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S. Korea summons Street View developer

Oct. 21, 2011 at 1:46 PM
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SEOUL, Oct. 21 (UPI) -- South Korean prosecutors say they identified the developer of Google's controversial Street View feature and want him to appear before them in a privacy case.

Prosecutors are investigating allegations Google gathered and stored privacy information of at least 600,000 individuals in South Korea while collecting images for the panoramic Street View service from October 2009 to May 2010, Yonhap News Agency reported Friday.

"After tracking various Internet sources, including documents from an expert research institute, we found the person known to be the program developer and notified the person early this week to appear before the prosecution," an official of the Seoul Central District Prosecutor's Office said.

The notification was delivered to the developer through Google's U.S. headquarters, but Google has given no response, prosecutors said.

Korean investigators said Google's fleet of camera-equipped vehicles not only shot the 360-degree images of streets in South Korean provinces but also collected serial numbers of wireless devices on WiFi networks, mobile text messages, e-mails, passwords and credit card payment histories.

Google has confirmed the data collection but has denied any wrongdoing under communication or privacy protection laws.

Similar accusations have been leveled against Google by more than a dozen other countries.

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