Google's Street View data-gathering methods are apparently at the center of a recent raid of the Web giant's main office in Seoul.
As The Guardian reports, Korea's National Police Agency organized and carried out a raid whose aim was to obtain mass amounts of data from Google collected for the purpose of maintaining the company's cutting edge Street View mapping services.
Street View is one function of Google Maps, a free service offered that allows users to access mapping, neighborhood, and even visual information online at maps.google.com. The visual information is available via Street View, a groundbreaking and somewhat controversial feature that allows users to view up-to-date images of many city streets in major cities all over the world.
The photographic information for Street View is gathered by Google's Street View team who use sophisticated technology as they travel in specialized vehicles that take photographic and internet data in order to compile the stunning Street View feature.
Several countries have called attention to the feature, which has sparked questions of privacy in the U.S. and U.K. and brought up other ethical issues around the world.
This case brings to lights the modern dilemma of ethics in emerging technologies where no laws exits to deal with rapidly evolving cutting-edge companies such as Google.
For its part, Google has publicly committed to fully cooperate with South Korean officials, vowing to answer any questions and provide all information.