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Apple pays $945 to settle iPhone tracking suit in Korea

Apple's South Korea unit pays up following the revelation that the company's iOS-based devices were inadvertently tracking user locations.

Apple has paid up for inadvertently tracking a user's location in an iOS-based device.

The company was ordered by a South Korean District Court judge in June to pay 1 million won ($945) for tracking a man's location, according to court documents obtained by CNET. According to those documents, the man, an Apple iPhone user, filed his lawsuit against Apple on April 26, alleging that the company violated his privacy. Apple's Korea unit paid the sum on June 27.

Reuters was first to report on the story.

The kerfuffle over iOS tracking started in April when researchers discovered that Apple's mobile devices were tracking user movements. That location information included latitude, longitude, and time stamps. What's more, the researchers said that the information was "unencrypted and unprotected, and it's on any machine you've synched with your iOS device."

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After that story broke, U.S. lawmakers called on Apple to answer questions they had about the location tracking.

"Apple needs to safeguard the personal location information of its users to ensure that an iPhone doesn't become an iTrack," Rep.Ed Markey (D-Mass.) said in a statement in April. "Collecting, storing, and disclosing a consumer's location for commercial purposes without their express permission is unacceptable and would violate current law. That's why I am requesting responses to these questions to better understand Apple's data collection and storage policies to make certain sensitive information can't be left behind for others to follow."

Just a few days later, Apple was hit with a lawsuit in Florida over the tracking. The plaintiffs, Vikram Ajjampur and William Devito, who both owned Apple devices, cited the researchers' findings, and sought punitive damages and injunctive relief.

"Users of Apple's iPhones and iPads, including Plaintiffs, were unaware of Apple's tracking their locations and did not consent to such tracking," their suit argued. "Apple collects the location information covertly, surreptitiously and in violations of law."

Apple responded to all the outcry not long after the suit was filed, saying that the information had been inadvertently logged, and cited "bugs" in its software that caused the issue. In early May, the company released iOS 4.3.3 to patch the problem.

Apple did not immediately respond to request for comment on its settlement in South Korea.