South Korean police said they have raided Google’s Seoul headquarters as part of an investigation, in the belief that the advertising company may have broken the country's privacy protection laws.
The raid is the latest development following the revelation that Google's Street View cars were trundling around the globe sucking up all the stray personal wi-fi data they could get their sensors on.
In a statement, the National Police Agency said it thought Google may have illegally collected private Internet data from South Korean households.
Google was initially rumbled in Germany where it attempted to withhold access to the data its Street View cars were collecting from unsecured private networks. It later said it was harvesting the private data 'by mistake' but the data would be harmless anyhow. Later Google CEO Eric Schmidt confessed that the data could include such information as bank account numbers - which means it likely snaffled up anything it could find.
"[We] have been investigating Google Korea on suspicion of unauthorised collection and storage of data on unspecified Internet users from wi-fi networks," the police statement read.
Its said investigators stormed Google's Korean office in Seoul earlier today, seizing hard drives and documents.
Once the confiscated items are assessed, the police will call on company officials for further investigation. Those officials could face jail if any wrongdoing is discovered, according to local media reports.