What are Google and their street view cars like? Don’t get me wrong I think Google’s street view is a fantastic tool. You drop the little green man onto the map and you can wander around the streets as if you were there. Want to see what your friends new flat looks like? You can. Want to check what an area looks like before you visit it, you can. But obviously Google’s tactics in providing us with such a service has rubbed up some governments the wrong way.
The problems first made the public spotlight in May of this year when German authorities asked to audit the data the company’s Street View cars gathered as they took photos viewed on Google maps. It emerged that the firm had wrongly collected information people sent over unencrypted wi-fi networks.
Mostly the stories have been ‘a slap on the wrist for Google and a new debate about data protection’ but that’s not enough for South Korea. The notoriously (legally) tough country were not going to play nice with anyone, not even Google.
Earlier this morning, Google’s Seoul HQ was subjected to a raid and search operation by the cyber crime unit of the Korean National Police Agency, due to suspicions that it may have collected and stored data from WiFi networks without authorization.
I wonder what they’ll find?
We’ll keep you updated as news comes in.