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Apple collected user location data without consent, says Korea; company fined

1 month ago 13

Apple collected user location data without consent says Korea | iPhone user with map open

A South Korean regulator has said that Apple collected user location data without consent, and fined the company 210 million won (around $153k) for a privacy violation.

Apple was one of 188 companies found to have violated the Act on the Protection and Use of Location Information …

The Korea Times reports.

Apple’s Korean unit was also ordered to pay a fine of 210 million won for allegedly collecting location data without consent, violating the clause on disclosing its policy on location data and others, the commission said […]

The administrative measures came as a result of a regular inspection of companies handling location information conducted under the revised location information protection act in 2022.

“Location information is a key resource to improve users’ convenience and a foundation for the growth of innovative industries, but we need to consider the protection of individuals’ privacy and social security in using the information,” KCC Chairman Kim Hong-il said. 

Frustratingly, the report contains absolutely no details about the way in which Apple was said to have done this.

Apple seeks user permission when collecting location data. Here’s what the company says about it:

With your permission, Location Services allows apps and websites (including Maps, Camera, Weather and other apps) to use information from mobile data, Wi-Fi, Global Positioning System (GPS) networks and Bluetooth to determine your location.

Apps that can show your location on the screen, including Maps, show your current location using a blue marker. In Maps, if your location can’t be determined precisely, you’ll see a blue circle around the marker. The size of the circle shows how precisely your location can be determined – the smaller the circle, the greater the precision. When Location Services is active for an app, a black or white arrow icon appears in the status bar or in Control Centre.

The first time an app tries to access your location using Location Services, it must ask for your permission. A prompt will appear explaining which app is asking for permission to use your location, as well as the app developer’s reason for requesting it.

9to5Mac’s Take

Apple’s opt-in location permission policy includes the company’s own apps, and you are also asked for permission to enable Location Services when first setting up an iPhone, so it’s hard to see how the company could be guilty of collecting location data without consent.

Photo by CardMapr.nl on Unsplash

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