A Korean has won a lawsuit against Apple for W1 million in damages over a secret program in the iPhone that tracks and stores users' locations (US$1=W1,062). Apple may have to compensate an estimated 3 million iPhone and iPad users in Korea if they file a class-action lawsuit, which could lead to some W3 trillion in compensatory payments.
A district court in Changwon, South Gyeongsang Province on Wednesday said it ordered Apple Korea to pay Kim Hyung-seok (36), a lawyer who filed a suit against the company in late April this year saying the tracking function of his iPhone infringed his constitutionally protected privacy. In late June, Apple Korea paid Kim W998,000, deducting the W2,000 bank commission for the money transfer.
"It was revealed in the media that Apple had been gathering information on the whereabouts of iPhone users without their consent," Kim said. "This is a clear violation of the law and constitutes an invasion of privacy." The Changwon district court said Apple Korea offered no defense, which "could be interpreted as acknowledging plaintiff's claim that he suffered damage due to the gathering of information about his location."
Kim says he plans to persuade other iPhone users to file a class-action suit based on his experience.