Google China Search Engine tracks users with phone numbers

Google | Sep 22, 2018 | Master3395

More revelations about Dragonfly.

Google has gained criticism after it became known that the company is developing a dedicated search engine for the Chinese market, called Dragonfly. Earlier this week, it became known that more employees - including a senior researcher - had terminated their jobs in protest.

- Very problematic
The Intercept writes that Google's Chinese search engine - currently under development - not only censor search results but traces users down to the phone number. According to the website, every user who uses Dragonfly will be associated with their phone number so that searches are easy to track.

According to reports, a user seeking information banned in the country may risk being questioned by the authorities if they access Google search history.

- From a privacy statement, this is very problematic as it enables even more detailed tracking and profiling of users. Connecting searches to a phone number will make it much more difficult for people to bypass the surveillance of the authorities in China, "said Cynthia Wong, Internet Researcher at Human Rights Watch, to The Intercept.

- Can manipulate value data
The website writes that Dragonfly is a search app designed for Android devices that connect to the user's phone number. The information they have accessed shows that Google is on a blacklist with search terms like "human rights", "student protest" and "Nobel Prize" on Mandarin.

In addition, The Intercept's sources say that it appears that Dragonfly does not display accurate weather and air pollution information and that the app is instead adapted to display information from Chinese authorities, which, according to the site, is known to manipulate value data and information about air pollution.

Google has not wanted to comment on the case against The Intercept.

Keywords: Google china

Sources: The Intercept

Author: Master3395


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