South Korean Police File Criminal Charges Over Google’s WiFi Data Gathering

Here’s a follow-up up on last week’s report: South Korean police have now filed criminal charges against Google over the collection of personal information via unsecured wifi networks. The data was collected by Street View vehicles in South Korea between October 2009 and May 2010.

According to the AP story, police examined the data that Google collected and determined that it broke two South Korean laws.

South Korean police concluded after months of analysis of hard disks obtained from Google that the company’s activities broke South Korean laws protecting privacy of telecommunications and protecting information about locations, said Jung Suk-Hwa, a police officer in charge of the investigation.

If South Korean prosecutors elect to press the case, Google could face fines totaling a little more than the equivalent of $70,000 USD.

As the issue has been investigated by many countries, Google has repeatedly said the data collection was an accident. A Google spokesperson also tells the AP, “we believe Google Inc. and its employee did nothing illegal in Korea.”

For more background, see our Google Maps Privacy: The Street View & Wifi Scorecard.

Related Topics: Channel: Local | Google: Legal | Google: Outside US | Google: Street View

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About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Search Engine Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He recently launched a site dedicated to Google Glass called Glass Almanac and also blogs at Small Business Search Marketing. Matt can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog.

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