Apple has faced questions about geolocation privacy since news broke in April concerning researchers’ revelations about the tracking and storage of users’ location data on Apple iPhones and 3G-enabled iPad tablets. (There was also discussion about location tracking on Google Android devices.) Last month, Apple had to pay compensation to an iPhone user in South Korea because of the location-tracking.
Now, the Associated Press reports that “South Korea’s communications regulator fined Apple’s local operation 3 million won ($2,830) for what it says is the illegal collection of iPhone user location information.”
The Korea Communications Commission announced Wednesday in a statement it has ordered Apple Korea to pay the fine for violating the country’s location information laws.
The amount is insignificant for Apple — the Cupertino, California-based tech giant earned $7.31 billion in its fiscal third quarter — but South Korea’s decision to impose the fine might influence regulators elsewhere.
Apple Inc. has faced various complaints and criticisms since revelations in the U.S. in April that iPhones were storing the locations of nearby cellphone 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. […]
The KCC also demanded that both Apple and Google Inc. ensure that user location information on their mobile phones be saved in an encrypted form.
“We are currently reviewing the KCC’s decision,” Google said in a statement. The Internet search company said it has been “cooperating closely” with the commission. Google was not fined.