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(LEAD) Police raid Google Korea, Daum on suspicion of illicit data collection
SEOUL, May 3 (Yonhap) -- Seoul police on Tuesday raided Google Korea's head office in southern Seoul on suspicion that the global search company had used its mobile advertising platform to illegally collect private data, officials said.

   The Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency (SMPA) sent its investigators to the local office of Google Inc. in Yeoksam-dong, southern Seoul, at 10:30 a.m. to secure hard drives and other computer data related to the company's "AdMob" platform, said the officials.

South Korean police officers arrive at Google Korea's office in southern Seoul on May 3 for a raid. (Yonhap)

Hours later, SMPA investigators also conducted a surprise raid on the headquarters of local portal site Daum on similar suspicions. The investigators confiscated hard drives and other documents during their raid on Daum's Seoul office in Hannam-dong, central Seoul.

   "The raid on Google Korea was carried out to confirm the allegations that Google's AdMob platform was used to collect data on individuals' locations via smartphone applications," an SMPA official said.

   The official said the SMPA will summon Google Korea executives as soon as an analysis of the confiscated materials and documents is completed.

   Recently, suspicions have surfaced that smartphones powered by Google's Android operating system collect data on users' location, the names of wireless networks that they use and the density of those signals before sending them to Google.

   In January this year, the South Korean police booked Google on charges of collecting personal data from Wi-Fi networks for its mapping service in violation of the nation's telecommunications law.