Korean Police Raid Google Offices Over Privacy Concerns

Google logo South Korea

Yesterday, Google reaffirmed its commitment to transparency, proposing in a joint statement with Verizon that “broadband providers [should] be required to give consumers clear, understandable information about the services they offer and their capabilities.” Today, it appears Google has already broken with its own principles.

According to reports, police in South Korea have stormed Google’s headquarters in the country’s capital Seoul, and seized hard drives and other documents. A statement released by the Korean National Police Agency (KNPA) accused Google of collecting data on “unspecified Internet users from wi-fi networks.”

“[We] have been investigating Google Korea on suspicion of unauthorised collection and storage of data on unspecified Internet users from wi-fi networks,” said the KNPA, which suggested the raid related to its investigation into privacy concerns of Google’s Street View.

Of course, this is just another case in a long string of privacy issues for the company. Germany has been investigating data collection from Google maps, and several states in the U.S. have launched inquiries into similar matters. Yet, Google announced today it will launch its Street View in Germany, with plans to map 20 cities by the end of 2010. And the company has debuted a scary new camera drone.

In May, Google apologized for its lack of transparency and security, saying “we failed badly here” and calling the issue a “mistake.”AC