their anonymity. It is okay to write an anonymous post but then talk about nothing to hide from tracking systems??? That is just squirrelly!!!
        mschore@...
    • Really?

      If anything, privacy was even bigger back then. Sure, your next-door neighbors might have known more about you than modern contemporaries might, but the ability for complete strangers to know your private business was nearly non-existent. Not to mention you're talking about eras when the average person (not just the super-rich or famous) would go to extreme lengths to avoid a hint of social scandal. Premarital sex? Supposedly didn't exist until the late 20th-Century... you just had teenage or college-age girls that "visited Aunt/Grandma Jill" for 8 or 9 months before coming back home. Or how about the age-old "John Doe lied about his age to enlist in the military"? Almost impossible to do nowadays, given both the documentation requirements and the verification procedures, but happened in the past.
      spdragoo@...
    • RE: South Korean consumers band together to sue Apple

      @paul2@... I'm glad you don't mind people in corporations and in government monitoring your movements. It isn't about me doing anything wrong or being ashamed--they just don't have the right, ESPECIALLY without my knowledge or consent! The Constitution clearly states that we are to be secure in our papers which is equal to privacy. The reason you don't see direct mention of privacy in the Constitution is that that word had a different meaning in the 1700s.

      Why don't you go find some people that lived in Germany at the beginning of the Nazi 3rd Reich and ask them about the government listening to their phone calls and reading their mail.
      mschore@...
      • RE: South Korean consumers band together to sue Apple

        @mschore@... Well, I guess we're finished on this topic. Everyone can go home now ....
        daengbo