Korean police raid Google offices over location tracking

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
On the heels of a recent controversy involving the alleged tracking of sensitive user location data on Apple's iPhone and Google Android, the South Korean police raided Google's Seoul offices Tuesday on suspicions that the company had collected personal data without consent.



Reuters reports that South Korean police have initiated a probe into Google's AdMob advertising arm, resulting in Tuesday's police visit to the company's offices.



"We suspect AdMob collected personal location information without consent or approval from the Korean Communication Commission," a South Korean police official said.



A Google spokesman confirmed that the police visit to the company's offices had indeed occurred and promised the company's cooperation with the investigation.





As it has grown, Google has faced increased scrutiny over its privacy policies, including several privacy investigations in South Korea and the U.S. After evidenced surfaced suggesting that Google had collected private data with its fleet of "Street View" cars, investigations were opened. Last month, South Korea's top Internet portals lodged a complaint with anti-trust regulators alleging unfair competition from Google in the mobile Internet search market, according to the report.



Late last month, the Mountain View, Calif., search giant, along with Apple, was called to testify at a U.S. Senate hearing on May 10.



Several weeks ago, security researchers claimed that Apple had been storing an unencrypted log of user's locations. South Korean officials promptly indicated that they were investigating the alleged practice.



Apple broke its silence last week with a statement reassuring users that it was not tracking the location of iPhones. Instead, Apple identified the log in question as a "crowd-sourced database" of Wi-Fi hotspots and cell towers meant to help the iPhone more rapidly and accurately calculate its location.



The iPhone's "crowd-sourced database" | Source: O'Reilly Radar



According to Apple, iOS bugs resulted in data being stored longer than necessary and updates to the database even when Location Services are disabled. A fix to the bug is expected in an upcoming release of iOS 4.3.3, which will reportedly come in the next two weeks.



In a rare interview, Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs acknowledged that more could be done to inform consumers about new technology and declined to comment on Google's privacy policy.



"As new technology comes into the society, there is a period of adjustment and education," Jobs said. "We haven't, as an industry, done a very good job educating people, I think, as to some of the more subtle things going on here. As such, (people) jumped to a lot of wrong conclusions in the past week."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 36
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,382member
    Ouch! Even though I totally understand iOS devices store cell tower locations to enable faster location calculations not to track the user per se, I am glad Apple are getting the next update and fix out quickly before the lynch mobs tun on them. I just hope Apple make it a personal choice in the 'fix' that's coming. A slider should be placed in the system settings panel that let you leave the data stored as high or reduced in several steps down to zero with the associated reciprocal increase in the time to place your location both clearly shown.
  • Reply 2 of 36
    magicjmagicj Posts: 406member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


    I just hope Apple make it a personal choice in the 'fix' that's coming.



    They did. You can turn it off, or you can allow 7 days of data to be collected.



    It'll be interesting to see if Google handles this as well as Apple did.
  • Reply 3 of 36
    firefly7475firefly7475 Posts: 1,502member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    South Korean police raided Google's Seoul offices Tuesday



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    A Google spokesman confirmed that the police visit to the company's offices had indeed occurred



    So what the heck was it? A raid (i.e. a warrant was issued and the police seized computers/documents etc related to the warrant) or a visit (i.e. the police attended the Google HQ to ask questions).
  • Reply 4 of 36
    drfreemandrfreeman Posts: 111member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Firefly7475 View Post


    So what the heck was it? A raid (i.e. a warrant was issued and the police seized computers/documents etc related to the warrant) or a visit (i.e. the police attended the Google HQ to ask questions).



    Your questions in the only thing that makes sense on this thread
  • Reply 5 of 36
    dominoxmldominoxml Posts: 110member
  • Reply 6 of 36
    8corewhore8corewhore Posts: 833member
    Apple can weather these things, Google can't. Apple doesn't rely on location, advertising - like Google does. If Google loses it's ability to snoop. it loses it's ability to make money.
  • Reply 7 of 36
    matthias03matthias03 Posts: 32member
    Quote:

    Apple can weather these things, Google can't. Apple doesn't rely on location, advertising - like Google does. If Google loses it's ability to snoop. it loses it's ability to make money.



    Yep!



    Couldn't agree with you more. Jobs talks about education with new technology, it'd be interesting to see how people would react, in this day-n-age of 'internet privacy', if people were educated on how Google does business with their 'data'.
  • Reply 8 of 36
    rabbit_coachrabbit_coach Posts: 1,114member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DominoXML View Post


    Korean sources speak about raid.



    http://english.kbs.co.kr/News/News/N...id=Dm&No=81300



    Uh! That sounds a bit more serious than asking a few questions.

    Good on apple to have reacted on this matter as quickly as they did.
  • Reply 9 of 36
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,471member
    Politicians are politicians no matter where they come from. In South Korea, Europe, and the U.S. politicians are seizing on this issue to make it look like they are concerned about their constituent's privacy. In my opinion it's all a big dog and pony show that will die down quickly after some face saving but insignificant changes are made by the companies being dragged through the mud. There will be a few mea culpas and that will be that.



    I have to admit, however, that companies like Google and Apple have done a poor job in educating the public about what location services are and how they work. The public apparently doesn't understand how their smartphone is able to provide information about restaurants and businesses nearby, and targeted ads for area companies.I guess they think it's magic or something. What was that quote from Arthur C. Clark? "Any technology sufficiently advanced is indistinguishable from magic."
  • Reply 10 of 36
    I have quickly lost respect for google in terms of their wanon disregard for the privacy of not only their customers but the public in general. As an example, it is currently impossible to cancel a google voice number once it has been established. It may be "disabled" but not canceled. A subscriber is forever linked to google this way as it is required that you provide your real number when signing up for the service. This may not seem like a big deal but I promise you that it is and a clear violation of personal rights. This article simply provides mounting evidence that google has no intentions of changing the path which they have begun.
  • Reply 11 of 36
    eideardeideard Posts: 427member
    [QUOTE=This article simply provides mounting evidence that google has no intentions of changing the path which they have begun.[/QUOTE]



    Taking your meds?
  • Reply 12 of 36
    eideardeideard Posts: 427member
    When are the next elections in Korea?
  • Reply 13 of 36
    sennensennen Posts: 1,468member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Firefly7475 View Post


    So what the heck was it? A raid (i.e. a warrant was issued and the police seized computers/documents etc related to the warrant) or a visit (i.e. the police attended the Google HQ to ask questions).



    If a source other than the AI or Google describes it as a raid, it's probably fair to say it was a raid.
  • Reply 14 of 36
    magicjmagicj Posts: 406member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Boogerman2000 View Post


    I have quickly lost respect for google in terms of their wanon disregard for the privacy of not only their customers but the public in general. As an example, it is currently impossible to cancel a google voice number once it has been established. It may be "disabled" but not canceled. A subscriber is forever linked to google this way as it is required that you provide your real number when signing up for the service. This may not seem like a big deal but I promise you that it is and a clear violation of personal rights. This article simply provides mounting evidence that google has no intentions of changing the path which they have begun.



    I've switched my search services to Bing on all my computers.



    When Microsoft starts looking like the good guys, you know it's bad.
  • Reply 15 of 36
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Eideard View Post


    Taking your meds?



    Do you take everything at face value? Wise up.
  • Reply 16 of 36
    mbarriaultmbarriault Posts: 237member
    This, coupled with Google having said nothing about the issue, even after Apple, master of saying nothing, has, is putting a lot of aluminium in my figurative tinfoil hat.
  • Reply 17 of 36
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,382member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by magicj View Post


    They did. You can turn it off, or you can allow 7 days of data to be collected.



    It'll be interesting to see if Google handles this as well as Apple did.



    You say 'They did', is this is a beta you have seen or did I miss the update already? Well that's good news. I assume the default OFF and you can 'turn it on' rather than they way you worded it?



    I'm not quite as sure Google's reasons for data collection are as innocent as Apple's but then I am biased.
  • Reply 18 of 36
    rot'napplerot'napple Posts: 1,839member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    As it has grown, Google has faced increased scrutiny over its privacy policies,



    If Google's main revenue source is advertising, how much privacy can one expect when it's the company's goal to "learn" all they can about you, your habits, where you visit on the web, where you visit in person, etc., so they can put it to use with, what else, advertisements.



    It may be crappy! It may be annoying! It may be an invasion of privacy! But should it be a surprise?

    /

    /

    /
  • Reply 19 of 36
    robin huberrobin huber Posts: 3,478member
    As long as they don't shoot the office manager in the head and dump his body in the sea, I guess it's all right.
  • Reply 20 of 36
    macrulezmacrulez Posts: 2,455member
    deleted
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