Google’s China Search Engine Links To Phone Numbers

Google has been working in conjunction with the Chinese government to provide a search engine that would be compatible in filtering out the content which is not allowed by the government. As you might be aware, China has rather strict rules regarding what is and isn’t allowed on their internet. It’s something that is highly controversial.

The fact that Google is working on this alone has prompted many members of staff to protest and even recent issue their resignations.

In a report via TheVerge, however, the truth of the search engine might be even darker than just the censorship. It is suggested that the current prototype engine links search requests to phone numbers.

Tracking User Activity

This revelation is clearly rather disturbing. While you might argue that your internet use can be largely tracked, there are no instances (at least that I am aware of) that would specifically tie your searches to something as identifiable as your mobile phone. If this is true, then it means the government would potentially be able to monitor searches made by users and even potentially target a specific person/s for further scrutiny.

What Has Google Said?

The company has remained alarmingly quiet on the subject. The tracker known as ‘Dragonfly’ has neither been confirmed nor denied. All they have said is that they testing ‘experimental’ programs.

While such a tracking device wouldn’t be unexpected for the Chinese government, I daresay people will be shocked that Google is actively participating in it. Suddenly, those staff resignations might make a lot more sense.

What do you think? Are you surprised by this news? Do you think Google will continue the work on it? Should they stop? – Let us know in the comments!

Mike Sanders

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