Apple Inc’s South Korean unit has been fined with $2,885 by the telecommunication regulator for allegedly collecting users’ location data without permission.
Apple’s location tracking had first come under attack in April in the United States when researchers discovered that the company collected data and stored it for a year.
“The iPhone is not logging your location. Rather, it’s maintaining a database of Wi-Fi hotspots and cell towers around your current location, some of which may be located more than one hundred miles away from your iPhone, to help your iPhone rapidly and accurately calculate its location when requested,” Apple explained in an official statement.
Some 27,800 South Korean iPhone and iPad users are planning to launch a class action suit against Apple over the matter, while two separate U.S. groups have sued Apple.
Google Inc a strong competitor to Apple in mobile computing, has also faced criticism over reports that Android-based phones track the locations of users.
"We are currently reviewing the KCC's decision," Google Korea said in a statement. "We have been cooperating closely with the KCC to answer their questions, and look forward to continuing to work with them in the future."
The U.S. lawmakers have accused the technology industry of exploiting location data for marketing purposes - a potentially multibillion-dollar industry - without getting proper consent from phone users, Reuters reports.