Google’s Seoul Offices Raided by Police Investigating Misuse of Location Data


riotADOTAS – Google isn’t just dealing with the fallout from the mobile location data “scandal” in the U.S. The tech giant said it was cooperating with local authorities after South Korean police raided its offices in Seoul yesterday. The police are investigating whether mobile ad unit AdMob illegally collected location data from Android-powered smartphones, which claim a 70% share of the Korean smartphone market.

“We suspect AdMob collected personal location information without consent or approval from the Korean Communication Commission,” a South Korean police official told Reuters.

This investigation is the latest setback for Google operations in South Korea. Criminal charges were filed against the company for its “unintentional” WiFi data-collecting through Street View cars and it is facing antitrust claims from Korean Internet companies NHN Corp. and Daum Communications.

The police also hit Daum’s offices to investigate misuse of location data. The company claimed data collected by it mobile ad division was anonymous and could not be used to track consumers. Sorry, Daum, that reasoning isn’t finding sympathetic ears in the U.S. either.


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