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S. Korean iPhone users withdraw class-action suit against Apple
SEOUL, Jan. 18 (Yonhap) -- A group of South Korean iPhone users withdrew a class-action suit against Apple Inc., citing difficulty proving in court that their privacy was violated by the smartphone's user location tracking, a legal representative for the plaintiffs said Friday.

   A total of 29 users filed the first-ever suit against the U.S.-based tech company and its local unit Apple Korea Inc. in April 2011, seeking 800,000 won (US$757) per person in damages. They claimed the electronics maker violated the users' privacy by allowing the location-recognition feature on the iPhone to track and store data without their consent.

   "(We) could not secure concrete evidence as it was held by the defendant," the legal representative said. "After persuading the clients to drop the suit, (we) have decided to seek a countermeasure."

   The plaintiffs submitted the withdrawal to the Seoul Central District Court on Jan. 8, according to court officials.

   The plaintiffs also apparently took into consideration that losing the case may negatively influence on a separate class-action suit filed with a regional court, the representative said.

   The massive class-action suit representing nearly 27,000 iPhone users is currently being processed at the Changwon District Court based in the city of Changwon, 398 kilometers southeast of Seoul. The suit seeks to award each complainant 1 million won in compensation.

   In 2011, an attorney at the law firm received 1 million won in Apple's first-ever compensation payment after the regional court accepted in a summary decision the attorney's request for compensation over the iPhone's secret functions.

   khj@yna.co.kr
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