Belfast Telegraph

Friday 11 July 2014

Lawyer to sue over iPhone privacy

A South Korean lawyer is waging a legal privacy battle against Apple over the iPhone's tracking capabilities

A South Korean lawyer who is an avid user of the iPhone is waging a privacy battle against Apple over the device's tracking capabilities.

Kim Hyeong-seok said he has persuaded at least 16,000 people in South Korea to join him in a class-action lawsuit he plans to file against the company in a Seoul court next month.

The 36-year-old international trade and business lawyer has already got Apple's Korean unit to pay him one million won (£585) over a lawsuit he took to a regional South Korean court in April.

His complaint was that the iPhone's tracking of users' locations violated South Korea's constitutional right to privacy and also caused him "mental stress", though this has not stopped him from continuing to use his iPhone 4 as well as an iPad.

"I like Apple," Kim said from his office in the city of Changwon, about 240 miles south-east of Seoul.

In fact, Kim says he is afflicted with "Apple mania." But he adds his legal fight is about "right or wrong."

Apple spokesman Steve Park in Seoul declined to comment.

Kim said his suit will seek one million won (£585) in damages for each participant.

Kim began his legal fight in April after reading that iPhones could store data which could potentially be used to track the movements of users.

Apple has said that iPhones were storing the locations of nearby mobile phone towers and Wi-Fi hot spots for up to a year. Such data can be used to create a rough map of the device owner's movements.