Feeds

Apple snuffs iPhone privacy complaint with Korean peanuts

Sueapple.co.kr

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Updated Apple has paid a South Korean user one million won to settle a complaint arising from unauthorized iPhone collection of that user's location information.

This is the first time the Cupertino outfit has made such a payout.

Although the amount involved is miniscule – ₩1m converts to just under $950 – what's important is the fact that Apple knuckled under* to a court's May decision to pay the settlement, coupled with the determination of the legal counsel involved to press forward with a class action suit.

And then there's the fact that Apple is currently embroiled in another far more financially significant patent-infringement battle with the South Korean manufacturer Samsung.

Korean website 'Sueapple' solicits parties for class-action lawsuit

William Tell meets Poppin' Fresh in South Korea

According to a Reuters report, Apple paid the fine last month. That payment, however, didn't stop the law firm representing the wronged user – Kim Hyung-suk, also a lawyer – from launching a website, Sueapple, soliciting other Korean iPhone users to join in a lawsuit over the iPhone data-collection imbroglio, which was ameliorated with what Apple characterized as a "bug fix" in May.

Apple currently faces at least three such cases in the US, and a lawyer representing one of them – Ajjampur et al v. Apple, Inc. – recently wrote to his presiding judge that he was "on notice that another lawyer intends to file additional copycat suits, I believe in state courts, in about thirty states."

It remains to be seen whether any Korean class action lawsuit might result in billions of won – not a mere ₩1m – being extracted from Cupertino. It would also be interesting to see if a public legal tussle might influence the climate surrounding the ongoing wrangling between Apple and Samsung.

The basics of that battle: Apple sued Samsung in April, alleging that the Korean smartphone maker's Galaxy line of Android phone ripped off Apple look-and-feel. Samsung quickly retaliated on more-technical grounds, then petitioned the US International Trade Commission to prevent Apple from importing devices into the US – and Apple quickly followed suit. No pun intended.

In its most-recent earnings statement, Apple noted that it had "experienced particularly strong year-over-year net sales growth" in Korea. If might be worth billions of won in privacy payouts for Apple to burnish its public image in that country as an aid to maintaining that lucrative position. ®

* Update

A Reg reader notes that Apple did not voluntarily pay the court-ordered fee, citing a Korea Times article that says, in part:

Apple Korea did not respond to the ruling. Following the decision, Apple Korea had refused to pay compensation. The court seized 1 million won from Apple Korea's bank account for payment of compensation to the complainant after deducting 2,000 won in remittance fees.

Our thanks to Mr Bean for the clarification.

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE
Can't face sea of wobbling fondle implements. What happened to lighters, eh?
Amazon takes swipe at PayPal, Square with card reader for mobes
Etailer plans to undercut rivals with low transaction fee offer
Microsoft exits climate denier lobby group
ALEC will have to do without Redmond, it seems
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.