South Korea class-action suit against Apple now has 27,000 plaintiffs

Suit filed Wednesday accuses company of privacy breach over iOS location data

Last month I blogged that 17,000 South Koreans were joining a class-action lawsuit against Apple accusing the company of privacy violations regarding location data stored on the owners' iPhones.

Since then another 10,000 plaintiffs have signed on, and the $26 million suit was officially filed Wednesday in Changwon District Court.

From the Associated Press:

Each person in the suit is seeking 1 million won ($932) in damages, Kim Hyeong-seok, one of their attorneys, said Wednesday. He said they are targeting Apple Inc. and its South Korean unit to "protect privacy" rights.

The plaintiffs are claiming that the location-tracking feature on the iPhone has inflicted emotional distress on the device owners.

The location-tracking furor erupted in April when two researchers discovered that iPhones and iPads were tracking the locations of their owners and storing the information in unencrypted files for up to a year. Privacy advocates and legislators in the U.S. expressed concerns that, should an iPhone user's device be lost or seized by authorities, his or her movements could be reconstructed.

Apple denied tracking iPhone users, claiming the data collected in the unencrypted file was merely information on cell tower and Wi-Fi network locations, but the company acknowledged a software glitch was prompting iPhones to send anonymous location data to Apple servers from devices whose location services were disabled.

In response to the complaints, Apple issued a software update to fix the bug and promised to delete any location data stored on iPhones, iPads and iPod Touches after seven days.

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