Oct 9, 2012

Google Alternatives for The Privacy Conscientious

I've been ranting and raving lately about Government spying and privacy issues, but I haven't really talked about one of the biggest offenders of privacy issues. That is one of the world's biggest companies, Google. Google is everywhere, hell if you are reading this right now you are reading it on a platform owned by Google (Blogger). The thing about Google is that all information they collect about you, including your search terms, are kept in a database FOREVER!

Many of us aren't too worried about it. I mean Google does this to sell your information to marketers so they can try to sell you stuff. Annoying as it may be, it's not really that big of a deal. The problem though comes into play if a law like CISPA gets passed, or if President Obama signs the Cybersecurity Executive Order. If those events happens, then Google may be forced to hand over all the data they've been collecting about you to Uncle Sam without a warrant. Kind of messed up.

Well I found two search alternatives you can use instead of Google's search that provide better privacy.

  1. DuckDuckGo - This first option has this as their Privacy Policy, "DuckDuckGo does not collect or share personal information. That is our privacy policy in a nutshell." you can read their full policy here. Their results are okay, but not quite as good as Google's. If your main concern is privacy though, that might be a decent price to pay.
  2. StartPage - This option is my personal favorite. They actually pull searches from Google on your behalf so none of your personal information is captured by Google, yet you still get the great search results. Here is the text from their privacy policy:
  • Startpage is strongly committed to protecting the privacy of its user community.
  • The IP address that is associated with your search will NOT be recorded. 
  • We don't collect any personal information on our visitors. Nada. Zilch. Zero.

 You can read their full policy here: (StartPage/IxQuick Privacy Policy)

I've went ahead and changed my browser's start pages to use https://www.startpage.com instead of what I used to have which was http://start.bauer-power.net that used Google Search. I will be doing the same when I setup the next Bauer-Puntu Linux.

What do you use for search these days? Are you using a different search engine for privacy? Let us know what you use in the comments.

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