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.

A new approach to endpoint data protection

More from The Register

next story
Amazon says Hachette should lower ebook prices, pay authors more
Oh yeah ... and a 30% cut for Amazon to seal the deal
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
Nintend-OH NO! Sorry, Mario – your profits are in another castle
Red-hatted mascot, red-colored logo, red-stained finance books
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
Feel free to BONK on the TUBE, says Transport for London
Plus: Almost NOBODY uses pay-by-bonk on buses - Visa
Twitch rich as Google flicks $1bn hitch switch, claims snitch
Gameplay streaming biz and search king refuse to deny fresh gobble rumors
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
prev story

Whitepapers

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
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.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?