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Readers’ VOICE

On the Apple class-action suit

When I read about the 27,000 South Koreans who’ve filed a joint lawsuit against Apple, contending that their right to privacy was infringed upon, I took it as a joke. iPhones have GPS built into them; many of their apps work on the assumption of a constant connection to the Internet and the phone’s tracking services. To think that you’re not being traced is like eating candy for breakfast everyday and not expecting cavities.

The details of the suit, however, revealed some pretty ominous facts about what Apple has been doing. One of those facts is that they’ve been storing the location data they’ve been collecting. So if I use the map app to find the nearest Paris Baguette some corporate database will remember my exact path a year later. What exactly is the point of that? The phone also seems to send info, anonymously, even when the location services are turned off. So even when I’m not looking for a Paris Baguette, and I explicitly turn off the GPS tracking, I’m still being tracked. Again, this is ominous.

In this light it seems that something should be done. Someone should point these serious problems out and Apple should fix them accordingly. I’m still not sure about the suit, though. What pain and suffering have these defendants gone through? I would argue none. Why are 921 of the plaintiffs minors? Their parents signed them on so the whole family could get a free lunch. I’ll be honest: I might have done the same.

Objectively, though, these personal suits don’t really seem to be aimed at fixing what Apple has done wrong. That, in my opinion, should be first priority.

-Alex Clermont, Seoul

I don’t use an iPhone, but I would probably have sued Apple, too.

It’s not really about easy money, although for some maybe it is. It’s about practicing one’s own given rights. Koreans have a keen sense of their rights. It hasn’t really hurt anyone (yet); they didn’t even know Apple was collecting such data. However, once they understand that they’ve been legally violated, they want to practice their rights.

I would do the same without any hesitation. It’s only a few clicks away.

(Taking action also comes) from the fear of misusage of one’s private info, and I also believe the only way to stop such violation is to set up a vivid example that is a heavy fine burden. Then, not only Apple, but any other companies won’t dare to try any attempt like that.

-Kim Dae-yong, Seoul
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