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27,000 pile onto class action suit against Apple

Aug 18,2011
A Korean law firm representing nearly 27,000 iPhone users on Wednesday filed a class-action suit against Apple Inc., demanding compensation for privacy violations inflicted by the smartphone’s user location tracking.

“Collection of users’ locations without their consent constitutes an apparent legal violation and we will carry out a class-action suit against Apple, a corporate behemoth, in order to salvage consumers’ rights,” said Lee Jae-cheol, a lawyer at the firm handling the case.

Miraelaw, the firm handling the group litigation, said it lodged the lawsuit on behalf of 26,691 iPhone users at the Changwon District Court based in the city of Changwon, 398 kilometers (247 miles) southeast of Seoul.

The class-action suit seeks to win each complainant 1 million won ($934.80) in compensation from the United States-based technology company and its local unit, Apple Korea Inc., for the handset’s user location tracking functions that the company said breached users’ rights to privacy and incurred consequent psychological distress.

The users included in the latest lawsuit account for the majority of the 27,612 iPhone owners who initially worked with the law firm last month to take legal action.

Each paid a little less than $20 in commission fees.

Lawsuits representing the remaining users will be filed in the near future after the necessary paperwork is completed, the company said.

The company plans to form another group of iPhone owners by the end of August to join its next round of litigation against the maker of the iconic smartphone. Korea is a home to about 3 million iPhone users.

It will take quite a long time to hold the first court trial on the case, given the time needed for the court and the U.S. headquarters to review related documents, a court official said.

An attorney received 1 million won in July in Apple’s first-ever compensation payment here.


Yonhap



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