Apple Faces Civil Lawsuit In South Korea Over Privacy Violations

Technology giant Apple is facing a  $26 million civil case in South Korea filed by some 27,000 South Koreans who were claiming the company committed privacy violations when it collected iPhone user location information. Accord ing to reports, each of the plaintiff in the case is asking 1 million won ($932) in damages. One of the lawyers of the plaintiff Kim Hyeong-seok said they decided to file the case to protect the private rights of South Koreans.

It was learned that Apple already face numerous complaints since its  iPhones were storing locations of nearby cellphone towers and Wi-Fi hot spots for up to a year. The collected data is usually used to create a rough map of the device owner’s movements. Apple for its part explained that a software bug caused iPhones to continue to send anonymous location data to the company’s servers even when location services on the device were turned off.

To remedy the situation, the company has revealed it will no longer store the data on phones for more than seven days, will encrypt the data and will stop backing up the files to user  computers. Apple added that they have also already fixed the bug with a free software updat e. Hiring Kim as one of the lawyers in the case is a considered a good move on the part of the plaintiffs since he earlier won a civil case against Apple on the same complaint of privacy and was awarded  1 million won.

Kim said the first hearing in the new case could start in October or November. Earlier, South Korea’s communications regulator earlier this month ordered Apple’s local operation to pay a 3 million won fine for what it said were violations of the country’s location information laws. Apple Inc. is an American multinational corporation that designs and markets consumer electronics, computer software, and personal computers.

The company’s best-known hardware products include the Macintosh line of computers, the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad.  Apple software includes the Mac OS X operating system; the iTunes media browser; the iLife suite of multimedia and creativity software; the iWork suite of productivity software; Aperture, a professional photography package; Final Cut Studio, a suite of professional audio and film-industry software products; Logic Studio, a suite of music production tools; the Safari web browser; and iOS, a mobile operating system. As of October 2010, the company operates 317 retail stores in ten countries, and an online store where hardware and software products are sold.