Monday March 18, 2019
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Database in China Lists Personal Information of 1.8 mn Women

Facebook is blocked in China and can only be accessed through virtual private networks

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Accurate Map of China, Pixabay

An open database in China contains the personal information of more than 1.8 million women, including their phone numbers, addresses and a “BreedReady” status which could describe whether a woman has children or was of child-bearing age, according to a researcher.

Victor Gevers, a Dutch Internet expert from the non-profit group GDI.Foundation, found the insecure data cache while searching for open databases in China, the Guardian reported on Monday.

The database included fields labelled in English for sex, age, education, marital status, as well as a column titled “BreedReady”.

It is not clear whether the database is related to a dating app, government registry or another organisation or company.

Gevers, who also identified a database maintained by a surveillance company tracking at least 2.5 million residents in Xinjiang, said he was still taking samples and working on verifying the data.

hackers, hacking group, military
If the e-mails are opened, they unleash malware that allows hackers based in China to access stored research, iDefense reported. Pixabay

“More than this, we don’t have at the moment. Our primary concern is that it gets secured ASAP,” he told the Guardian.

The average age of women in the database was 32, with the youngest being 15, he said. Almost 90 per cent of included entries were described single and 82 per cent were listed as living in Beijing.

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The database also included fields labelled “political” as well as links to what appear to be Facebook profile pages.

Facebook is blocked in China and can only be accessed through virtual private networks. (IANS)

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Google Claims It Has “No Plans” To Relaunch A Search Engine in China

Technology companies have recently been a favorite target of many members of the U.S. Congress, who have criticized them over a wide range of issues such as privacy, work in China and allowing foreign meddling in U.S. elections.

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The Chinese flag is seen near the Google sign at the Google china headquarters in Beijing, China. VOA

The United States’ top general said on Thursday that the Chinese military was benefiting from the work Alphabet Inc’s Google was doing in China, where the technology giant has long sought to have a bigger presence.

“The work that Google is doing in China is indirectly benefiting the Chinese military,” Marine General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing.

“We watch with great concern when industry partners work in China knowing that there is that indirect benefit,” he said.

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Lawmakers and Google employees have raised concerns the company would comply with China’s internet censorship and surveillance policies if it re-enters the Asian nation’s search engine market. Pixabay

“Frankly, ‘indirect’ may be not a full characterization of the way it really is, it is more of a direct benefit to the Chinese military.”

Last year Google said it was no longer vying for a $10 billion cloud computing contract with the U.S. Defense Department, in part because the company’s new ethical guidelines do not align with the project.

In June, Google said it would not renew a contract to help the U.S. military analyze aerial drone imagery when it expires, as the company sought to defuse an internal uproar over the deal.

At the same time, Google said it has “no plans” to relaunch a search engine in China, though it is continuing to study the idea.

During the hearing, Republican Senator Josh Hawley sharply criticized the tech company, referring to it as “a supposedly American company.”

FILE - Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., speaks during a hearing of a Senate Judiciary Committee in Washington, March 6, 2019.
Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., speaks during a hearing of a Senate Judiciary Committee in Washington, March 6, 2019. VOA

Technology companies have recently been a favorite target of many members of the U.S. Congress, who have criticized them over a wide range of issues such as privacy, work in China and allowing foreign meddling in U.S. elections.

Lawmakers and Google employees have raised concerns the company would comply with China’s internet censorship and surveillance policies if it re-enters the Asian nation’s search engine market.

Also Read: India and Pakistan Threaten to Release Missiles at Each Othe

Asked about Dunford’s comments, Google referred to previous statements.

Google Chief Executive Sundar Pichai has previously said the company has invested in China for years and plans to continue to do so, but that the company also was continuing to work with the U.S. government on projects in health care, cybersecurity and other fields. (VOA)