South Korea on Friday rejected a request from global search engine Google to use government-supplied digital map data for global services, citing concerns about the exposure of sensitive facilities.
Google's request was turned down by a joint government committee, which blamed the US tech giant for refusing to comply with guidelines. The search engine provides almost unrestricted map services worldwide but it cannot do so in South Korea because of what Google officials called unfair restrictions.
Since its first attempt failed in 2007, Google has tried to gain access to South Korean maps, but hardliners like Defense Minister Han Min-koo have voiced a negative view, insisting sensitive facilities should be blurred out first. The committee had put off judgment on Google's second request in August.
Google has refused to put its data server in South Korea for its mapping service and abide by government guidelines, insisting users abroad could see sensitive facilities through mapping services provided by competitors.
The tussle has hampered Google's efforts to roll out better services, including real-time traffic information, 3-D maps and driving directions in South Korea.
Aju News Lim Chang-won = firstname.lastname@example.org