Korean prosecutors investigating Google’s use of Street View technology in the country believe they have identified the developer behind what it believes is a privacy-infringing feature, serving a notice and requiring the person to appear before them next week, Yonhap News reports.
The Seoul-based prosecution is trying to confirm suspicions that the search giant had collected and stored sensitive information of over 600,000 people in South Korea, whilst it had been gathering images of the country’s roads for its Street View service between October 2009 and May 2010.
Until now, the investigation had hit blocks, mainly because the prosecutors could not identify the person who had developed the function that had been accused of breaking privacy laws.
“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,” said an official of the Seoul Central District Prosecutors’ Office, which is investigating the case.
According to reports, messages were sent to Google’s U.S HQ and the company lawyer, but the search giant did not respond.
It is believed that whether the individual involved can be held responsible for the technology can only be determined as a result of interviewing the person, which could kickstart the case again.
Google has confirmed it has collected data but denies infringing on any privacy laws in the country. The company has come under fierce criticism of its data collection policies, which saw it put before numerous privacy watchdogs around the world.