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In the latest setback to Google's Korean operations, South Korean police raided the Internet giant's office in Seoul. The Internet search company is suspected of using its mobile advertising unit AdMob to collect user location data illegally.
South Korean police raided Google's Seoul office on Tuesday. Police say they suspect Google has been using its mobile advertising unit AdMob to collect user location data without user consent or approval from the Korean Communication Commission.
Google says it's cooperating with the police investigation.
[Lois Kim, Google Spokesman]:
"They said they came here to listen to our explanation on collecting personal location information. As we told you last week, Google's been asking for agreement from users in terms of collecting personal location information and collecting the information only when it's agreed."
The probe highlights growing concerns about possible misuse of private information as more people use mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet PCs.
Last month, Apple defended its use of iPhone location data, but denied that it was tracking the movements of customers, while consumer electronics giant Sony is grappling with a massive data breach.
The probe comes as the U.S. Federal Trade Commission is considering a broad investigation into Google. High-tech firms are reportedly alerted to gather data ahead of a probe of Google's dominance of the Internet search industry.
Google and Apple have been targeted by U.S. lawmakers over their protection and use of consumer data from cell phone applications, such as where users are located.
Google executives have talked about the ability to target advertising to users based on location.