Chosun said on August 8 that relevant ministries meet on Aug. 12 to decide whether or not to give Google free access to Korea's proprietary map data, which the U.S. tech giant wants to use for its Maps app.
Of course it is sensible for Google to want to make its maps as accurate as possible and provide better services to its customers. But there are some concerns that the maps from the National Geographic Information Institute also include the exact coordinates of military installations and other classified sites, which would have to be deleted.
One way to avoid a potential leak would be for Google to set up a secure server in Korea so the government can make sure that no unauthorized data are published. But the company has refused to do that citing "internal policies."
What are these internal policies? In essence a pathological reluctance to pay tax.
Google generates more than W1 trillion in annual revenues in Korea (US$1=W1,115). But because it has no official seat of business here it pays virtually no corporate tax. A server on Korean soil could change that, so its refusal to answer Korea's security concerns clearly has more to do with greed than anything else.
And now it wants free help from Korean civil servants, who work on other taxpayers' time. If it wants the map data, it should pay what it owes.