SEOUL — The Seoul police raided Google’s office here Tuesday on suspicion that its mobile advertising unit, AdMob, had illegally collected users’ location data without users’ consent, the police said. The raid represents the latest setback to the U.S. Internet search company’s South Korean operations.
The investigation also highlights growing concerns about possible misuse of private information as the popularity of mobile devices like smartphones and tablet computers increases.
Information on users’ locations is viewed as crucial for the growing mobile advertising sector, as it helps personalize online ads according to individual preferences or geographical positions. Last month, Apple defended its use of iPhone location data but denied that it was tracking the movements of customers.