Google Refused Access To South Korea Map Due To 'Security Concerns'

  • Our Bureau
  • 02:15 PM, November 18, 2016
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Google Refused Access To South Korea Map Due To 'Security Concerns'
South Korea's presidential Blue House is shown clearly on Google Maps (Global), but appears to be blurred out on Google Maps (South Korea). Photo Credit: Wall Street Journal

South Korea’s government has refused to provide the country’s detailed map to Google due to “Security concerns”.

The joint committee led by transport ministry and IT, foreign affairs, unification, defense, administration and trade ministries reached decision.

The decision follows a delay from the initial August deadline for the US search giant's request in June, ZDNet reported today.

The postponement is speculated to have been caused by the US election, so as to wait for the election results and see the stance of President-elect Donald Trump before making a decision.

However, the request from Google to access detailed map of South Korea is not first time. The company has been requesting access to Korean maps that include navigation details and driving directions since 2010, which have been repeatedly refused.

South Korea, which is technically at war with North Korea since the armistice in 1953, has strict regulations over revealing map information.

The present law of South Korea doesn't allow detailed maps to be housed in servers outside of the country. Though Google has created a server in South Korea to service the map of the country, it has very limited capacity.

Some believe that the country has genuine security concerns, whereas see the decision as an excuse to protect the business interests of local map vendors such as Naver and Kakao.

Due to Google Maps limitations, consumers in South Korea overwhelmingly use Naver Maps for their day-to-day navigations.

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