Apple’s Location Data Collection Probed in South Korea

Apple Inc. is being investigated by South Korea’s communications regulator to determine if it is breaking the law by saving data on the location of iPhone users.

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.

Steve Park, a Seoul-based spokesman for Apple, declined to comment.

The commission also said it will form a team to study how to better protect smartphone users’ information and privacy.

Apple has been investigated by French, German and Italian privacy regulators since analysts reported the company’s devices track and store data about the movements of iPhone and iPad users.

Apple’s iOS 4 operating system for the iPhone and iPad 3G logs latitude-longitude coordinates along with the time of the visit, according to a study posted on the website owned by O’Reilly Media, a Sebastopol, California-based publisher that organizes technology trade conferences.

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