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Google Mapping Worries Spread

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Google streetview camera

Google camera-equipped vehicle in Kiel, Germany, May 2009.


Google Inc. faced fresh scrutiny of its privacy practices Tuesday, with police in South Korea raiding the Internet giant's offices there and German officials criticizing the company's plan to roll out its mapping service in 20 cities.

The National Police Agency in South Korea said it's investigating whether the Mountain View, Calif., company collected and stored private information illegally while it prepared for the launch of its Street View mapping service, which provides panoramic views of streets for Internet users.

Regulators in several countries, including Germany, Italy, Australia and the U.S., are investigating whether privacy laws were broken when Google's Street View vehicles collected personal data of unsuspecting Internet users from Wi-Fi wireless networks. Google has said the data collection was inadvertent.

From The Wall Street Journal
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