Apple in payout over iPhone tracking feature

Thursday 14 July 2011 17.22
iPhone 4 - Apple pays $950 compensation
iPhone 4 - Apple pays $950 compensation

US technology giant Apple has made its first compensation payment in South Korea over a feature in its iPhone which can track the location of users.

Apple Korea said it had paid one million won ($950) to iPhone user Kim Hyung-Suk, complying with a compensation order from a court in the southern city of Changwon.

Mr Hyung-Suk, a 36-year old lawyer, filed a suit against Apple on 26 April.

He said the smartphone's location recording infringed on his constitutional rights to privacy and freedom and caused psychological stress.

He demanded one million won, and the court ordered Apple to pay the sum for violating his privacy. Apple Korea said it had not raised an objection to the order.

The settlement was expected to trigger an array of similar lawsuits since South Korea has about three million iPhone users.

In 29 April, other iPhone users in South Korea filed a joint suit against Apple, following claims that the US company traced and stored geographical data from its mobile device users in countries such as France and Germany.

British security researchers have said the position-logging feature was contained in iOS 4, the operating system for the iPhone and iPad.

They said iOS 4-equipped iPhones and iPads store latitude and longitude coordinates along with a time stamp, probably through cell-tower triangulation.

The company in May released updated software for iPhones to fix 'bugs' that resulted in location data being unencrypted and stored for up to a year.