With the recent revelation about the National Security Agency surveillance on major search engines like Google and Bing, thousands of people are turning towards less-popular but more privacy-friendly alternatives like DuckDuckGo. For those who are not familiar with DuckDuckGo, it is a search engine much like Google and Bing. What makes it different from the big players above is that is does not track or record any of your search data or information in any form.
The private search engine was founded in 2008 by Gabriel Weinberg. Since then, it has been one of the best choices for those concerned with online privacy and data snooping by agencies like PRISM. Protecting its users’ privacy and avoiding government snooping are the main features of DuckDuckGo.
“We offer that in web search, and there are others that offer it in other verticals. As people find out about these alternatives, they make that choice,” explained DuckDuckGo founder & CEO Gabriel Weinberg via email.
DuckDuckGo uses information from crowdsourced websites such as Wikipedia, Bing and Yahoo, and its own crawler to obtain its results. The users are not profiled. So, instead of personalized search results like google, all the users of DuckDuckGo receive the same search result. Everybody who searched “itnepal” will receive the same result. DuckDuckGo founder & CEO Gabriel Weinberg explains why search engines like Google tracks our data and what DuckDuckGo does to keep your privacy safe and how DuckDuckGo earns money to run its service.
As DuckDuckGo does not track any of your information, it has no issues with government agencies like PRISM. Similar to Google, it displays ads on some of the searches based on your keywords for income. But the ads are not personal and not related to your previous search behaviour.
With the recent revelations about the PRISM project, there has been a huge surge in DuckDuckGo traffic. The highest searches in a single day was in February. In just a few months, they have succeeded in doubling their traffic. It is a hint that more and more people are starting to feel concerned about their online privacy.
So, if you are concerned about your web privacy, or don’t like to be snooped around by governments, you can give the search engine a try. You are highly encouraged to try it for about a week. You will get used to it and most of all, your privacy will be safe.