Seoul: South Korean police on Tuesday searched
the offices of Google Korea to investigate whether it breached
privacy law in collecting information for its Street View
service, an officer said.
"We searched Google Korea as it is suspected of
breaching the law on the protection of privacy in the course
of collecting information needed for its Street View service,"
the officer involved in the case told a news agency on condition of
Armed with a search warrant, a total of 16 investigators
were mobilised for the search which lasted for several hours,
Yonhap news agency said.
Police seized computer hard discs and other material.
After analysing the material they plan to summon the company`s
staff for questioning, it said.
Google Korea later admitted it had collected some
personal information but said it had not been used.
"Google has inadvertently collected some individuals`
personal information in the process of Street View production
in Korea and other countries. But Google suspended the
production after learning of the information collection,"
a senior executive at Google Korea was quoted as saying by
"The collected personal information has never been
Google Street View provides panoramic views from various
positions along many streets in the world. Launched in 2007
and originally covering only several US cities, it has since
expanded to more cities worldwide.
In 2005 the South`s presidential office expressed
concern about the US giant`s Google Earth service, which shows
satellite photos of sensitive facilities in the country.