I read “Google China Prototypes Links Searches to Phone Number”. This is one of those write ups which offers some possibly accurate information attributed to anonymous sources or “sources familiar with the project.”
Nifty. Nothing like anonymity.
But for the moment, let’s assume that queries from mobile devices are explicitly linked to the a specific mobile device. What’s the big deal?
According to the write up:
“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.”