Saturday September 15, 2018

Google China Prototype Links Searches to Phone Numbers

Google’s search engine for China, "Dragonfly," will not, unsurprisingly, feature any semblance of privacy: The Intercept has learned all searches will be tied to a user’s phone number, making it even easier for the Chinese government to track someone down. The search engine already features an extensive blacklist of terms, such as "human rights," "student protest," and "Nobel Prize."

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"This is very problematic from a privacy point of view, because it would allow far more detailed tracking and profiling of people’s behavior," said Cynthia Wong, senior internet researcher with Human Rights Watch. "Linking searches to a phone number would make it much harder for people to avoid the kind of overreaching government surveillance that is pervasive in China."

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