South Korean police raid Google’s Seoul office

South Korean police have raided Google’s Seoul office after the search giant was accused of illegally collecting private location data from mobile users via its AdMob platform. 

The head of the South Korean police cyber crime unit, Chang Byung-Duk, confirmed the operation, but noted law enforcement officials had “failed to secure evidence” because a key server was located in the United States.

Meanwhile, a Google Korea spokesperson told MarketWatch that police had “visited” the Seoul office to investigate how cellphones and tablets running Android collect location information from users. 

“Google will fully cooperate with the investigation,” said the spokesperson.

Of course, this isn’t the first time the Internet search giant has provoked the ire of South Korean officials.

In January, police accused Google of collecting personal data while expanding its Street View mapping service. Mountain View later conceded that its Street View cars had inadvertently collected personal data from unsecured WiFi systems.

And just last month, a number of prominent South Korean Internet corporations filed complaints with an antitrust watchdog over Google’s alleged practice of “stifling competition” in the lucrative SK mobile phone search market.