According to the report, Google is still finding the options for Chinese web searches in an effort to release the search engine that will work in according to the country's censorship regime, although an official rollout of the search engine seems to have been indefinitely postponed.
The decision followed accounts that Google's privacy team had complained to executives when questionable data collection practices by some of the project's engineers were leaked to the press, leading to an internal rift within the Dragonfly development team. To do so, Google has used 265.com, a Chinese internet portal based in Beijing it purchased in 2008, two years before it pulled out of China, to gather user behaviour data, mainly search habits. Google engineers no longer have access to 265.com's data, which has ended Project Dragonfly for the time being.
"Members of Google's privacy team, however, were kept in the dark about the use of 265.com", said the report, quoting sources. According to insiders, the privacy team was "really pissed". It also allows Chinese citizens to search for websites, images, and videos.
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The information of more than 340,000 District of Columbia residents was exposed but only 860 downloaded the quiz, Racine noted.
"The 265 data was integral to Dragonfly".
Rumors of a possible reentry to China made headlines when they were first reported in August.
In addition, the history of searches will be attached to the phone numbers users. As details regarding Project Dragonfly continued to leak over the ensuing months, that pushback only grew more vehement, with executives fielding questions on the subject from United States senators and Google employees launching a petition decrying the project. Sergey Brin, who was at the helm of Google when the company shut down its China operation in 2010 as a protest, spent his childhood in the former Soviet Union, therefore had first-hand understanding of what censorship is about. Pichai stated that "right now" there were no plans to launch the search engine, though refused to rule it out in the future. But right now there are no plans to launch in China. A department of crucial importance, the Google privacy team, was left out of Project Dragonfly's development - and when it discovered the truth, there was little room for reconciliation between the two parties. They called on the management of the company, "to stop Dragonfly". When Google's CEO, Sundar Pichai testified in front of Congress last week, he was asked about Dragonfly, and basically said that there were no plans to launch a search engine in China "right now". Back in November, reports surfaced that privacy and security employees that were working on Dragonfly were shut out of meetings.