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Angry S Koreans mass-sue Apple over iPhone tracking

You must pay each of us one meellion won! <cough> £568

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

Apple is facing legal action from thousands of iPhone users for tracking their movements via their phones' location – and it has already been forced to make one payment on the same issue.

Lawyer Kim Hyung-suk won one million South Korean won – or a disappointing £568.38 – from Apple last month. Or to be precise, Korean authorities gave him ₩1m after they seized it from Apple's local bank account.

Kim set up a website – Sueapple.co.kr – for other people annoyed that Apple had stored their iPhones' location data for a year even if the users had turned off location services.

He has already collected almost 27,000 signatures, according to AP. Apple's local PR refused to comment.

Kim said all 26, 691 people were also seeking 1m won damages because Korean courts do not make crazy US-style awards. He hopes the case will force Apple to take its users' privacy more seriously.

The lawyer said another 921 iPhone users who were under 18 wanted to join but needed their parents' consent first.

The accuracy of the tracking software has been disputed, but even with bugs it can contain a disturbing amount of information.

Apple faces similar cases elsewhere. It responded by promising to delete location data after a week and described the phones' secret phone-home behaviour as a "software bug" which had been fixed by an update. ®

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