Google urged to stop user data mining
By Kim Yoo-chul
An Internet rights group Tuesday urged Google to drop its plan to data mine user information.
In an urgent statement, the Korean Council on the Protection of Personal Information (KCPPI) said that Google’s scheme violates privacy and it should not be implemented on March 1 as scheduled.
``The Google plan is totally against Internet privacy,’’ a spokesman said.
The Korea Communications Commission (KCC), the nation’s converged telecom regulator, said it was mulling the possibility of taking legal action against Google as its new system will threaten Internet privacy.
Google plans to start consolidating information across its many products, meaning that any information a user enters in one product, for example, YouTube, can be combined with information from other Google services including search, Gmail or Google’s new Google+ social networking site.
The new policy will allow it to collect and store information about users including search queries, logs of calls and locations.
``The policy will make Google get more bargaining power to control the entire information of all Google users and the infotmation obtained by Google could be sold for advertising purposes at cheaper prices. That doesn’t make any sense,’’ said KCPPI.
``That means we will be living under Big Brother Google. Even if a user is not signed in, Google could obtain a user’s IP address and place tracking cookies on the device,’’ according to the statement.
Google wasn’t immediately available for comment.
Top officials at the KCC have reached a broad consensus to begin an independent investigation into Google’s new policy as it is thought to violate local laws.
The KCC has already received official word from Google’s Korean office that Korea is not an exception within its scope of global changes.
``The KCC will do whatever we can. Legal action is possible, though we need more time before making a final decision,’’ said an official.
Google’s Android software is an open-based system that has been winning in the ``world of software’’ amid the popularity of smartphones and tablets.