Skip to main content

South Korea, others to probe Apple over Locationgate?

As I’m sure you know, the iPhone location harvesting issue kinda blew up last week. The latest development in this ongoing story includes a possible investigation by the South Korea government which suspects that the collection of longitude and latitude data without users’ consent could breach the country’s privacy laws, reports Bloomberg:

The Korea Communications Commission asked Apple how often information is collected and saved, and whether users have a choice over whether it is saved or deleted, the commission said in an e-mailed statement today. Apple must explain why such data is saved on devices and if it’s stored on the company’s servers.

French, German and Italian privacy regulators are also keen to investigate the issue, the publication reported. Nobody knows why exactly iOS is amassing location information, but disabling iOS location services does nothing to stop your iPhone or 3G iPad from tracking your location . Although the researchers who discovered this stress that neither iOS nor iTunes appear to upload this database to Apple’s servers, the issue is threatening to snowball into a privacy nightmare while earning Apple bad press.


Locationgate, as some have called it, predictably had privacy advocates cry foul. Senators Al Franken and Ed Markey even wrote a strongly-worded letter to Apple’s chief Steve Jobs, seeking explanation.

On the other hand, some pundits claim it’s a harmless bug and point out that Android handsets phone home every couple of minutes, sending location information and other device stats.

Meanwhile, anyone can download a Mac app that plots their amassed location data on a world map or use a tool to stop jailbroken iPhones from storing longitude and latitude information.

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

You’re reading 9to5Mac — experts who break news about Apple and its surrounding ecosystem, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow 9to5Mac on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our exclusive stories, reviews, how-tos, and subscribe to our YouTube channel