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Seoul Police Raid Google Offices Over Personal Data Collection


A policeman carries a box containing confiscated goods at Google Inc's office in Seoul May 3, 2011.

A policeman carries a box containing confiscated goods at Google Inc's office in Seoul May 3, 2011.

Police in South Korea have raided local offices of Google Incorporated in what they say is a search for evidence that Google's mobile advertising arm has been illegally collecting private data.

Police said members of their cyber unit conducted the raid Tuesday. They carried away hard drives and other equipment related to Google's AdMob unit, which is suspected of collecting personal location information without authority or permission.

The probe is not directly related to a previous investigation of Google in South Korea. That probe concerned the incidental collection of personal data while Google cars were cruising through neighborhoods and taking photographs for the company's Street View service.

Google officials say they are cooperating with the latest investigation, which comes amid rising concern that Apple and other mobile telephone producers are saving data on users' personal movements for advertising purposes.

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